Not every business model is suited to a shipping container. Some just need far too much space to ever work in such a confined amount of room. That said, the largest standard shipping containers come in at over 16 metres in length, which is as large as a small office for a few people and considerably more roomy than many home offices. If you are thinking about the commercial possibilities of shipping containers – other than using them for haulage, that is – then what purposes might you put them to?
Containers have been used for small shops in many parts of the world. They are particularly suited to pop-up sales outlets where there will be a temporary footfall, perhaps for an exhibition or a one-off sporting event. Easy to transport, such shops can simply be loaded onto the back of a truck with their stock in place and taken to their next location. Typically, such retail outlets will be used for smaller, high-value items, such as jewellery, clothes, antiques, handicrafts and seasonal products, such as Christmas decorations.
Although they have limited room inside, it is possible to hold events in converted shipping containers. The small footprint means that visitor numbers have to be regulated, but this all adds to the feeling of exclusivity. Pop-up art galleries and museums with displays and artefacts have been put together in containers before, but you can also use them as miniature concert venues, performance spaces and even formal dining areas.
Providing personal services like beauty therapies in shipping containers is another good idea. Containers are ideal places for setting up hairdressing salons because their shape means you can get multiple customers in at the same time, side-by-side. With a little imagination, you could also turn a container into a mini-day spa with massage therapy tables and even carry out more physical activities like yoga.
Probably one of the most popular ways to put an old shipping container to use in a commercial context these days is to turn it into a catering station. As the containers are made of metal, they are not so prone to fire dangers as wooden alternatives, so using stoves in them is a reasonable activity. What's more, they provide shelter from the elements when cooking and serving whilst also affording sufficient security, so they can be locked up and left overnight without worrying about potential break-ins.
To learn more, contact a shipping container supplier.