Published On: Mon, Sep 8th, 2014

Businesses Find Innovative Uses For Recycled Shipping Containers

Most people don’t give much thought to shipping containers. But there are thousands of shipping containers that have done their job of shipping goods, and now need to find a new purpose. Shipping containers can provide the perfect solution for cost-effective buildings. Businesses are turning to recycled shipping containers to create shops, offices and even hotels. Some businesses have built homes from shipping containers. And charities have used them to provide housing for the homeless.

Shipping Containers


Businesses have used shipping containers in recent years to build hotels. Many events need accommodation for thousands of spectators. Shipping containers provide the perfect form of temporary and mobile accommodation. Installation can take place before the event begins to set up for guests. And then once the event finishes the provider removes them. They can be set up with WiFi and all the home comforts. But hotel groups can also use shipping containers for more permanent structures. To do this they use a modular building technique for hotels. The construction of rooms takes place off site and then a crane lifts them in. There is a new concept for a hotel called the Hive-Inn. The design suggests a shipping container hotel where it is possible to move each room in and out without disturbing the others.


Businesses have also used shipping containers for shops in several different countries. They’re perfect for ‘pop-up’ shops, which businesses intend to be only temporary constructions. Using shipping containers is also greener than building from scratch. Buying second hand shipping containers for sale instead of constructing a new building is quicker too. This is great for getting a business up and running. A shopping mall called Boxpark opened in London’s trendy Shoreditch area in 2011. It consists of stripped-down containers. Cafes and restaurants use shipping containers too, often for temporary pop-up locations. For example, Hellman’s mayonnaise once set up a pop-up restaurant in the Danish capital of Copenhagen.


Businesses that need cheap or temporary office space often use shipping containers. In some cases, setting up more permanent structures could be a waste of money. Shipping containers are ideal for portable cabins on construction sites. But shipping containers can make more permanent and even stylish offices too. This is particularly true for eco-conscious businesses who want to recycle and save on space.


Shipping containers can even make great homes. It’s easy to transform them from an empty shell to a living space. A charity in Brighton, England has even set up a project for homeless people in converted shipping containers. For people who want to go the “small living” route, shipping containers are ideal. They can create larger homes too, when placed together.

Shipping containers can save businesses time and money. They also have a lesser impact on the environment than new constructions. Businesses will no doubt continue to find innovative ways to make use of them.