The Business of Shipping Containers

With the continuous rise of building materials and expensive overall cost of construction, more and more people are looking for alternatives in building business, commercial, industrial, and residential spaces. One of the hottest alternatives that is making a huge splash in the construction industry right now is shipping containers. 

The Advantage of Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are more than just giant steel boxes that carry freights around the world. They are great assets that can be bought and sold, and re-purposed after their life on the sea. 

The ever utilitarian shipping containers are being turned into commercial, businesses, and office spaces, and even houses. The result is absolutely incredible and more cost-efficient when done right.

Used shipping containers are extremely versatile, cost-effective, sustainable, and budget-friendly. They are stackable and can be customized to create just about any imaginable design, layout, and size. They can be used for either temporary or permanent structures. 

And since they are designed to withstand the harshest conditions at sea and secure the most important shipments, rest assured their industrial-grade steel is strong enough for any sorts of construction projects. 

Still not convinced on the reusability of shipping containers? Here are some of the business ideas you will want to consider when you acquire used shipping containers

Construction Companies

Shipping containers are extremely common in construction sites. They provide quick and easy installation of shelter and storage space for the duration of the construction project, which could last from months to years. 

The high-grade steel of these containers aren’t only weather-proof, they also come with a highly secured locking mechanism to house expensive construction tools and materials when off-duty. 

Coffee Shops

Shipping containers are becoming more and more popular among coffee brewers and distributors. Most coffee shops are privately owned and require just a small space to brew and sell their coffee, tea, cakes, cookies, etc. Often, they simply need a counter space, a few tables and chairs, and a storage space. 

This makes shipping containers an excellent choice for coffee shops. As a matter of fact, many Starbucks are using shipping containers across the U.S. nowadays. 

Bars and Restaurants

Shipping containers provide trendy style (modern, industrial, and even rustic appeal), making them àn excellent choice for bars and restaurants. They are super versatile that anyone can incorporate their theme and be creative with the décor and design of their bar or restaurant. 

And since they’re portable, depending on the location, used shipping containers can be easily placed on a plot of land, making it easy and convenient to have an inside-outside concept. This is a great way to stand out from the concrete jungle of any urban setting. 

For example, Charcoal Garden Bar in Miami Florida showcases local-catch and farm-to-table menu. But what makes them special is the edgy and artsy vibe of their restaurant built out of shipping containers. 

Retail Stores

Boutiques and various retail businesses find great value in used shipping containers for their storefronts. If you own a small business and are looking to sell retail items in your local area, then you can get the right amount of space for a small budget with a shipping container. 

Since shipping containers are stackable, you can easily expand your space by simply adding more containers. Aesther Apparel retail store in San Francisco is one of the best examples you can find out there. 

Pop-up Shops 

Pop-up shops are either seasonal retailers or branches of larger retailers, and it’s becoming a popular trend right now. They work as extensions of the traditional “brick-and-mortar” stores, catering to different locales and larger crowds away from the original local of the brand. 

For seasonal shops that sell seasonal items, shipping containers provide a great solution. That’s why they’re commonly used by Christmas tree sellers for the holidays, fireworks, firewood, etc. The great thing about used shipping containers is they’re highly portable; they can be set up anywhere (as long as they meet local requirements, of course). 

Brewery and Distillery

In 2019, Brewers Association in the U.S. estimated that independent micro distilleries and breweries have grown to around 8,000. This industry employs more than half a million people and is worth around $79.1 billion. It’s a promising and growing industry, and a great small local business. Many companies started by simply converting shipping containers into breweries and distilleries. 

Apartment and Dormitories

Since they’re sturdy and stackable, it’s not surprising why many people are turning shipping containers into full-fledged multi-story apartments and dormitory buildings. All you have to do is furnish them and build hallways, stairways, and other details. That is the beauty of these used shipping containers: they are easy, fast, and affordable to build. 

Blake Cohen

Blake is a business journalist with a wealth of experience covering the world of finance, economics and technology. With over a decade of experience reporting on the latest trends in the corporate world, Blake has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, analytical and forward-thinking journalist. He has a keen eye for spotting emerging technologies and trends in the business world, and is able to explain their impact on the economy and society in a clear and compelling way.