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From Clutter to Clarity: Choosing Between Sheds and Shipping Containers

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If you’ve ever needed extra storage space for your belongings, chances are you’ve considered two popular options: traditional storage sheds and shipping containers (often referred to as Conex boxes).

While both solutions can help you de-clutter your space, they come with distinct differences that will make one more suitable for your specific needs than the other. In this blog, we will explore the key disparities between sheds and shipping containers for storage and offer insights into the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Size Differences: Sheds and Shipping Containers

  • Sheds

When it comes to size, storage sheds come in a wide range of sizes. This ranges from compact designs for your gardening tools to spacious structures that can accommodate large items like lawnmowers, bikes and even serve as small workshops.

  • Shipping Containers

On the other hand, containers can be customized to any size you need. They come in sizes of 20ft and 40ft. However, we can modify the container to a custom size of your choosing.

Most containers have a standard width and height of 8’ and 8’6”, respectively. This uniformity can be an advantage, making it easier to plan and organize your storage space efficiently.

Unconventional container sizes, such as high cube containers, which have an extra foot of height, represent some of the less prevalent choices compared to the more common 20-foot and 40-foot units.

A modified shipping container with two roll up doors and an HVAC unit.
Some modifications that might make your shipping container stand out from other sheds are roll up doors and air conditioning. Roll up doors are significantly quicker to open than standard cargo doors, and a work space isn’t complete without climate control. Interested in these modifications? Ask your sales representative for more information about our available options.

Security First

  • Sheds

Traditional storage sheds are usually made of wood or plastic materials, which wear down over time. The less durable material also makes them vulnerable to break-ins if not properly secured. If you choose to go with a shed, installing additional locks and security measures is essential to keep your valuables safe.

  • Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are renowned for their robust security features. Constructed from sturdy steel, they are incredibly resilient and tamper resistant. Many containers come equipped with built-in locking mechanisms that are difficult to breach.

For those seeking extra security, modifications such as additional locks and lock boxes can further fortify your container.

The Art of Portability

  • Sheds

One of the main drawbacks of traditional sheds is their lack of portability. Once they are installed in your yard, it’s not recommended to relocate them, as they’re not intended to be moved after construction. This can be a disadvantage if you need to reconfigure your storage space or change locations.

  • Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are incredibly portable, which is a significant advantage. Whether you need to move your storage unit to a different location on your property or to an entirely new address, shipping containers can be transported and repositioned.

A mobile storage unit on the back of a flatbed truck.
20 ft. containers can be moved while loaded, like the container depicted here. Containers that are longer than that must be empty before transport.

Aesthetics: Function and Style

  • Sheds

Many people prefer sheds due to their more traditional appearance. Sheds are often designed to blend in with their surroundings and resemble small houses or cabins. They may have slanted roofs that prevent water from collecting on top of the shed and causing leaks or water damage.

Sheds can be painted and customized to match the aesthetics of your home or garden, making them a visually pleasing addition to your property. They typically also feature windows, and more expensive models may come equipped with lighting and temperature control.

  • Shipping Containers

Shipping containers have a more industrial and utilitarian look. While this might not suit everyone’s taste, some people appreciate the rugged, modern appearance that makes containers stand out.

If you’d like to change how the exterior of your container looks, we can paint or modify it to better suit your preferences. Windows, personnel doors and roll-up doors can all be great additions to not only improve the look of your container, but also enhance its functionality.

We can add temperature control and lighting to your container, helping you better customize your container to create a comfortable environment to work inside.

The Price Factor

When considering storage options, pricing is a crucial factor.

Sheds often come with a wide range of price points, depending on factors such as size, materials, and additional features like windows, doors, and ventilation. You can find budget-friendly sheds as well as more expensive, high-end options.

Shipping containers, too, have their own pricing considerations, including factors like condition, size and any modifications you may require. As-Is containers tend to be more worn than newer one-trip containers and may present an opportunity to get weatherproof storage at a bargain. Still, it’s important to do thorough research and obtain quotes based on your unique storage needs and budget.

Several shipping containers resting in a storage lot.
Shipping containers offer an easy modification base for shed-like structures. As an advantage, containers are made of durable steel, and you can easily add modifications to customize the space to your liking.


In the battle of storage solutions, the choice between sheds and shipping containers ultimately comes down to your specific needs and priorities. Here’s a quick summary of the main differences:

  • Size

You can get shipping containers and sheds in a variety of sizes, but containers are typically bigger.

  • Security

Shipping containers are more secure due to their durable construction and locking mechanisms.

  • Portability

Shipping containers are easier to transport than sheds, making them a more flexible option.

  • Aesthetics

Sheds are often preferred for their more traditional and customizable appearance. They may be designed to resemble a barn, and most have slanted roofs that can properly dispose of excess water from rains or storms.

  • Price

When it comes to pricing, both sheds and shipping containers have a range of options to fit different budgets. Pricing depends on factors like size, materials and additional modifications. If you’re deciding between the two, consider seeing both options in person before making a decision.

Ultimately, your decision should be based on your storage needs, budget, and personal preferences. Both sheds and shipping containers have their unique advantages, so choose the one that best aligns with your specific requirements for a clutter-free and organized space. Interesting in learning more about how shipping containers can help you keep your storage safe? Get a quote today.

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