Freight forwarders rely on sturdy shipping containers for transporting bulky cargo safely, whether by land or sea. And, shipping container transport companies offer a variety of other freight services. These include delivering to or picking up goods from or to harbours, fumigation of shipping containers and safe storage in warehouses until dispatching cargo to its final destination.
Over the years, shipping containers have been upcycled for other purposes. You can safely use old shipping containers for a number of other purposes. Discover how you can upcycle these sturdy structures in a number of creative ways for both commercial and residential purposes.
5 Innovative Ways of Using Old Shipping Containers
1. Freight Forwarding
The most common use of shipping containers is for transporting large and bulky cargo from one port to another at sea. Shipping containers are loaded, in stacks, onto cargo ships for transportation to countries, worldwide. And, if you visit a seaport you’ll notice a number of shipping containers waiting to be transported from the harbour to a warehouse.
Constructed with high-grade steel, shipping containers are strong and durable. They’re also water-resistant, protecting the contents from any damage while at sea. Shipping containers are solid enough to handle loading and hauling over long distances by road. Reusing shipping containers for both sea and land freight forwarding is possible with their lifespan extending beyond 15 years.
2. Storage Space
Converted old shipping containers are often used by both commercial and residential property owners for additional storage space. Homeowners are seeing the benefit of using an old shipping container as a garden shed for storing firewood, garden tools and other equipment.
Business owners are using shipping containers to store office furniture, vehicles and trailers. Old shipping containers are ideal for keeping items secure from theft and harsh weather conditions. They also take up little flootspace, while giving lots of storage space vertically, so can be used in compact areas on commercial properties.
Around the globe, old shipping containers are being converted into classrooms and study centres. Schools are always looking for ways of being more environmentally friendly and using upcycled shipping containers as classrooms is more eco-friendly than traditional building methods.
Expanding schools can use these converted units to create effective workspaces for teaching students while demonstrating real-life sustainable practices on the ground. Repurposed containers can also be used as canteens, tuck shops or storage space by schools when they expand and need more buildings.
4. Residential Homes
The concept of tiny living continues to take over the world as homeowners look for ways of downsizing and saving money. Old shipping containers are one of the most popular structures being used to create tiny homes, for a number of reasons:
- They’re cheaper to use as homes than traditional brick-and-mortar structures.
- They meet most size regulations required for a tiny home.
- They’re portable and can be transported on a trailer or flatbed truck.
- The steel structure is durable, weather-proof and easy to convert.
If you’re looking to join the tiny home movement, consider converting an old shipping container into a heavy metal home! But, make sure you abide by local bylaws before moving in.
5. Holiday Accommodation
Repurposed shipping containers can be used to create holiday accommodation. They can be easily converted into comfortable studios or larger family units. Transporting shipping containers to the holiday spot is easy, using a flatbed truck or trailer. No foundation is required. All you have to do is prepare a flat, level surface with a slab of concrete.
If you’re a holiday home host and want to expand on rental space for guests, consider using converted shipping containers. Airbnb hosts with larger properties are using upcycled shipping containers for exactly this purpose! The structures are robust, ideal for seaside accommodation as well as for cabins in nature reserves and urban settings.
The Benefits of Reusing Shipping Containers
There are many benefits to reusing shipping containers. These include the following:
- Durable: Shipping containers are made with high-quality steel that can withstand tough conditions such as harsh weather and recurrent transportation.
- Customisable: Shipping containers can be easily modified for most purposes, both commercial and residential. They’re also customisable for interior design such as lighting, plumbing, ventilation and shelving.
- Portable: A shipping container can be moved anywhere, to any location, with minimal effort when using the right transportation methods.
- Space-saver: The modular shape of the shipping container makes it a space-saving structure that can fit into the most compact areas.
- Cost-effective: Repurposing shipping containers is a cost-effective way of providing additional space for both commercial and residential purposes.
- Eco-friendly: Recycling old shipping containers saves on using other building materials such as cement, bricks and extra steel.
With so many benefits to using old shipping containers, it’s not surprising to find them cropping up in places besides the harbour!
Reusing old shipping containers is the way to go when looking for cost-effective and innovative ways of creating additional storage space, accommodation or classrooms. Shipping containers are easy to convert, space-efficient and durable. And, downsizing is so simple when you upcycle an old shipping container!
What will you use yours for?