Factory new tanks & containers

Tanks and Containers for Storage and Production - Should You Buy New or Used

Project engineers are often faced with a choice: when it comes to tanks or containers made of stainless steel needed for new production plants or expanding storage capacity, is it better to buy new or to buy used? Since almost every application is different, the answer to this question is not straightforward. However, many valuable hints can be gained from practical experience.
When developing a new process plant, one must define the volumes of the tanks contained within it and determine what performance characteristics they must meet and what equipment is derived from them. This creates a configuration on the basis of which one can either inquire about the price of a new tank or go to search for a used tank.

What are the advantages of a new tank?

First and foremost, the fact that one can get it exactly as needed and from different manufacturers. However, slight differences in quality and price must be taken into account. New tanks are preferred when, for example, a whole series of identical tanks - called a battery in the industry - is to be created. Tanks with the same recurring design are the exception rather than the rule in the used tank market, especially when a large number of them is required. However, those who attach particular importance to the aesthetics of their production or storage should not neglect to ask the nearest used tank dealer what they have to offer.

What are the disadvantages of a new tank?

Availability is one of the main issues. Few manufacturers or dealers have a significant selection of individualized containers in stock. The capital investment would be too high, as would the storage costs. Therefore, most tanks are only manufactured to order, which can lead to significant delays. Delivery times of several weeks are standard, and several months are not uncommon. The other main issue is the significantly higher cost. Used tanks are usually significantly cheaper.

What are the advantages of buying a used tank?

The configuration of the project engineer can be sent to a used tank trader. Companies like Heuer Tanks in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck typically have hundreds of tanks in stock. The chances of finding one that meets the requirements are relatively high, especially at those whose experts offer to retrofit or upgrade each tank for a new, specific use. Another advantage of a used tank is the significantly lower price, which is often equal in quality to a new tank. This is because the main material used in process and storage tanks is stainless steel, which does not corrode and retains its quality even after decades of use. Moreover, used tanks can be repurposed or upgraded for a new use. Another benefit of buying a used tank is the significant energy savings that come with not having to produce a new tank. Companies that value environmental protection often look for used tanks first, as it reduces their carbon footprint. Last but not least, one of the most important reasons to choose a used tank is the delivery time, which is usually just a few days, as opposed to weeks or months for a brand new tank made to order.

What should you consider when buying a used tank?

Many buyers ask about the previous purpose and contents of the tank. Food processors often don't want to use a tank that was previously used for chemicals, healthcare, or pharmaceuticals. However, stainless steel, which is the material used in most tanks, does not absorb odors or flavors even after years of use. Practically, the previous contents of a tank rarely should affect what it can be used for in the future. Additionally, a thorough cleaning of each tank should be a standard practice for any seller with a keen eye on customer service. For some processes, only certified tanks can be used. This requirement can be fulfilled by many of the manufacturers of new tanks, as well as sellers of used tanks. Tanks of this type come with papers that must be included in the purchase.

New or used - When does it not make a difference?

Both have to be transported from the place of manufacture or from the used equipment dealer's warehouse to the buyer, both have to be integrated into a building and a facility. As industrial large containers can be wider or longer than standard cargo, transport by road or inland waterway is handled by haulage companies that specialize in oversized cargo. Benefits for the buyer can only be generated here if the distance is shorter. Tank buyers should therefore always inquire first with the nearest dealer or manufacturer. In addition, both types of containers - whether new or used - must be integrated into a property or facility. These components, which are as large and heavy as they are, should only be installed by specialist companies, otherwise there may be a significant risk to man and machine upon installation. Used tank dealers, in particular, often have experts in-house or a specialist company at hand to take care of installation, as well as the removal of old tanks.

Why you are in good hands with your used tank dealer.

Used tank dealers such as Heuer Tanks are also the first point of contact when replacing an old tank with a new one, because they also take back the no longer needed containers in exchange. Often, the exchange can even be done with the same transport, which can also further reduce the cost of a new tank. Last but not least, the European used tank trade industry is well networked with each other. The good ones are happy to take on search orders if they cannot fulfil orders themselves and then they ask their colleagues if one can deliver the desired configuration to the customer. Year after year, many hundreds of experienced project engineers use this service because it usually helps them reach their goal faster than if they had to inquire themselves with multiple tank suppliers.


The shortest route – ask your used tank dealer

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