Shipping containers were designed to carry freight both on ships and on the back of trucks. They are generally standardized in length, width and height in order to make them easy to stack on top of each other or hook up to a trailer without any modification. They are also highly durable and able to withstand almost anything that both man and mother nature can throw at them. In addition, their invention was a major factor that contributed to the way that logistics are handled throughout the world in the modern era.
However, the economics and uses of shipping containers have changed in recent years. Much of today’s manufacturing is being done in China, and shipping containers are used to move goods into markets in Australia, Europe and North America. One offshoot of this is the fact that it costs quite a bit of money to ship these containers back to China and other manufacturing countries. It is actually often cheaper for these companies to buy a new container rather than paying to bring those that they already own back.
This has created a sort of renaissance in the way that these containers are being used in Western countries. They are often widely available for very cheap prices, and individuals and companies are always coming up with new, interesting, practical and productive things to do with shipping containers.
Uses For Shipping Containers
· Shipping Container Homes
Several decades ago, people began to realize that shipping containers can be used as construction material. Over the years, people have come up with more and more novel ways to utilize these containers in building homes. Some people bury them to create underground homes whereas others stack several on top of each other in unique ways. There have even been entire apartment complexes constructed using only shipping containers as the main building material.
However, people who use shipping containers to build their homes need to be careful. These containers were created to haul goods and not to house people. Significant modifications need to be made in order for shipping containers to be a habitable environment for people. On the other hand, individuals who put in the time and effort can often create a very unique home with a low budget.
· Industrial Use
Many companies have begun to realize the utility that they can get from using shipping containers as part of their infrastructure. They can be a great help in a vast number of applications. Many companies use them to store excess inventory as they are much cheaper than constructing warehouses. They can also be used as garages to keep vehicles safe and away from the elements. There are companies in Australia that produce great accessories that allow businesses to use container shelters in ways that will help them save money and increase their overall profits.
· Commercial Use
In the same way that people have begun converting shipping containers into homes, they can also be made into great commercial buildings. For example, it would be rather easy to convert a shipping container into an open-air bar or cafe. It is also not hard to imagine a sushi bar or any other type of small restaurant made out of a converted shipping container. In addition, these structures can be used as things like ticket booths at festivals and guard shacks. The sky is really the limit when people use shipping containers in their business.
The Bottom Line
Many people have heard the phrase that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. This is very much true with shipping containers. While they are often discarded and left for scrap, innovative people have been coming up with great ways to reuse and recycle shipping containers.