How Many Shipping Containers are Disposed of Each Year?

In an increasingly globalised world, we are seeing more and more shipping of parts and finished products between countries and continents. From clothing to food to mobile phone components, long-distance shipping plays an important part in the global economy. This is possibly partly due to the invention of shipping containers – the steel, durable boxes that are filled with these products or parts, that can be easily and neatly stacked, transferred between different modes of transport, and withstand rough seas and extreme temperatures.

It is estimated that around the world there are 5-6 million shipping containers in use at any given time.  Having carried out one or more trips, some shipping containers are repurposed and used for storage or can be modified into a modular building or bespoke container conversion. The number of shipping containers that can be reused, however, depends on demand. This means that, unfortunately, there are still a high number of shipping containers that are disposed of every year.

Used Shipping Containers

The eco-friendly credentials of upcycling a used shipping container are obvious. Any shipping container that can be given a new lease of life as a pop-up boutique, a home, or a workshop means one less that will be going to landfill or dumped somewhere. By hiring or buying a shipping container for storage or to convert, you are already beginning to do your bit for the environment.

Even our ‘new’ 10ft, 20ft, and 40ft shipping containers have completed one trip, meaning that, although maybe not quite as eco-friendly as a used one, it can still have a positive impact.

There are, however, a range of other reasons why repurposing a shipping container can be a great idea.

They can be mobile

If you are looking for a temporary or semi-permanent building, a converted shipping container is the perfect solution. Depending on your situation you might not need planning permission, and it can be moved between several sites.

If you need a site office that can be transferred between building sites or a bar that you want to move between festivals, a converted shipping container is a great option. Of course, if you don’t need to move it around, you don’t have to – a shipping container is still a good option.

When it comes to finding the right place to put your shipping container, the most important thing to note is that you must give it a solid base. This means that it needs to be placed on a concrete floor, paving slabs, or railway sleepers, for example.

You will also need to make sure that there is enough room for the lorry – which is needed to move the container, to unload it from its side.

They are versatile

Here at SJ Containers, there is no challenge too big in terms of conversions. We love to get our teeth into a design project and have seen our specialised design team creating container conversions for everything from cantilever restaurants to lithium-ion battery storage.

We have several tricks up our sleeves which help to make your shipping container precisely serve the purpose that you are looking for, as well as make it unique and bespoke.

We can, for example, join several shipping containers together – either on top of each other, or side-by-side. This gives you a great degree of versatility over its layout and design. We can also add in doors and windows, add professional painting, and install lighting and electrical packages, for example.

They look great

As the world becomes increasingly concerned with the amount of waste that we are producing, the concept of upcycling and repurposing is becoming increasingly popular. Following on from this the concept of ‘steampunk’ and the industrial look is what everybody is going for at the moment, and it doesn’t get much more industrial and upcycled than a repurposed converted shipping container.

They are strong and robust

Having been designed and built to withstand the extremes of the oceans, the steel shipping container is extremely strong and robust. They can effectively protect their precious cargo from extreme weather including wind and rain, and also vandalism and theft. This makes a shipping container the ideal construction material.

For every shipping container that we use for storage or conversion, there is one less that will go to waste. This teamed with the other benefits of using a shipping container means that it is a great option whatever you might need it for.