How Much Does A Shipping Container Pool Cost?

Shipping container pools have been a growing trend in recent years due to their affordability, mobility, sleek design, and sustainable features.   Although the foundation of these pools is recycled metal, they add a touch of class and style to lavish households. 

So how much does a shipping container pool cost?

The average shipping container pool cost is around $16,500 to $39,900.  Comparing it to a traditional in-ground pool that can typically cost about $35,000 to $65,000, that is quite a difference!

Shipping container pools may be installed in-ground or above-ground. The cost of creating them vary according to the size, quality, modifications, and durability of the shipping containers. 

Next, you must consider the cost of delivery, modification, filtration systems, liners, labor, and materials used to complete the project (this matters whether you are building it yourself as a DIY project or purchasing it from a reputable company). 

Remember you can always do it cheaper on your own which is why we listed the materials and costs it will take below if you go at it on your own.  With that being said, sometimes it is easier to hire people who make these for a living and just handle the installation part with the help of contractors. 

Either way keep reading below for a great cost breakdown of a shipping container pool!

Cost of Shipping Containers

The value of shipping containers depends upon the age, size, condition, cost of delivery, and the supplier of the materials to be used for the pool.

The foundation itself is surprisingly affordable compared to creating the standard concrete swimming pools. 

Shipping containers usually come in a couple of sizes: an eight by twenty foot or an eight by forty foot.  Most manufactures of shipping container pools will modify the pool length to about twelve feet to allow more space.

However, if you are working with a local contractor, they may be able to use the entire shipping container you’ve purchased to make the pool as large as you’d like to have it.

One-trip shipping containers are those delivered from Asia – the export and import hubs of the world.  These containers are built according to industry standards and come with varied prices. 

One-trip containers that are 20-feet in length are sold at $3,000.  The 40-feet ones are valued at $4,500 while the 40 foot standard high-cube containers cost roughly around $5,000.  The newer they are, the pricier they get. 

If you opt for newer ones, there is a lesser risk of chemical contamination caused by repeated deliveries at sea.   If you opt for the used ones who have outlived their primary purpose for international transport, an added refurbishing cost is expected. 

Although they are already used, these used shipping containers are labeled as lightly-damaged but ISO approved.  Thus, they would still be viable to use as swimming pools. 

Things To Consider In Selecting Shipping Containers

You must look at the floorboards, corrosiveness, and dents when choosing the best one for your swimming pool.  If you see any of these mishaps, it is best to ask the supplier of the added costs associated with repairing them.  This way, you can properly assess the budget.

You must also check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and other sources of information that may confirm the durability and quality of materials used in forming the shipping containers. 

You may seek the information you need by looking up the brand name in social media, customer reviews, and forums about sellers’ reputations. 

Knowing this information first hand ensures that you are getting the quality that you need to create a shipping container pool. 

It is also important to check whether the doors open and close smoothly.  If they are defective, sealing them would be challenging once you transform it into a pool.  They could become uneven on the ground and must be wedged in a corner to stabilize it. 

Most shipping containers are pre-approved by the International Standards Organization (ISO).  Thus, the new ones are consistent, safe, and are made with quality-approved standards. 

Rusty Shipping Containers

Cost of Delivery

Another cost to think about is the delivery fee.  Some jurisdictions require approval from the government which requires you to pay an added fee for special permits.

The permits and inspection costs are valued from $50-250 depending on the area and materials used for the shipping container pool.  The values may be properly assessed by contractors who would comply with ordinance requirements.

If the suppliers’ address and your home is miles apart, the delivery costs may be more expensive than what you bargained for.  In fact, the inflated shipping costs may be pricier than the shipping container itself. 

Most suppliers would indicate a flat delivery rate for every mile radius.  They may charge you more if your location is farther than their preferred mileage.  However, some suppliers offer packages that come with discounts. 

If time is of the essence and you need the delivery done within a day, the delivery fee is 20-30% higher than the standard shipping fee.  Suppliers may even charge you more if traveling to your location requires passing through rough and narrow roads. 

The additional fees would cost around $75 per hour especially when the driver would need to undergo several preparations to get the shipment ready. 

Suppliers usually hire middlemen to comply with the delivery. This would have the suppliers charge you 25-35% more. You may, however, save more if you buy the shipping container directly from the source who may offer you a better deal.  

Types of Pools 

Let's say an in ground pool isn’t favorable.  You can place a shipping container on the ground and have stairs leading up to the top with a deck surrounding the container.  It’s a stairs to deck pool with a staircase leading up to the pool. You can put the pool entry wherever you want it to be.  

