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Shipping Containers: An Under-appreciated Technology

Diversify your understanding for the application of shipping containers


The purpose of this article is to encourage professionals to diversify their understanding for the application of shipping containers. Shipping and storage are the primary obvious uses, but new ideas for shipping what and storing what, can help those interested in exploring new markets for themselves.

  • Modular – The use of containers within modular building has much more depth and artistry, than just living in a container with water and power running to it. Containers are a legitimate building material that can provide sustainability, structural integrity, and cost efficiencies to any construction project. Modern designers are utilizing dozens of containers per build on luxury housing with amenities such as turning refrigerated units into wine cellars, and open tops into pools. Modular container building has become a viable option for residential, commercial, and municipal development.

  • Fabrication – Containers are essentially big lock boxes built for transportation, and their Fabrication has allowed for containers to be utilized as emergency options. For instance, due to social distancing but need for medical interaction, containers were quickly turned into drive through testing stations, and pop up nursing stations. Refrigerated containers can quickly be turned into transportable morgues for sanitation movements in times of tragedy. The Fabrication segment has become an increasing business opportunity due to the flexibility of container applications. Containers can help create certainty through uncertainty.

  • Farming – Farmers using containers for storage is an obvious use, whether they are storing raw materials or heavy equipment. Like previously mentioned, containers are portable lock boxes. Other unseen uses are that fragrant flowers and herbs utilized in oils or extracts cure well in containers. They have also discovered that it is easier to create oils and extracts at a low temperature, so some companies for the right products will use a reefer container to store their curing plants, transport the raw material, as well as develop their products all in one place. Containers are being used to SHORTEN supply chains.

  • Freight Forwarding – Containers are so under-appreciated that even the logistics world does not maximize their potential. It is common for Freight forwarders to lease containers so that they have staging and storages areas within ports for import/exports. An alternative strategy would be to purchase their own containers rather than lease, and then rather giving the container back when their contract ends with a lessor they could liquidate and receive a return on the initial investment. In the long run this would be a great cost saver that a lot do not take advantage of, because they don’t know how. This example is more strategy than application, but still important to express to show that containers have incredible opportunity for all industries.

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