Business Ideas for Repurposed Shipping Containers

In this age of “recycle, reuse,” a lot of innovative changes are happening to the world of cargo containers. These crates are finding use for a lot more than just shipping stock to and from various points on the globe. New advances in architecture, medicine and service have allowed developers to try some “outside the box” thinking. Here are some of the most interesting ideas that people have used repurposed shipping containers for.

Home Development

More developers are relying on clients to buy shipping containers for use as building materials. These containers have very specific dimensions, but contractors can arrange them to create a structure. Holes are burrowed into the container for stairs and doorways. In some cases, the walls are removed entirely to create an all glass enclosure that functions as a study or outdoor office. Containers are relatively affordable, but you do need space to keep them safely on your property. Containers are also finding use as support structures. An upside down container, for instance, can act as a bridge leading over a small ravine before you drive into a home.

Medical Clinics

Shipping containers are so cheap to produce that some doctors are utilizing them in impoverished parts of the world in order to offer medical services. Containers are converted into makeshift clinics that offer blood transfusions and diagnosis. They are not meant to replace hospitals entirely, but they can bring certain services to a large group of people at prices that are economical. The biggest advantage is all of that equipment in a place that is easy to pack up and move where it is needed.


San Francisco is pioneering a new trend that may catch on in other parts of the world. They’ve combined shipping crates and vacant lots to make portable restaurants. Customers can walk into these pop up kitchens and order whatever is on the menu. The crates are large enough to hold basic supplies and offer up meals. Owners can outfit the crates with working plumbing and gas lines too.

Final Thoughts

As building materials start to dwindle and become higher priced commodities, it’s possible that more of these pop-up locations will become commonplace. Today, you can find hotels made of shipping containers along with server rooms. Shipping containers help to lower the costs of these facilities, and they help businesses get their services up and running faster.