5 Alternative Uses for Shipping Containers

Modular housing

Many of the world?s shipping containers were built for shipping purposes. However, many of them are currently no longer used and are unlikely to be used again. In fact, some estimates suggest that there are around 24 million empty, retired shipping containers on our planet. Most containers are retired after only 10 to 15 years use. Considering that many of these shipping containers are still in usable shape, they can be reused for other purposes. The following alternative uses are a great way to recycle these unused shopping containers.

Modular housing
Despite lowered unemployment rates, there are a large number of people still considered homeless. These are people who may be living on the streets, or who must stay with family and friends. Even those with full time jobs may find it difficult to find affordable housing. Industrial shipping container solutions make great portable housing. They are more affordable and easier to design. Most shipping container homes use 40 foot units. Standard 40 feet shipping containers are eight feet wide and 8.5 feet tall, and each one gives you about 300 feet of living or office space. Situating four of these containers side by side will create a three bedroom house around 1,200 square feet.

Shipping container office
Industrial shipping container solutions can also provide portable office spaces. There are many industries that could actually benefit from an office that is portable and easy to relocate. For example, construction professionals are constantly moving from site to site. A portable office is usually needed for the crew leader, break rooms, or as a makeshift interviewing office. Restaurants that open locations across the country may also use industrial shipping container solutions, as employees need to be interviewed and trained before the actual location opens.

Storage sheds and especially garages can be very expensive to build. Industrial shipping container solutions may also be used for additional storage, either in the residential or commercial setting. A standard 20 foot shipping container can hold 1,150 cubic feet, while a 40 foot high cube contains 2,700 cubic feet. Just for reference, a 20 foot container can hold 3,596 shoe boxes, and a 40 foot high cube can hold 8,443 shoe boxes. That is a lot of additional storage. The shipping container can be conveniently placed on extra land or behind the commercial warehouse, for easy access.

Medical imaging
If you have ever visited the local hospital for any type of imaging, you may have been sent to a different part of the hospital. That added on part of the hospital is actually a trailer or shipping container that has been converted into an imaging area. Many of the high imaging tools used in the medical industry today can be dangerous when exposed frequently. This can make them dangerous for the employees and the patients located nearby. For this reason, many hospitals move their imaging programs into shipping container, where the contents are not as dangerous.

Portable retail space
Shipping containers can also be used as portable retail spaces. Moving to a rented space can get expensive and can cut into your business profits. However, if you purchase an affordable shipping container, you can turn it into a business space that is specifically designed for retail purposes. Customers will find the space unique and you will not have to pay high rent fees.

There are thousands of shipping containers sitting unused today. Many of them are no longer in use, whereas others have never even been used. However, there are many ways to use shipping containers, outside of shipping purposes. They can be used for alternative purposes, including portable homes, makeshift offices for hiring and training, portable medical hospital wings, and as additional storage. They provide many benefits including lower cost, lower need for materials, and recycling benefits.

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