Top 26 Innovative Uses of Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are extensively used in the shipping industry for the transportation of cargo. However, just as viable they are in their area of operation, these highly useful equipment have been known to be recycled and used in several innovative ways outside the industry as well.

Shipping containers can be utilised in several ways depending on their dimensions.

A brief description of 26 such fascinating utilization of reprocessed shipping containers from across the world has been mentioned below:

1. Theaters and Bistros: Reprocessing inter-modal containers into open theatres and bistros have become a popular trend in many places.

Although the longevity of such structured theatres and bistros isn’t that much, they provide a recreational atmosphere even in their short utility time frame.

2. Schools: In the poorer parts of the world where constructing a traditional building for schools can be expensive, using containers for classrooms have become a noteworthy trend.

By using renewable forces of energy, these classrooms seek to provide the same quality of education as any other developing nation in the world. Here’s is a beautiful example of a shipping container classroom.

3. Restaurants: Using reprocessed inter-modal containers as base structures for restaurants has become a very fashionable trend presently.

The Muvbox restaurant in Montreal, Canada is an excellent example in this regard, as are several other unique such restaurants found across the globe.

4. Shipping Container Homes: Using cargo containers to build spacious and large homes is yet another fantastic alternative that has been developing in the past decade. Here’s is an example of a solar-powered shipping container house.

5. Hotels: Cargo containers have also found an alternate niche as base structures for hotels in many parts of the globe.

Such reprocessed shipping containers hotels are either transportable structures or are constructions permanently established in one location.

6. Workshops: Lack of space at homes for work-related privacy has resulted in the trend of using intermodal shipping containers as alternative workplaces.

The ideal build of the containers perfectly aids to the requirement of professionals using these transformed marvels, thus proving to be worthwhile.

7. Offices: Space constraints are a common problem in many countries.

Reprocessed shipping containers have been effectively used to tackle this problem by architecturally modifying them as convenient and spacious office buildings.

8. Emergency Hospital: Like an ambulance but something so much more.

Altering shipping containers into hospitals like movable homes is truly a master-class aspect of contemporary engineering.

9. Portable Toilets: Reprocessing inter-modal shipping containers as movable toilets are a common sight to see in many countries.

Convenient features, such as movable toilets help to maintain sanitary and hygienic surroundings at all times.

10. Stores: State-of-the-art commercial establishments are the present-day trend.

Adding further viability to these trends is the adoption of shipping containers as lucrative base structures for such high-rising commercial attractions.

11. Studios: Shipping containers also make for awe-inspiring studio workshops customised to reflect the uniqueness of the professional using it.

12. Art Gallery: Reprocessing cargo containers into brilliant art galleries are also growing in many places.

Such art galleries and display centres are fully refurbished to highlight and emphasise the creativity displayed within them.

13. Sauna: One’s own personal relaxation haven, variety doesn’t come in better forms than the container-modified-sauna.

14. Disaster Shelters: For people displaced from their homes on account of natural calamities and accidents, re-modified cargo shipping containers serve as the best structures to function as temporary shelter houses.

15. Cafes: Another brilliant usage of recycled shipping containers is that of coffee bars, providing much needed caffeine sustenance to coffee-lovers.

16. Vacation Homes: Inexpensive yet elegant, shipping containers are the new ‘in-style architectural element in the concept of vacation and beach residences.

17. Discotheques/bars: Inter-modal containers have also found great acceptance among the disco and pub-hopping crowd for their clever adaptation into the recreational avenue.

18. Student Housing Facilities: In countries and cities where lack of space is a major problem, reprocessed cargo containers facilitate as best alternatives.

When it comes to student accommodations in schools and colleges, such utilisation takes on a completely new meaning.

19. Swimming Pools: The rectangular cargo containers make for superb pool facilities both with their originally-constructed length and depth.

20. Camper: Reprocessed intermodal containers have also become a popular favourite with the camping crowd across the globe as these structures provide solidity with absolutely high levels of comfort.

21. Urban Centres: Architecturally arranged racks of cargo containers have accounted to many innovative lifestyle centres in various cities and metropolises of the world.

22. Malls: Using containers as mall rooms and outlets is yet another trend of using cargo containers gaining momentum.

23. Laboratories: The structure of a cargo shipping containers also helps in the setting up of laboratories for academic usages in the poorer and under-developed countries.

24. Nurseries/Indoor Garden: Converting shipping containers into farms and nurseries is yet another innovative trend of utilizing reprocessed cargo containers.

25. Garages and Car-Parks: Reprocessed shipping containers have also found flavor as ingenious garages and car-parks in many different parts of the world, which has to the overall USP of the huge steel boxes.

26. Gymnasiums/ Sports Centres: Cost efficiency factors have also led to the conversion of shipping containers into well-equipped gymnasiums and fitness centres in various schools across the world.

Alongside cost-benefits, using cargo containers also helps to save time and manpower in the entire construction processes.

Disclaimer: The authors’ views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Marine Insight. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Marine Insight do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendations on any course of action to be followed by the reader.

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  1. The good old shipping container….Such a versatile product.
    One item you forgot to mention (although i am sure there are more) is Fuel Tanks.
    We have been making huge fuel tanks from shipping containers for years. Shipping container fuel tanks offer a simple drag and drag solution for refuelling in isolated locations.

    Put it on the List……
    No. 27 – Fuel Tanks

  2. yes , fuel tank or we can say various liquid stoarge / transportation solutions.

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  4. It’s so cool to see that third world countries tend to use shipping containers to build schools. I have been trying to find an interesting and affordable way to build a home. I definitely think that I should look into constructing a small container home that I could vacation to a couple times a year.

  5. It’s interesting to see some of the creative uses people have come up with for shipping containers. I didn’t realize that people are using them for everything from houses to emergency shelter. While I think shipping is still the best use for a container like this, it’s nice to know that out-of-commission containers are being used in creative ways to reduce the waste that would’ve been created by building something with bare materials.

  6. Industries prefer the transport of their goods via shipping as it is cost-efficient and safe. There are many shipping companies which assist this transportation of products across the globe.

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