They?re tough, durable and well travelled. Some are as large an an Olympic sized running track. They can be customized with doors, windows, climate control and more. You might be surprised to learn that these highly versatile objects are the ubiquitous shipping and storage containers, which spend years of their useful lives transporting basic and luxury goods across the oceans. Once they?re done with their shipping days, however, they can still be used for many different purposes. People are finding all kinds of reasons to buy used storage containers.
Shipping containers are tough and durable
And they have to be, to survive years of life at sea. Ever since global commerce took off in a big way, shipping containers in their characteristic colors of blue, red, yellow and rust have become a familiar part of our lives. They transport everything from socks to caviar and champagne around the world. In fact they move around 95% of the world?s cargo. Shipping by sea is still the most economical way of moving large quantities of goods.
And the quantities are very large. Currently, shipping containers make a total of around 200 million trips each year, carrying all kinds of goods. Billie Box also estimates there are about 17 million shipping containers worldwide, with about five million of them in active use. It?s the ones that are no longer in use for shipping that are being turned to all kinds of ingenious uses.
Shipping containers are highly versatile
Who would buy used storage containers? Government agencies at the Federal and State levels, municipalities, college campuses, schools, and commercial enterprises like landscapers and small construction companies – all of these have found uses for used storage containers. These are very versatile and can be customized with doors, windows and skylights, climate control, interior modifications, locks, shelving, paint, and more.
Used shipping containers can be used for mobile offices and pop up container shops, extra storage or even classrooms. There?s no end to the uses for storage containers. They work well as pop up concession stands, and can even be redone to resemble a log cabin.
Reusing storage containers is the ecofriendly choice
While this may not be the primary goal for people who buy used storage containers, it?s a very environmentally sound choice as well. There are as many as 11 million containers that are not being used for any purpose. Repurposing them to provide housing, workspace, shelter and storage saves the energy and raw materials like brick, mortar and wood that would otherwise be used in making these.
Each shipping container has about 3,500 kg of steel. Reusing containers puts these durable and versatile structures to good use. With proper care, each can last for twenty years or longer.
With an increasing trend to reuse and recycle, people who buy used storage containers are finding creative uses for these versatile boxes. As cabins, offices, and classrooms, they serve a useful purpose even when they?re no longer carrying cargo at sea.