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Using Shipping Containers

Today, businesses around the world rely on transport so that finished goods can be delivered anywhere in the world, and a shipping container is effectively a metal box with a door that can be loaded onto trains or more often ships and delivered nearly anywhere. These boxes are useful enough as they are, but after their career shipping items is over, they can be re-purposed for a new life, and a shipping crate restaurant, a customized shipping container for a novelty shop, and more are all possible with shipping container modifications. It can make for convenient real estate when pop up containers are given new leases on life as buildings with four walls and a roof, and custom shipping containers can be budget friendly, too. How many of them are out there? How can shipping container modifications be done to transform one into a building?


Shipping container modifications don’t begin until a shipping container has lived out its life serving its original purpose. Today, there are plenty of them; if they were all lined up end to end, they could circle the planet twice, but not all of them are being used for their intended purpose. In fact, it is estimated that around 11 million shipping containers are going unused, and they could be used for all sorts of purposes by anyone interested in buying them. A recycle shipping container will yield about 3,500 kilograms of reused steel, and they are typically 8 feet wide, 9.5 feet tall, and 20 to 40 feet long, which may sound modest, but even with these dimensions, a container can be transformed into something else without too much trouble.

Custom Shipping Containers

Shipping container modifications are a proven concept across the United States, and the results are encouraging. Starbucks, for one, was an early innovator with shipping containers in 2011. At the time, they opened a store made from a shipping container in Washington state, and it had 450 square feet. Similarly, Taco Bell made a pop-up store from a modified shipping container in 2015, and they created a permanent store made from a shipping container in California in early 2017.

What does this mean? Millions of shipping containers are ready-made metal boxes just laying around, and they can be converted into shops of all kinds. A private entrepreneur can buy one and covert it into a novelty shop and sell whatever they like in there, and the box’s limited size and height means that they can be set up nearly anywhere without needing too much property to sit on, and this can be convenient in more crowded regions. Such a container store will of course need to furnish it with utilities and devices such as a cash register and counter, cooking materials and items if need be, windows, ceiling fans, and various lights can be installed as well. Comforts like wallpaper, art, carpets, and more can be installed wherever there is room to give the place a more comfortable feel, and when the construction project is over, shipping container modifications may result in a new building that feels just like a cafe or a small coffee shop, and often at just a fraction of the price of a regular building.

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