Shipping Container vs Shed

Most people who have some outside space where they live will have maintenance equipment that they want to store. You might have a bike, flowerpots, summer garden toys, paddling pools – a whole host of things that ideally would not be stored inside your home. Traditionally, people have used a wooden garden shed to store these bits and bobs, but there is a (relatively) new kid on the block – the shipping container.

Converting shipping containers is growing in popularity, whether it is into an innovative home, to house gas turbine machinery, or a unique and stylish restaurant. Their beauty is that they are so flexible that they can be customised and converted into almost anything that you want – including sheds.

There’s an old saying that goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. And some people might think that about the good old garden shed. For some, the idea of choosing a converted shipping container to be installed in their garden instead of a shed might not seem to be necessary, but there are a few ways that a shipping container and a shed differ – and why more and more people are turning to converted shipping containers for their garden storage needs.


One big difference between a garden shed and a shipping container is the materials that they are made from. Ordinarily, a shed is made from wood, whereas a shipping container is made from reinforced metal. This automatically makes the shipping container stronger and more durable.

Wood is weaker than metal, meaning that it is more likely to get damaged by bad weather, whereas a shipping container is specifically built and designed to withstand the bad weather that occurs at sea.

Wood also has a tendency to warp in bad weather and can suffer from rot or woodworm. The metal that is used to build shipping containers, however, will not be affected by rot, woodworm, and will normally be protected from corrosion to ensure that it can last for as long as possible.

If you like the look of a wooden garden shed, you also have the option to clad the shipping container with your wood of choice, giving a rustic style that suits your garden.

A wooden shed will also need to undergo regular maintenance – wood treatment, varnishing, and the like – which a shipping container does not need. This can be time-consuming and costly over time.

Construction and Mobility

There are also differences in the construction of your garden storage. A shed would normally be assembled by its owner – or volunteers that can be roped in… This takes time, skill, tools, and above all, patience! Whilst some people might like to see this as a challenge, others certainly do not! A shipping container, however, can be delivered to your garden fully assembled and ready to go.

Of course, there are several options available to you concerning the design of your ‘shipping container shed’. You could leave it as a shipping container, or you could consider converting it into a shed. Your options include adding windows and personnel doors, electricity packages and lighting, ramps, and racking during the fabrication process, having your personal, unique shipping container shed delivered to your garden already finished! No assembly needed!

Another bonus to using a shipping container for your garden storage is that if you fall in love with it, you can take it with you if you move house. Although shipping containers are very heavy, they can be moved easily with the right machinery. So, if you don’t want to leave it for the new people to enjoy, you can take it with you (without having to dismantle it!).


A wooden shed is relatively robust, but it can be easily broken into by someone who really wants to get in. Windows can be broken and padlocks busted. A shipping container, in addition to being made from strong metal, can have strong windows fitted, and secure locking systems installed.

There are several reasons why more and more people are choosing converted shipping containers to store their garden paraphernalia. In addition to the reasons given above, shipping containers are also an eco-friendly option as they are repurposing shipping containers that would otherwise go to waste. They are pre-fab, meaning that there is little material waste in the factory. They also look very on-trend.

Compared to a regular wooden shed, a shipping container may be more costly initially, but there are fewer costs over time, and they are more cost-effective than building a bricks and mortar garden shed.

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