The metal shipping container was first invented in 1956 by Malcolm McLean. His goal was to develop a new way of transporting goods over long distances. Prior to that, goods were shipped using a method known as “break bulk” in which items were individually loaded onto ships in boxes, bags, and barrels. Shipping containers would ultimately prove to be a more efficient method for shipping bulk goods and products. Today, shipping containers play a big role in most of our lives, whether we realize it or not. Why? Well, the answer is pretty simple. Over 95% of all cargo worldwide is transported overseas via ship. Almost 97% of shipping containers are manufactured in China. And there is a good reason for this. Namely, that most of the world’s goods are manufactured in China. China is also home to the two busiest ports in the world (Shanghai, Singapore). With goods and shipping containers being produced in the same places, it has become a much more cost-effective method for manufacturers to ship their products globally.
Out of nearly 17 million shipping containers in the world, only 6 million containers are currently in active use. That means that somewhere around 11 million shipping containers are currently unused. Rather than sitting empty, these shipping containers could be modified and used in various ways. In this article, we will look at a few possible storage container modifications that can be made to old containers to make them re-usable for different purposes.
Storage Container Modifications
You may be asking: “What can you build with storage containers?”
One obvious use for old cargo containers is to construct them into small homes. You’ve probably even seen one or two on the internet or even in real life. But what are some other storage container modifications that can be made? What are some alternative uses for old cargo containers? The possibilities are truly endless.
With a few storage container modifications, a shipping container can be transformed into a disaster shelter for people displaced from their homes due to natural disasters or accidents. Modified shipping and storage containers are sturdy and function as great makeshift shelters.
Another great idea for storage container modifications is to convert old shipping containers into mobile restaurants. Some containers are small enough they can be attached to a truck chassis and hauled like a trailer, but large enough to hold everything you would need to run a street food operation, such as grills, deep fryers, refrigerators, and anything else you would find in a restaurant kitchen. A service window can be cut into one side of the trailer and a folding counter-top or bar can be fabricated out of sheet aluminum or wood. This can then be locked into place during business hours and folded up when the trailer is in transit.
Backyard Tool Shed
Without very much modification, shipping containers can be turned into a convenient backyard tool shed or even into a workshop for welding, painting, or any number of other projects. Shipping containers are sturdy and well constructed, making them an obvious way to keep your tools and work-space safe from the elements.
Greenhouses and Grow Rooms
By replacing the ceiling of cargo containers with panels of greenhouse glass or polycarbonate materials, shipping containers can be easily converted into micro-farms and nurseries for all sorts of plants.
These are just a few smart uses for re-purposed storage containers and storage container modifications, but there are endless possibilities. How will you use your new space?