The Surprising Versatility Of Shipping Containers For Businesses

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When it comes to equipment that can help businesses, many people don’t realise how versatile a shipping container can be. Shipping containers are large, steel boxes, mostly used for storage and delivery purposes. You most likely see them a lot on docks and construction sites, where they come in use daily.

But it seems businesses are finding more and more ways to make use of them. Shipping containers have a generous amount of enclosed space, making them perfect for use as a portable room. The ability to transport them by truck or trailer makes them useful for transportation. A lot of companies find ways to modify these boxes, leading to many creative uses.

No matter what kind of business you run, you may find a use for one of these. Considering the amount of ways they can be repurposed, they can be an excellent investment. All you need is a little space, and you can rent or buy one from many places. Here are some of the different ways businesses are using shipping containers.

Efficient Delivery

Businesses often use shipping containers for delivering large amounts of goods and products. The fact they can be transported via road or sea means they can transport items anywhere. Additionally, they offer plenty of space and are easy to load up. They make for a much more effective and secure storage container than cardboard boxes.

Containers can be reused over and over. You can also get them modified for refrigerated or dangerous goods. That means that if your company has any needs for transportation or delivery, a shipping container is highly useful.

You may want to ship products overseas. Or perhaps you want to move large amounts of stock between your store and warehouse. You might even use them to deliver large goods to homes or companies. It’s a great way for your business to get ahead in the logistics game.



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If you’re getting into the cafe business, it can be hard to stand out. You’ll often see city streets lined with different cafes. It can be hard to bring in customers when you’re the new place on the block. A unique idea can go a long way.

One Melbourne cafe set up shop in a shipping container, as reported on Two siblings used a modified shipping container which enabled them to offer coffee and food to passersby. Using a small piece of land outside a hotel, they were able to attract many customers.

But it’s not just cafes you can put in a container. Bars, restaurants, and food stalls, retail shop and even art studio  and creative spaces are all viable ideas with a shipping container. Many companies offer containers customised for these needs, like You can get all the facilities you need in a small steel box.

It’s much more cost-effective than renting out a building. It also requires minimal upkeep and can be moved around if you want a better location.

Creative Studio for Art, Design and Craft


A View from the Easel

More and more artists finding new ways  to create their art and design studio using shipping container. The container works well when you have space in your back yard. The best thing about the studio in the container is that you can move it anywhere and easy to lock up. Check out A View from the Easel, the article talk about different artists find art space creatively.

First Aid/Staff Rooms

A shipping container doesn’t have to be used for a whole business. You may just need one external room. The enclosed space offered by containers can often be suited to these purposes.

A lot of companies use shipping containers as First Aid rooms. They make for a good place to store medical equipment and supplies. It’s particularly common in businesses such as construction sites.

They can also make for a unique staff room. Particularly for those who work outdoors, you may want somewhere warm. Containers can be decked out with any furniture you want, and you can even hook up electricity with the right power board. Remember, if you’re not sure how to do this, it’s best to hire a professional so you can keep yourself safe and get the job done right. 

It doesn’t just have to be a first aid or staff room, either. You could use a shipping container as a mobile office, or even an outdoor toilet.

Real Estate


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You might have heard of living in houseboats, trailers, and caravans. But have you ever heard of people living in shipping containers? It’s starting to become a reality. Many housing companies worldwide are seeing the value of using them as small, cheap living spaces. You can install all living necessities in a container and make it comfortable to live in.

With housing prices rising across Australia, many people are considering shipping container houses. They come with challenges, for instance, too much modification can affect their structural integrity. Many only offer a modest amount of space. However, multiple can be put together.

It’s becoming a growing trend worldwide. It makes for an affordable and environmentally sustainable way to live. Many companies are creating unique apartments and studio flats using shipping containers. You can see some examples of shipping container homes at

Simple Storage

Containers often make for a simple and efficient storage solution. No matter what you need to store, a shipping container can keep your items safe. They can be used for tools, equipment, supplies or anything else you need to keep stored away.

Construction and mining businesses often store their tools in shipping containers. The fact that they’re easy to transport means you can take them to any site. Having everything stored in a mobile container makes it easy to carry out work in different areas.

It isn’t just practical for businesses who move around, though. Even if you operate from a fixed location, an outdoor storage container can store practically anything. If you have extra stock but don’t want to invest in a warehouse, use shipping containers. You could even use them as a makeshift supply cabinet.


If you’re moving to a new business location and need to take all your equipment along with you, a container can help. You can pack all your things up in a shipping container and get them transported easily to your new premises.

Just make sure you use professional moving services for expensive or important items. That way, contents are insured while they are in transit, and they are in safe hands.

It’s more efficient than a moving van, as your container can be dropped off and you can unpack at your leisure. You can rent one temporarily or even buy one and keep it as a permanent storage unit.

This also makes them useful for moving companies. If you help people with moving house, you might want to buy some shipping containers to help with the job. Not only can they be used for domestic relocation, but it’s also easy to transport them overseas.

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Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

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