7 Unique Uses For Shipping Containers

7 Unique Uses For Shipping Containers

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Looking for a unique storage solution? Shipping containers might be just what you need! These sturdy, weatherproof boxes can be used to store just about anything. But that’s not all – there are plenty of other creative uses for shipping containers.

What are Shipping Containers?

A shipping container is a large, standardized container used for transporting goods by ship, train, or plane. Shipping containers come in a variety of sizes and types, but the most common type is an intermodal container, which can be transported by multiple modes of transportation.

Intermodal containers are typically made of steel and are designed to be stackable and durable. Most shipping containers are used to transport consumer goods, but they can also be used for other purposes, such as storage or office space.

With a little bit of creativity, shipping containers can be repurposed for a variety of uses.

Please Be Prepared For The Unexpected

7 Unique Uses For Shipping Containers

7 Unique Uses For Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are versatile pieces of equipment that have many unique uses. They can be used for housing, storage, and even as a mobile office. Here are some other interesting ways to use a shipping container: 

1. Fallout Shelter

If you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes or tornadoes, consider using these containers as a fallout shelter. 

A fallout shelter is a structure that is designed to protect its occupants from the effects of radiation exposure, disaster, or nuclear warfare. Fallout shelters can be built into existing structures, or they can be constructed from scratch. Shipping containers are often repurposed as fallout shelters since they’re strong and durable enough to withstand the force of many explosion types. Just make sure you don’t store flammable products inside the unit. The unit must also have adequate ventilation.

Once you add windows, that changes the strength of the structure. I’m not an engineer, so be sure and check with your local building inspectors or contractors to see what stresses the refurbed container can stand.

The walls of one of these containers are also thick enough to provide adequate protection from radiation. In addition, shipping containers can be easily modified to include ventilation, plumbing, and other amenities. As a result, they make an ideal choice for those looking to build a fallout shelter.

2. Root Cellar

A shipping container can make a great root cellar for people who want to grow and store their own food. 

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A root cellar is a structure that is used to store vegetables, fruits, and other perishables. Root cellars are typically underground, as this helps to keep the produce cooler and more fresh for an extended period of time.

Shipping containers can be repurposed as root cellars by adding some insulation and a ventilation system. This will create a cool and dark environment that is ideal for storing produce. In addition, shipping containers can be easily modified to include shelves and other storage solutions.

3. Mini-Barn

Do you need extra storage space for your garden tools or other outdoor equipment? A shipping container can be repurposed as a mini-barn. 

A mini-barn is a small structure that can be used to store lawn mowers, gardening supplies, and other outdoor items. Mini-barns are typically made of wood or metal, and they often have a sliding door for easy access.

Shipping containers can easily be converted into mini-barns by modifying the roof for drainage, adding a door, and installing some shelving. This will create a sturdy and waterproof structure that can be used to store all of your outdoor equipment.

4. Portable Office

A shipping container can be repurposed as a portable office for people who work from home.

A portable office is a self-contained unit that can be used as a workspace. Portable offices are often used by construction workers, real estate agents, and other professionals who need to work outside of a traditional office setting, and are able to relocate as needed.

Shipping containers can be easily converted into portable offices by adding some insulation, windows, and electrical lights and outlets. You’d probably want to line the inside with sheetrock, paneling, or other wall covering. This will create a comfortable and functional workspace that can be used for meetings, telework, or as a temporary office space.

5. Animal shelter

If you’re looking for an affordable way to provide shelter for your animals, consider using a shipping container. 

Shipping containers can be easily converted into animal shelters by adding some insulation, ventilation, and a water supply. This will create a safe and more comfortable environment for your animals, particularly during cold or windy weather. It can also provide some shade in those months the animals are left out in the hot sun. In addition, shipping containers can be easily modified to include multiple rooms, making them ideal for larger animals.

Animal shelters made from shipping containers are also portable, so you can take them with you if you move, or use them in different areas in times of disaster.

6. Greenhouse

With some modifications, a shipping container can be turned into a greenhouse.

A greenhouse is a structure that is used to grow plants. Greenhouses are typically made of glass or plastic, and they have a controlled environment that is ideal for plant growth.

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Shipping containers can be easily converted into greenhouses by adding some insulation, windows, and a ventilation system. This will create a warm and humid environment that is perfect for growing plants. In addition, shipping containers can be easily modified to include shelves and other storage solutions.

Greenhouses made from shipping containers are also portable, so you can take them with you if you move.

7. Tiny House

A shipping container can be repurposed as a tiny house for people who want to downsize.

Tiny houses are small homes that are typically less than 400 square feet. Tiny houses are often built on trailers so they can be easily moved, and they usually have a minimalist design.

Shipping containers can be converted into tiny houses by adding some insulation, windows, electrical and water/plumbing systems, cabinetry, and a door. This will create a small but functional home that can be used as a primary residence or a vacation home. In addition, shipping containers can be easily modified to include multiple rooms, making them ideal for families.

With all the additions, tiny homes might not be as easily moved due to the need to disconnect to utilities, etc., but they might fit your needs under the right circumstances.

