Top 10 Innovative Uses Of Shipping Containers

Intermodal Shipping Containers are primarily used in the shipping industry for transporting goods overseas. However, people are finding unique and innovative ways to use them after they’ve served their useful purpose and are essentially “retired” from the shipping industry. Not only are containers helping to solve industry specific problems they’re also great for low cost chic “tiny homes”, retail spaces and many other unique projects.

Why Reuse Shipping Containers?​

Repurposing retired shipping containers has become a worldwide architectural trend. This practice is commonly referred to as “Container Architecture”  or “Cargotecture.” Below is a list of reasons why shipping containers are ideal for so many special projects:

  • Size: Shipping containers range in size from  20’ to 53’ but can be customized to any size. This ample space makes them ideal for creating a workable space.

  • Durability: Shipping containers are made from 14 gauge corrugated COR-TEN steel and designed to be handled with heavy equipment and to withstand harsh elements of the open seas. Even after years of use in the shipping industry wind and watertight containers remain structurally sound.

  • Wind & Watertight: Containers labeled as Wind and Watertight are free of holes and will not leak. They are also rodent proof and will keep the contents safe from the outside elements.

  • Stackable: Shipping containers are designed to be stackable which makes them easy to  arrange in a variety of configurations to suit your needs.

  • Cost-Effective & Time Saving: A shipping container can serve as a ready made frame for many projects thus making the building process relatively quick. Shipping containers can also be cost-effective when compared to building a similar structure from the ground up. 

  • Environmental Friendliness: Repurposing shipping containers can minimize the need for building materials such as wood, bricks, cement and other goods that lead to the production of CO2 that pollute the earth.

Creative & Innovative Ways To Use Shipping Containers

Here are some fun and creative ways shipping containers have been used around the globe.

1. Container Homes​

Repurposing shipping containers into container homes has become popular in recent years. Due to the high cost and low availability of traditional homes people are considering alternative options such as these. Whether you are interested in a simple single container design or a complex multi unit design these containers can provide a strong framework for a home. For more information on building your own container home check out our blog, “Container Homes 101.”

2. Container Hotels​

This unique container hotel takes advantage of the stackability of the containers. The durability of shipping containers enables them to be stacked to create multiple floors for multi-unit dwellings which maximizes space. After adding some key elements like plumbing, electricity, and stylish interiors, guests will have a unique hotel experience they won’t soon forget.

3. Container Schools And Classrooms

Finding funding and space for additional classrooms can be a challenge for growing school districts. This school district found an alternative to the portable classrooms that most schools utilize for overflow. Unlike the traditional portables, container classrooms can be stacked to maximize space and allow more children the classroom space they deserve.

4. Container Saunas

This container was modified into a personal sauna by cutting a container in half, adding some wood siding, lights, a door and a wood-fire stove to create steam. Imagine the ability to remove toxins from your body from your own backyard container sauna!

5. Container Pools​

Shipping containers can be modified into both underground pools as well as above ground pools similar to the one pictured above. Ensure your container is free of rust or any large noticeable dents.This design includes a unique step deck which allows swimmers easy access. Container pools also eliminate the need for expensive pool contractors. For more information on this project refer to our blog, “How to Construct a Container Swimming Pool.”

6. Container Office​

Renting an office space is expensive and finding the perfect location can be challenging. This unique container office offers the business owner benefits not available with the traditional office. It allows the builder to create a one of a kind office that stands out from others. Not to mention this office offers flexibility in the location. This builder let their imagination run wild and created a see-through stairwell by adding full length windows along three sides of one of the containers and tilting the container on one edge. Amazing!

7. Container Workshops​

Many homes don’t  have a garage or the luxury of having an extra room to convert into a  “Man Cave” or workshop. This container garage, which also doubles as a workspace, was constructed by combining two containers side by side and removing the adjacent walls to achieve the extra width. This is a great alternative to adding an extra room to a home which can be expensive and time consuming.

8. Container Restaurant, Cafe Or Bar​

In this age of social media, everyone is searching for the next hot spot to post on instagram. These so-called “Instagrammable Spots” are known for their ambiance and trendy vibes that keep customers coming to check it out for themselves. Many of these instagram hot spots are containers that have been repurposed into cool restaurants, cafes or bars. The location pictured above is an eatery that has been modified using an open sided container. One side of the container opens up to reveal a delightful little restaurant that offers its customers a unique dining experience and it can be lifted to close and secure the restaurant after hours.

9. Container Retail Space​

Container retail spaces are an alternative to the traditional brick and mortar stores. Many cities are turning to these container stores to help accelerate business growth and strengthen their economy. With minimal space needed and a fraction of the typical construction cost you can turn a regular container into an eye-catching retail store like the one pictured above. These retail spaces make it more affordable to enter into the retail market thus making it a viable option for more people.

10. Emergency Medical Facilities

Containers are a great solution for creating additional medical space. Whether medical space is needed for unexpected emergencies or a hospital has outgrown its current building, containers provide a quick and sturdy solution. These medical spaces have the added advantage of being mobile and can be transported where there is the most need. These versatile medical containers can also be used for mobile emergency care during large gatherings such as concerts or large sporting events.

Where To Get Shipping Containers?​

These are just a few of the many unique ways people are utilizing shipping containers. Their versatility is only limited by your ideas and creativity. If you have a project in mind that requires a container you may be wondering where to get your own shipping container. OnSite Storage Solutions has a variety of shipping containers with different sizes, types, and conditions for any purpose. Whether you’re looking to store and transport goods or to create your very own container masterpiece we can make it happen. You can call us at (888) 405-8772 to get the best deals near you.

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