Making Use of Old Shipping Containers

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Today, in the 21st century, business professionals and entrepreneurs are making an effort to be more efficient with their resources than ever before. Pollution and waste are becoming major topics of discussion and debate, and fortunately, many parties are seeking solutions. Among many, a particular solution to resource waste is to reuse old steel shipping containers to form, for example, an office container for sale, or shipping container houses. These are essentially tough metal boxes, and that shape make them ideal for all sorts of work. Such containers vary in size, from modest 40 foot containers to massive ones over 1,000 feet long. So, an office container for sale may prove itself attractive to customers who need a mobile office, and this industry is really taking off. What is there to know about a typical office container for sale, or steel container houses?

Steel Containers

Most steel shipping containers are built in China, and they are used by ocean shipping companies around the world to deliver exports to all nations. On board a typical freight ship, there may be dozens or even hundreds of these distinctive metal boxes, which are often painted a solid color and are shaped somewhat like a semi truck’s trailer. Inside, these boxes can store foodstuffs, raw materials, or finished goods such as cars or furniture. Some of the largest, in fact, are around 1,300 feet long to store many tons of good at once. After all, despite the speed of cargo jets, around 95% of the world’s cargo is delivered by ship, since it is most cost-effective to load a single ship with enormous amounts of cargo. And all of it will be shipped in those boxes.

How many of them are there? Estimates say that some 17 million of them are around the glob today, but not all of them are actually being used. Around six million of them are being used by shipping companies, but the other 11 million or so are simply sitting around in storage, and many of them might not be used ever again. This is a huge waste by any standard, so it is fortunate that entrepreneurs have realized that these steel containers can be put to new use and do some good. This ranges from making an office container for sale to housing, or even just the novelty of a coffee shop or fast food restaurant.

What to Do With Steel Containers

If nothing else, an unused steel shipping container can be melted down into raw steel, and recycled that way. After all, steel is a very popular and useful metal, and it is among the most rigorously recycled material of all. A single, typical steel container may yield a few tons of steel, which can be used for just about anything.

But if a container is not melted down this way, it can be repurposed into something. In the late 2000s and early 2010s, entrepreneurs on the American west coast pioneered this idea by building coffee shops and fast food restaurants from these unused boxes, since they are tough and are the ideal shape and size for such a use. The idea proved successful, and more steel containers than ever are used this way. Workers may cut holes in the box for windows, as well as holes for utilities to go through (pipes, electric cables, etc). The interior can be fully fabricated with lights, windows, flooring, and more, and the necessary kitchen appliances, counter, and cash register can be set up as well. Now it is a fully functioning food establishment.

In other cases, one or more steel containers can be used to build houses, and such homes can be just as comfortable as conventional ones, and quite tough, too. If desired, several of them can be fused together to form a larger house, and the boxes will have some of their walls cut away so they can combine their interior space. A house might be made of eight such boxes and even have a second floor. Finally, an office container for sale is ideal for construction companies, since a manager will want a mobile office that can be moved to a current construction site. A steel box is just the right size and shape.

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