Shipping containers are everywhere, and it does not appear that we are going to get rid of them any time soon. What, with some 18 million zipping around the world as I type, more coming out of the factories daily, and an average useful lifespan in excess of 15 years, we better look for other things to do with them. Note, in that "useful" 15 years, useful is defined as suitable for shipping; after this time they're retired, repurposed, or scrapped for their steel.
Let's think about cargo containers for a moment. At the end of the day, there are large steel boxes that typically come in 20 'or 40' lengths. There is to be something useful we can do with them, does not there?
Repurposed into Housing: Architects are getting incrementally more creative when working on environmental projects, and many are beginning to integrate used shipping containers into their designs. Once the floor is covered or replaced and insulation is installed, the containers make a great alternative to modular housing. They can be stacked on top of each other, bolted together, and even standing on end. The ideas of a creative architect are limitless.
Portable Office Solutions: Used shipping containers can quickly and easily be converted into portable offices. They're even more attractive as jobsite offices when a few windows and man doors are added. Let's face it, construction workers are not known to the most gentle people, and when moving a large steel box for an office from job site to jobsite only requires a trailer to put it on, a used shipping container would fit the bill perfectly.
Mobile Storage Containers: No matter if you're on a ranch, a large office complex, or a private residence that has some extra space out back; if you need extra storage space used shipping containers are a great solution. They are strong, secure, and wind and water tight. If you only need a little extra space you can find a 20 'container. If you have a lot of things to store you could use a full 40 'container. To prevent yourself from appearing on Hoarders, load the box full and lock it up! All of your possessions are safe, sound, and out of sight.
If you think about it, used shipping containers are incredible useful and we could come up with possibly hundreds of uses for them. Housing, portable offices and storage, are only a few of the easy ideas.