Exploring Innovative Ways to Use Shipping Containers Around the World

Some 11 million unused shipping containers around the world could potentially be used for a variety of purposes. Most people recognize them as being ideal for tiny homes and dwellings, but there are virtually infinite possibilities when it comes to repurposing these versatile and innovative containers. Here are just a few fascinating ways you can repurpose a shipping container for both residential and commercial use.

Horse Stalls/Stable

Traditional equestrian stables can be expensive and difficult to maintain. Repurposed shipping container stables are a sustainable solution that can make caring for your horses a much more practical and efficient process. These stables are easy to move, incredibly durable, and require very little maintenance. You can easily attach multiple containers together and save on other storage and stall expenses.

Pool/Pool House

Some people have heard that you can repurpose an old shipping container into a swimming pool for your backyard. While certainly innovative, it may not be within all homeowners’ budgets. If you already have a swimming pool, consider adding a sense of luxury and comfort by turning an old shipping container into a pool house for guests to relax and get changed.

“An easy way to get that pool house you want is to use a 20′ shipping container and cut away the sides as needed. It’s easy to finish out and inexpensive compared to building a conventional pool house of the same size…if you’re a savvy DIYer, you can do this project yourself,” writes WiselyGreen.

Experiential Marketing Store

According to a 2011 report, 86% of consumers will pay more for a better experience, so why not provide it for them with an innovative and cutting edge form of immersive marketing? More and more stores and businesses are investing in the customer experience, and many are bringing their campaign to life through the use of customized shipping containers. This is a particularly popular option in the food industry — most recently, the Detroit Shipping Company launched a food hall composed entirely of shipping containers, according to Detroit Metro Times. In addition to featuring a total of 22 repurposed containers, it also has an art gallery and even a podcast studio.

These types of structures often gain more traffic due to customers’ perceptions that they won’t be around for long. While the food industry commonly works with experiential marketing, it can be a part of almost any industry’s goals, especially retail fashion, clothing, and jewelry stores. About 25% of watch buyers say they mainly wear a watch to make a fashion statement, but any business willing to invest in its branding through the innovative use of a shipping container is making a statement as well. There’s virtually no limit to the possibilities when shipping containers and experiential marketing campaigns come together.

Self-Sustainable Cabin

Finally, for those who dream of seclusion and being off the grid, this is absolute paradise. It certainly requires a hefty investment, but with some determination, you can turn an old shipping container into a livable cabin equipped with solar panels, well water, and wood heat. Experts say a project of this size costs about $50,000, which is still less than you’d pay for traditional building materials.

So there you have it — there are virtually no limits when it comes to finding new and creative ways to repurpose shipping containers. What will they think of next?

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