From Homebuilding to Retail, Shipping Containers Are Extremely Versatile

From Homebuilding to Retail, Shipping Containers Are Extremely Versatile

Currently, there are roughly 17 million shipping containers in the world, but only six million of them are actually being used for various purposes (exports, storage, etc.). That means approximately 11 million shipping containers are not being used at all — that trend is starting to change.

People around the country are finding creative and new ways to take advantage of these unused storage containers. Whether it’s for retail purposes, agricultural production, artistic projects, or more, there are dozens of ways these constants can be utilized.

According to Tucson News Now, 13 retail and dining establishments are opening in early May inside a formation of shipping containers. The MSA Annex is a shipping container concept that has been in the development stage for seven years.

One of the featured new retail shops, Transit Cycles, will have a physical store that’s more than 160 square feet large.

“I just like that they’re different. I like the aesthetic,” said Duncan Benning, owner and manager of Transit Cycles. “I like how the space looks. To be able to kind of pull all those things together just made it that much more appealing.”

Each individual container as part of the MSA Annex has been fully repurposed with each owner’s creativity and vision in mind.

“These are real, solid buildings,” added Kira Dixon-Weinstein, executive director of Mercado San Augustin and the developer of the new shipping container retail project. “You look at the walls and the lights and the exit signs and the air conditioning. There’s nothing temporary feeling about them at all.”

A lot of those shipping containers can even be constructed into homes for people around the country. Although the majority of newer roofs are constructed (at least supposed to be built) in order to withstand weather loads of 15 to 30 pounds per square foot, shipping container homes can be just as durable as metal roofing, providing quality protection and shelter for individuals or families.

The Gainesville Sun adds that Terri McFarlane, who calls herself an “artistic MacGyver,” constructed a durable and affordable home out of seven previously unused shipping containers.

“I’m looking forward to having an upper story, basement, a deck to sit on with neighbors and the decorative touches I want in a sturdy home,” she said.

McFarlane started her shipping container home building project last fall on her eight and a half-acre hilltop property in Citra Pines, alongside a few of her friends, a local architect, and a general contractor. She expects her new home to be fully completed by June.

She purchased the containers from Ocala Container.

“About 95% of the containers we sell are used for storage and 5% for shops and homes,” said Jordan Raney, owner of Ocala Container. “Terri is by far the most ambitious (builder) we’ve seen so far and we’re excited.”

Finally, after multiple classroom brainstorming sessions over the years, a new vertical farming shipping container becomes a reality in Arizona.

According to Arizona Sonora News, University of Arizona professor Joel Cuello created a shipping continuer unit that produces leafy green vegetables.

In 2010, there weren’t any vertical farm storage units. Now, there are at least 1,500 around the globe.

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