Shipping containers have formed the backbone of the trade and transport industry – whether inland or overseas – for years and years now. These stout, solid, and nigh-indestructible metal boxes are, of course, designed specifically for this very purpose and have done a fantastic job of keeping goods and products safe and secure from all the perils of road transportation and the vagaries of environment changes on the high seas. And the best part is that these shipping containers have been in circulation for so long that they come in different size options that are all standardized. Logistical tools like forklifts, truck beds, and cranes have all been developed to meet the needs of moving these containers around.
All these qualities – strength, logistic compatibility, and the ability to withstand intense heat, biting cold temperatures, and fierce storms and hurricanes mean that shipping containers have a lot of potential in industries apart from shipping.
So, let’s take a look at the various industries that can use shipping containers and how they fit in –
1. Construction – Shipping containers are used in the construction space to store important equipment. Their ability to withstand extreme temperatures and easy mobility makes them ideal for this application. They can also be converted into mobile Jobsite headquarters from which the entire operation can be overseen.
2. Industrial – In the industrial and manufacturing space, storage is always at a premium. Shipping containers can be stacked on top of each other, thanks to their standardized sizes and used to allay any shortage in storage space within the factory or manufacturing facility.
3. Petrochemical – The petrochemical industry requires storage solutions that are safe, secure, durable, and easy to transport. Shipping containers check all these boxes, and are usually leak-proof too, so liquids that are stored inside stay inside.
4. Retail – Shipping containers are a huge hit in the retail space. Not only do they offer additional storage solutions, but they can also be transformed into cool and quirky-looking storefronts and shops that stand out from the crowd and catch the eyes.
5. Education – Schools and colleges have traditionally relied on unsightly and rickety sheds for storage of equipment and tools during the offseason, but shipping containers make for a much more reliable solution. They can also be customized into fully-functioning classrooms that can be developed more quickly and with greater cost-effectiveness than a brick-and-mortar construction.
6. Government – Shipping containers can be used for a variety of government applications and are often called upon by government agencies. The fact that they offer great levels of security and mobility in one package makes them ideal for administrative applications.
7. Healthcare – Hospitals and other medical facilities also need secure storage space for their equipment, supplies, and stores of medicine. Shipping containers, including specialized refrigerated containers, are often used to help assuage these needs. Containers are also turned into mobile clinics that can be quickly moved to emergency locations as needed.
8. Automotive – Automobile manufacturers tend to see ebbs and flow in demand, and manufacturing cannot always be fine-tuned in anticipation of these changes in demand. Shipping containers are wide enough and tall enough to fit most cars and two-wheelers with ease, offering a solution that ensures these vehicles remain in brand new condition until they can be moved to showrooms. Automakers can also transform containers into mobile workshops that can be sent to provide assistance with breakdowns in remote locations.
9. Agriculture – Farmers rely on various different types of equipment and implements to help ease the agricultural process. Since agriculture is heavily dependent on seasonal cycles, this equipment isn’t used all the time. Shipping containers are the obvious choice for storage options during such times. ‘Growtainers’ or containers that have been transformed into self-contained farming solutions have also become a popular concept in recent times.
10. Hospitality – The hospitality industry can benefit from containers too. They have been turned into innovative and charming cafes and restaurants with multiple decks and fully-functioning kitchens the world over. In fact, containers have also been used as guest rooms to great effect for the concept- or theme-based hotels.
11. Lifestyle – Gyms, fitness centers, movie theatres, and art galleries – what do all these lifestyle pursuits have in common? They can all be conducted within bespoke containers, of course. Whether you need weight racks or custom lighting or seating arrangements for movie theaters, you can use a container to suit the purpose.
12. Housing – You can use shipping containers and transform them into houses of all sizes. Micro-homes use containers, people have built farmhouses using them as well, and other housing applications include shipping container swimming pools and gardens.
With standard lengths ranging from 10 feet to 40 feet, industries can buy shipping containers that fit their needs and budgets. Since they are already pre-built and only need customizing to fit a specific purpose, they can be put into place much more quickly than a fully-fledged construction, and opting for a used container is easy on the wallet too.