Steel Containers Make Excellent Containers (And Much Else)

By: Sam Bullman

Steel containers make excellent containers. Whether these are steel drums, pails or huge shipping containers, steel is an excellent choice for making containers.

Unlike plastic, steel containers can be recycled. Shipping containers are recycled by converting them into useful structures or storage containers for use onshore. When these structures are at the end of their useful lives, they can be recycled again as scrap steel used in producing new steel.

Shipping Containers

Usually made with high tensile steel that also has rust inhibiting properties, shipping containers are reinforced with a rigid steel framework. The sturdy construction enables the shipping containers to withstand the extreme conditions it can be exposed to during long ocean voyages.

Shipping containers are large structures with standard dimensions. They have a common cross section of 8' width and 8.5' height, and come in lengths of 20', 40' and 45'. In fact, cargo capacity is expressed in TEUs, or twenty-foot equivalent units, each unit representing a twenty-foot standard shipping container. Thus a 40-foot container will be two TEUs.

The sturdiness of the shipping container makes it ideal for many other uses when they become surplus. They can become surplus either at the end of their ocean-worthy life or because empty containers accumulate at certain places and begin to cause problems.

Alternative Uses for Steel Shipping Containers

Wherever a compact and secure enclosed space is required, these steel containers provide a good solution. They are constructed to be as vandal and thief proof as possible, and using padlocks and other aids can increase their security further. Let us look at a few alternative uses for the steel containers.

LIVING SPACE: Doors can be modified and windows can be cut in the steel walls to start the process. Internal partitions, fold up beds and furniture, toilet and washroom units and working areas can make the steel containers into living units at worksites. And these mobile houses can be transported from site to site using the container trucks.

SELF-STORAGE UNITS: With increasing clutter in households and offices, the demand for independent storage spaces is growing. Steel containers can be converted into self-storage units with a minimum of work. Self-storage units are attractive storage solutions because they give control to the hirers. Hirers can use their own lock and key, and move things in and out whenever they want.

WORK CANTEENS: With a kitchen unit, food service counters, and other essential facilities, the steel containers can become canteens at work sites. The containers can also be converted into worker rest rooms, offices and data centers.

MARKET STALLS & MULTI-LEVEL SHOPS: The steel containers can be converted into mobile market stalls. By stacking the containers, and providing connecting stairs, you can even create multi-level shops.

Steel shipping containers typically have treated-wood insides and can be fitted up to provide pleasing or otherwise suitable interiors. Lighting and heating facilities can be provided with internal fittings, and power can be availed through either an external plug or solar electricity generation facilities.

Design possibilities are numerous. The walls and roof of the steel containers can be removed to make them into flat racks that provide easier loading for many materials, and are easier transport when empty (several empty units can be stacked for transport).

Steel containers are indeed ideal when you want sturdy and secure solutions.

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Sam Bullman writes about Steel-Containers please visit for more details.

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