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How Different Industries Can Use Shipping Containers

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You can use shipping containers for all sorts of things. They are perfect for larger construction projects and home renovations because they are movable, secure and hold many items. But did you know there are dozens of other uses for shipping containers? You can modify a shipping container to fit your specific needs so the possibilities are endless.

For example, you can use a container to safeguard crucial documents, house larger gear and equipment, and keep important items nearby. You can even stack containers if your space is limited. In this blog, we discuss shipping container uses that you may not have ever considered. We also highlight how different industries use shipping containers.

A shipping container uses personnel doors and roll-up doors as alternative entryways.
Standard shipping containers are ideal for secure storage, while modified containers can serve various purposes.

7 Industries That Should Use Shipping Containers

For many industries, an ISO steel shipping container rental or purchase can be an alternative to more costly and time-consuming solutions. Need further proof? Here’s a closer look at seven prominent industries that are using shipping containers right now.

1. Government Agencies

Governmental buildings often store highly-sensitive documents, everything from citizen records to historical documents. While many of these documents have been converted to a digital format, there are still paper documents and other forms of data, such as recovered military dog tags and audio recordings. The U.S. National Archives maintains a list of missing or stolen historical government documents. The loss of these items isn’t just significant to local or national history but also to surviving family members who want to preserve their loved one’s accomplishments and legacy.

However, it can be challenging to keep these records safe. These types of documents are prone to theft and natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and fires. Shipping containers allow local, state and Federal agencies to expand their storage capacity, removing clutter and preventing disorganization. Containers are portable and durable, so that they can be moved to different locations and withstand harsh weather conditions.

2. Public Services

Government buildings aren’t the only public services that can benefit from shipping containers. Other service industries, such as fire departments and park services, can also use shipping containers in their line of work. A relevant example is our sister company, Fire Training Structures, which creates and manufactures fire department training facilities.

These facilities are customized to help fire departments train personnel for dangerous fire situations without exceeding budget restrictions. Modified containers for fire training can be stationary (at a particular location) or mobile, so they can be used in various instances. The reusable structures can be individually customized so firefighters can train for different scenarios.

3. Shipping Container Uses in Manufacturing

Manufacturers who produce goods on a large scale often need to store parts, raw materials and other components. This can often include hazardous materials and heavy equipment. The durability of an ISO steel shipping container makes it a cost-effective storage solution. A steel storage container can protect dangerous chemicals from the outdoor elements while keeping them safe from theft. Steel containers are also an ideal place to store pipes and wiring for electricians, HVAC techs and plumbers. Southwest Mobile Storage’s shipping containers have a multi-point locking system to keep their contents secure.

Make-to-stock manufacturers who must predict future demand can end up with a surplus of goods. Renting a steel container is a quick and affordable way to store excess stock until the market demands it. Make-to-order manufacturers often need to keep materials nearby for fast production after receiving an order. A customized container with added shelving can help keep your raw materials organized. You even can install insulation and an HVAC unit to help regulate the temperature.

Make-to-assemble manufacturers can get stuck with unwanted parts if orders don’t come in. Containers not only provide storage, but they can be moved if necessary. At Southwest Mobile Storage, you can relocate our 20ft containers after loading them.

4. Commercial and Retail Uses

Commercial businesses, from big-box retailers to ma-and-pa shops, have discovered the advantages of storage containers. Larger retail stores routinely use containers to store excess inventory during the holiday season. Stores like Target and Walmart often have steel containers in their parking lots during the busy season to keep various essentials close at hand.

Smaller businesses have also found the added space a boon for business. Shipping containers allow local companies to expand or offer new services to compete with larger corporations. They’re also ideal for housing bigger equipment like lawnmowers and swimming pool equipment during times of the year when they’re not being used.

A fabricated shipping container with barred windows and a door.
Modified shipping containers are often used as temporary workspaces at construction sites or healthcare facilities.

5. Shipping Container Uses in Health Care

Shipping containers have significantly impacted healthcare over the past few years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, shipping containers were used in various ways. Hospitals utilized containers to store personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other essential supplies for instant access. In a busy hospital, inventory managers can find it challenging to find extra space to store important items because some materials need to be nearby and easily accessible.

Modified containers were used to admit patients and keep COVID patients separated from those with other illnesses. Containers also played a key role as remote testing facilities to increase convenience and reduce hospital traffic.

6. Auto Shops and Dealerships

The auto industry has used Conex boxes to transport vehicles but has also used them for storing items and equipment. Dealerships and auto shops become inefficient if they can’t get a part or equipment on-site. Distributors need quick access to deliver and retrieve items, sometimes before or after regular business hours.

One of our clients purchased shipping storage containers to store heavy parts and large items and customized them with roll-up doors. This allows their employees to quickly go in and out while giving quick and easy access for their distributors to deliver or pick up parts.

Storage containers are just one use the auto industry takes advantage of – another is for vehicle showcases or displays. Conex boxes can eliminate trade show fees for booths and delivery fees for moving vehicles to and from the staging area during car shows or exhibitions.

7. Shipping Container Uses in Agriculture

Traditional farming plays a pivotal role in the food chain. However, it also suffers from many challenges. Harsh weather conditions and pests can damage or destroy crops, and pesticides have been linked to harmful effects that affect not only the farmer but those who receive the sprayed produce.

Vertical farms, like the ones from Pure Greens container farms, have begun a new methodology for beginning and experienced farmers, allowing them to grow their leafy greens and vegetables. These container farms generate larger yields than traditional farming, eliminating the stresses of harsh weather, pests, and pesticides.

Related Content

Is your industry ready to start using shipping containers? Get a quote now, or learn how your business can benefit from custom containers. Are you looking for more information? The five blogs below offer insight into how various industries use shipping containers.

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