Shipping containers were designed and built to transport their cargo around the world, on cargo ships, on lorries, and on trains. The idea behind them was to be able to easily move multiple elements in bulk, facilitating the easy transition between different modes of transport.
This has meant that they have been built to be sturdy and robust, protecting their contents, and being able to stack easily as well. Although not the original purpose of a shipping container, their metal box structure has meant that they are also prime for adapting and being used for other purposes as well as to ship cargo.
Converted shipping containers are being used for different purposes around the world and here are some of the applications that we are seeing being used globally:
One of the most world-changing applications of converted shipping containers is in modular accommodation. Storage containers can be used singularly, stacked on top of each other, or joined together side-by-side to create a living space that is both eco-friendly and cost-effective. Converted shipping containers are being used to create super-modern, innovative housing constructions as well as low-cost temporary accommodation that can be built quickly, easily, and in a range of different places.
As the need for low-cost, eco-friendly housing grows around the world, it is likely that demand for modular accommodation such as converted shipping container housing will also grow.
Hospitals and Medical Facilities
As the COVID 19 pandemic hit the world, we saw many countries scampering to build over-flow hospitals in case of a massive rise in the number of people requiring medical care. Thanks to the ease and speed at which shipping container constructions could be built, we saw a trend in using converted shipping containers to create ‘Nightingale hospitals’ or the like all over the world.
They can be fitted with personnel doors and windows, insulating lining, electricity and lighting systems, plumbing, medical-grade, hygienic non-slip flooring laid, and any other features that are needed. These ‘Nightingale hospitals’ are also able to be used as testing or vaccination centres or new emergency overflow units, for example.
Temporary Units in Disaster Zones
Due to the fact that the process of converting and constructing with containers is so quick, especially if they are only going to be used as a temporary measure, we are seeing them being used more and more in disaster zones. Whether it is a temporary medical unit, an office to administer and coordinate relief efforts, or a base to consult on other aspects of the project, shipping containers are the ideal solution.
Shipping containers were built to be robust and strong as well as able to withstand extreme weather conditions, meaning that they can be effective in a range of different climates and locations. They can also be loaded onto a truck and moved between different locations, meaning that they can go wherever the focus of the effort is.
We are seeing an increasing need for scientific research to be carried out around the climate and global warming. This research often involves going to inhabitable locations on earth, such as the poles or desserts.
It is, of course, unsatisfactory to build buildings in some of these areas, and this is where a temporary shipping container can be very useful. The shipping container can be delivered, used, and then taken away – perhaps to the next location, without leaving a building, rubbish, or any other trace.