How to Use Small Shipping Containers

When we think of shipping containers, we tend to think of the standard 20ft and 40ft beasts craned on and off ships. These standard containers are ideal for a large range of uses, not least shipping, but sometimes we need greater flexibility. At ConRail we have diverse use small containers in a variety of sizes suitable for a number of different purposes.

ConRail Small Containers

At ConRail we have the following small shipping containers:

10’ Steel Shipping/Storage Container:

External length:     2.99m/10ft

Size:             10ft x 8ft

External width:    2.44m/8ft

Internal height:     2.28m/7ft 6in

8’ Steel Shipping/Storage Container:

External length:     2.42m/7ft 11in

Size:             8ft x 7ft 3in

External width:    2.2m/7ft 3in

Internal height:     2.28m/6ft 7in

6’ Steel Shipping/Storage Container:

External length:     1.98m/6ft

Size:             6ft x 6ft

External width:    1.95m

Internal height:     1.73m

All of these small shipping containers are constructed using marine-grade steel with 28mm marine-grade plywood floors, making them weather, rot and vermin proof. In addition, small containers come with ventilation to eliminate condensation.

As you’d expect from ConRail shipping containers, they have locking bars and a tamper-proof lock box as well as forklift pockets.

Looking at the specifications of these smaller shipping containers, it’s easy to see why our customers are using them for a huge range of purposes, other than shipping.

Here are our favourite ideas for how to use small shipping containers:

  • Tools and machinery secure storage:

Labour based businesses from construction and road work to more, all face difficulties keeping tools and machinery secure on site. It is uneconomical and impractical to move tools and machinery away from site each day. However, your tools and machinery are valuable assets of the business.

Small shipping containers are ideal for onsite tool and machinery storage. They can be moved on to the site using a forklift truck. Each day tools can be secured within.

  • Exhibition space:

We are seeing growing popularity in using small shipping containers for exhibition space. Many clients find that typical exhibition venues fail to offer a way of ensuring privacy and an intimate space on the exhibition floor.

A small shipping container can effectively be used to create an office away from the office, providing ample space for exhibition use. They are particularly ideal for outside exhibitions and events where you’re also battling the elements.

  • Pop-up bars, cafes, restaurants and ticket booths:

With the growth in popularity of pop-up seasonal entertainment, small shipping containers are a robust and affordable option. With minimal set up as they can travel in entirety, they are ideal when a ‘venue’ is needed on a temporary basis but requires a sturdier approach than tents, gazebos or marquees.

We’ve seen small containers used for a huge range of pop-up functions, and they can be transformed in to diverse and unique spaces.

  • Removal needs:

For both corporate and domestic markets, small shipping containers are ideal for removals. They can be filled with economical use of space and used as temporary storage if there is a break in the move.

  • Site offices and home offices:

We’re used to our 20ft containers being used as offices, but we’re seeing a large number of customers opting for a smaller container instead. These are easier to heat and fit out, and are more suitable where only one or two workstations are needed.

As offices, smaller containers can be positioned in a wide range of spaces, with the help of a crane or forklift as necessary.

  • Sports clubs and school storage:

With space at a premium, small storage containers allow you to extend your space by securely storing sports equipment, clothing, furniture and equipment. Small shipping containers are both waterproof and ventilated, making them a safe space to store items between uses, when you don’t have the internal space.

  • Retail storage:

Similarly, with pressures and expenses on warehousing, we are seeing a greater use of small shipping containers used for onsite retail storage. Inventory is stored onsite, close to the point of sale, without taking up valuable shop floor space.

  • Mobile education:

A growing and exciting trend is the use of shipping containers for ‘mobile classrooms’. These classrooms can move from school to school offering unique learning experiences. Educational bodies have used them for hands-on science laboratories, computer hubs and more.

  • Tiny homes:

Perhaps one of our favourite uses of small shipping containers is their transformation in to tiny homes. Being weatherproof they are an excellent starting point for creating a cost-effective living space. Whether as a guest lodge in the garden, or a temporary home onsite whilst you complete a build, they are proving to be popular.

  • Workshops:

If you’re looking for a workshop which is more secure than a shed, and doesn’t clutter up your garage, then a small shipping container could be the solution. Leave projects part-way and secure them overnight.

Buying a small shipping container

Due to their popularity for purposes other than shipping, many container businesses are putting a hefty price tag on their smaller containers. At ConRail, we’re sticking to our fair and competitive pricing.

10’ containers are just £1650, 8’ just £1500 and 6’ just £1100. VAT and delivery costs are added at the point of order. We want you to envisage the need for your small shipping container and then be able to choose the exact size you need.

Find out more about small shipping containers from ConRail by calling us on 01252 715 406.

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