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Great Uses for Shipping Containers

Have you ever wondered what happens when a cargo company is finished using a container? Well, instead of just sitting somewhere collecting dust, some of those containers are put to excellent use. Most of today’s shipping containers come in several sizes, ranging from 10’, 20’, and 40’ lengths. That’s a lot of space to work with. Buying a container is also usually significantly cheaper than building a structure, so naturally, it’s an attractive idea for many people. You can also add windows, fresh paint, solar panels, electricity, and plumbing systems, allowing the shipping container to function similarly to a regular building. Continue reading for some great uses for old shipping containers.

Hospital Overflow Units

Sometimes hospitals and clinics get so overwhelmed with patients that they need overflow units for their patients. A shipping container is perfect for this use. Shipping containers can be brought on-site rather quickly and can be used as check-in and testing departments. They can also be set up with beds and all the necessary equipment for a triage unit.


Seeing stores housed inside shipping containers is a lot more common outside of the United States. Some shopping malls have utilized stacked container designs. In fact, in 2011, a pop-up mall in London called Box Park was created entirely by using shipping containers. Sometimes, companies will utilize shipping containers during remodels to continue to operate while construction crews work inside their store.

Vegetable Gardens

Sometimes weather conditions are not favorable for growing vegetables. For example, in Alaska, the weather is typically brutal, and many vegetables can’t be grown outside, especially tender ones such as lettuce and fresh herbs. Since these products had to be shipped, there was a hefty cost associated with their purchase. That’s when a couple from the Aleutian Islands decided to buy shipping containers and modify them into climate-controlled hydroponic gardens. They were so successful in their endeavors that they began selling their fresh produce to local restaurants and hotels.


In 2004, the University of Amsterdam realized there was a housing shortage for its students. To combat this problem, the university created 1000 new “tempohousing” units by utilizing stacked 40-foot shipping containers. There are also several other shipping container apartment projects around the world.

Tiny Homes

Tiny homes have been trending in recent years and paved the way for shipping containers to be a starting point. Utilizing a shipping container as a home will allow you to have the outer structure set so that all you need to do is build the inside to meet your specific needs. A well-planned interior design job will make it so it’ll be nearly unnoticeable that your home used to ship cargo.

Find the Perfect Shipping Container for Your Needs

At Storage on Wheels, we can help you find the perfect shipping container to fit your specific needs. Whether you want to utilize a shipping container for any of these many projects or just want to use it for storage, we will help you find the right container. Contact us today to speak to one of our shipping container experts.

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