A containers length can also help to create a pool for athletes.  They’ll be able to do laps to stay in shape whenever they’d like.  

A shipping container pool can also relocate with you if you decide to move.  Shipping containers are very mobile so relocating your pool instead of having to rebuild an in ground one will help save a lot of money.  

Another type of pool that can be made is a mod-pool.  This type of pool is exactly what its name implies; it’s been modified to fit a more aesthetic look.  These pools can be put above ground or underground.  

Those who choose to put the pool above the ground may want it to have fiberglass walls for people to see in.  Or if they prefer not to have the fiberglass walls it might be easier to just install the pool underground so that everyone has easy access to enter into the pool.  

Assembly of Shipping Container Pools

Think Lego -  most shipping containers will come in parts to be assembled.  The pool can easily be assembled within a few hours up to a day depending on how much there is to assemble and what type of machinery is needed.  Some of that machinery may consist of a crane, a construction forklift, a tractor, a heavy-duty truck with a tilt lift bed and other miscellaneous equipment.

There are a lot of options, but if you decide to utilize any heavy-duty equipment, it is important to know how to use them correctly or to make sure that the person helping knows how to use the equipment.  Knowing how to properly use the equipment will help things run smoothly and prevent delays as well as injuries.

Equipment Costs

The common tools used in installing the pool are an excavator with rubber tracks for in-ground shipping container pools, jackhammer or heavy-duty drill, and a sledgehammer.

If you wish to install the shipping container pool yourself, it would cost you around $2,000 for the rent of the needed equipment. 

The labor costs for digging a hole for in-ground shipping container pools may cost you around $1,000-$2,000 dollars, depending on your supplier or if you hire a contractor. 

Specs and Other Modifications

The mechanical aspects of a shipping container pool are speed pumps that have a system flow of 400-3,450RPM.  The maximum system flow should be at 160 GPM.  This comes with two automatic actuation valves.  The price range for pumps is at $400 -$900.  

If you wish to add lighting to your shipping container pool, the optimal choice would be to purchase a color-changing LED light of 12V/14W.  The price for that is $11-$430, depending on the size and colors. 

The shipping container pool would also need cooling or heating mechanisms.  The master temp heater has 400,000 BTU/hour of power, is fueled by either natural gas or propane and runs at 120/240 VAC, single-phase, 60HZ.  The price for heaters ranges from $2,600-$4,000.

Another added feature is the control system.  You may install an easy touchscreen-logic app that is computer, smartphone, or tablet-friendly.  They have 40 Amp service and cost around $200-$1,250. 

Inside Surface of a Shipping Container Pool

A shipping container is obviously made of metal and letting water touch its surface can cause it to rust, which would eventually cause damage and leakage.  Most manufactures will weld more steel throughout the container pool to make it airtight.  

Sometimes, people opt to use a fiberglass shell to keep the water from leaking but spider cracks can also be expensive to repair.  

To save money a vinyl liner can be used in your container pool.  This is more affordable because it is cheaper to replace and repair compared to steel and fiberglass also used to reinforce container pools.  

Another option is to use all three items making three layers to protect the container from getting water damage - steel, fiberglass, vinyl liner or even an acrylic liner.  This concept can definitely waterproof your pool, however there are some concerns regarding this option.  

With all the layers, there is additional weight to the pool which would make it harder to transport if you wanted to relocate.  The additional weight may also cause some concern if you were to install the shipping container pool on top of a roof as some people may prefer.  


The average rate of maintaining a pool would cost around $80-$150 per month.  If you are a first-timer, services would cost around $150-$350 per month on average.  If repairs are needed, the price could go up to $3,000-$5,000. 

The rate of repairs includes electricity, water, and maintenance costs for insulation and control system fixes.  Chlorine tablets that clean the water are priced at around $60-$70 per batch. 

The preparation for the shipping containers such as adding primers, welding, ridding of chemicals for used containers, and the liners are usually included in the price range of the suppliers. 

The Rundown

Building shipping container pools cost significantly lower than the standard concrete swimming pools.  Compounding all the costs of the container, shipping, modifications, maintenance, and other costs, the sum is around $26,000-$45,000. 

The concrete ones would cost you at least $45,000 and without the impressive additions that you can get with the cheaper alternative. 

Building shipping container pools also come in packages and usually takes just minutes to set up after they are delivered. 

The significant difference in prices, time efficiency, material and labor costs prove that building shipping container pools for your home is better than creating a temporary and more expensive one.  

Clearly, the cheaper option serves you best in creating a sleek, modernized, and mobile pool for the family to enjoy!