Although there are many ways that shipping containers are used around the world, one of the most common uses for them internationally is for what they were originally designed and intended for – the transportation of cargo around the world.
Shipping containers have revolutionised the way that business operates around the world, contributing largely to our ability to have a global economy as well as helping people who look to relocate abroad take their belongings with them.
Shipping containers were designed originally to be able to move cargo securely between different modes of transport without the need for unpacking their contents and re-packing to a different mode of transport. They can be used on ships, trains, and lorries, and have meant that transportation is smooth, and costs reduced.
The fact that shipping containers are a uniform shape and designed for stacking effectively means that they can be neatly packed onto cargo ships, and, although taking significant time to move between countries and even continents, it can be done keeping costs low.
Shipping containers can be lifted using a forklift or crane and moved onto freight trains and lorries for onward transporting until it reaches its destination.
Shipping Container Design
Shipping containers are metal boxes that are robust and durable, perfect for transportation and storage, as well as for using as a construction material and converting into a temporary or semi-permanent building.
You can buy a shipping container – or, indeed, rent one, to transport cargo either domestically or internationally. Generally, there are six sizes of shipping container to choose from:
- 10ft x 8ft x 8ft 6in (capacity 560ft³)
- 10ft x 8ft x 9ft 6in (capacity 630ft³)
- 20ft x 8ft x 8ft 6in (capacity 1160ft³)
- 20ft x 8ft x 9ft 6in (capacity 1310ft³)
- 40ft x 8ft x 8ft 6in (capacity 2360ft³)
- 40ft x 8ft x 9ft 6in (capacity 2660ft³)
We also have refrigerated containers for hire or to buy if needed.
Shipping containers are also built with a secure locking system to ensure that their contents are kept safe and secure from extreme weather conditions as well as thieves and vandals. Additional locking systems can also be installed for extra security.
Using the Design Features of a Shipping Container
Thanks to their size and shape, shipping containers can be used for so much more than just transporting cargo around the world.
Shipping containers are an excellent option for those who are looking to store belongings, equipment, tools, plants, or documents. They generally require almost no modification and can be used individually by people or businesses, or they can be built into a self-storage facility whereby customers rent storage space for as long as they need it. Of course, if certain items need to be stored in a particular environment, this can also be accommodated.
Another increasingly common use for storage containers is in converting them into a temporary or semi-permanent building. With a small amount of modification, shipping containers can be joined together, stacked, have windows and doors added, electricity installed, and converted to be compatible with human (or animal) inhabitation.
Shipping containers can be converted into anything from a home to a restaurant, classroom, or mobile lab.
Shipping containers have been being used internationally for over 50 years, but it is only relatively recently that we have seen people using them for anything other than storage. These days, shipping containers are seen as being an eco-friendly, versatile, and cost-effective option for many different uses.