Tiny Home

Where Can I Get Shipping Containers?

If you’re looking for shipping containers, there are a few places you can check.

One option is your local shipping or storage company. They might have some containers that they’re not using and would be willing to sell or rent to you.

Another possibility is to look online. There are websites like Advantage Structures that specialize in selling shipping containers, and you might be able to find a good deal.

Finally, you could check with construction companies or other businesses that use shipping containers. They might have some that they’re not using and would be willing to sell.

With a little bit of searching, you should be able to find shipping containers for sale or rent. Note that pricing for these units has increased over the past few years. Due to their popularity in the global shipping industry, they are always in demand.

More Unique Uses For Things:

Final Word

Shipping containers are a great option for people who are looking for an affordable and versatile way to store or transport items. With some modifications, shipping containers can also be repurposed as portable offices, animal shelters, greenhouses, or tiny houses.

If you’re interested in buying or renting a shipping container, there are a few places you can check. Local shipping or storage companies, online retailers, and construction companies are all possible sources.

Have you ever used a shipping container? What did you use it for? Let us know in the comments below. May God Bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Shipping Containers AdobeStock_214369128 by Erik_AJV, Container House AdobeStock_326694067 by Ruslana Buryakovska

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14 Comments

  1. Lived in them for extended periods in the army.
    They need re-enforced if buried. The structure is designed to take weight on the pillars not the entire unit.
    Most of the ones being sold no longer meet shipping standards which means rust, holes or seals. Address those issues immediately with simple fixes like welding or even JB Weld to keep out critters and moisture.
    In areas like ours with high winds and tornadoes I’d suggest anchoring.
    All in all they are great and serve their purpose

    1. Hi Matt, I love hearing you lived in some in the army!! I’m hoping to go out and see some “Tiny Homes” being built with them just west of us in a town called Herriman, Utah. A neighbor a few doors down is having one made to be delivered to her backyard for a relative to live in. I hope to take pictures if the builder will let me. Anchoring would be critical. Great comment, Linda

  2. We have done extensive research on root cellars lately. Shipping containers shouldn’t be buried unless reinforced (like Matt mentioned). We ended up with concrete block & rebar for ours.
    We are using shipping containers for a shop and storage. Building a carport in between now. As long as you keep the doors shut when not using, no rodents or critters ever. We eventually are going to frame in a window and door where the big doors open so easier to work inside then we can shut & lock the metal doors for security.
    Shipping containers are a great solution for a lot of uses!

    1. Many counties have zoning prohibiting containers on residential property. Apparently some people consider them unsightly instead of seeing the bigger picture of their ultimate utility. So please check with your local planning group before purchasing.

  3. Both Matt and Heidi nailed it regarding burying shipping containers. I’d also suggest a soils study. If your area is prone to flooding or being waterlogged, even a reinforced shipping container could pop out of the ground due to hydrostatic pressure. If it isn’t buried, anchoring it is a must.

    And for those planning to use them as fallout shelters you’ll need to install an airlock entry and Ventilation that can filter our Nuclear, Biological and Chemical contamination.

    If you plan on storing stuff in a container you should be aware that they can get extremely hot inside in the warm months and freezing cold during the cold months. So, unless the container is reinforced and buried, or very well insulated and equipped with heating and cooling you probably should not store either food or ammo in them long term.

    I used one as a portable office back when I was building houses in small subdivisions, but they were placed on carefully leveled land, set on a poured concrete slab, anchored to said slab with J-bolts that could be cut off when the container needed to be moved and were well insulated and wired for electricity so they had heating, cooling and a small fridge. I also installed windows so i could see out onto the job site.

    1. Hi Ray, thank you for sharing how you used them! This is exactly why I have my “stuff” stored in a climate-controlled storage unit. Heat and cold are rough on any storage items. Great comment! Linda

  4. I respect and understand that this is a totally serious subject….. but…. if someone could please deliver one ( preferably the oldest rustiest one possible) to my backyard it would definitely give our HOA Board of Directors several strokes!!!…… I would claim to know NOTHING about it, and demand they remove it…..IMMEDIATELY….. this for guys who actually make threats if Christmas light are up a day too long!!!!

    1. Hi Chris, oh my gosh, I have the giggles now!! BEST COMMENT EVER! I just moved out of a crazy HOA! I totally get it!! I love this! I can’t stop laughing!! You made my day!! Thank you, Linda

  5. I used to work for a small HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical company, the owner didn’t have a business so his company was run from his house other than the office personnel (like myself) who worked from their home. He would store anything and everything in those containers that he or his technicians might need.

    My cousin who is a contractor in a rural area uses them to store building materials for his jobs to be stored on-site – locked. That way everything that he and his crew needs is safely locked away from those who may be wanting to steal its contents.

    A coworker uses two of them to store hay and feed in for their goats and chickens – rodent-proof. The third one she has is used as a farrowing/breeding barn for their sows.

  6. We use our 10×12 container to store and hide two 275gal. fuel tanks.One for Diesel and one for gas and there is still room for extra tires and winter sand bags.

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