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Modern shipping containers may not seem particularly exciting to most, but there is no question they have revolutionized the world of shipping. Today’s storage containers are strong, reliable, reusable and have a multitude of different uses. Whether you choose to call them shipping containers, storage containers or freight containers, these impenetrable steel boxes are the best way to move items from one place to another and do a lot more.
A Brief History of Shipping Containers
The current adaptation of container shipping started in around 1956, with standard sizing being set by the International Organization for Standardization in 1961. Before container shipping was standardized, manufacturers would just pack their goods onto a ship, and once the ship arrived at its destination, the goods would be unpacked and then re-packed onto a train or truck for the next leg of the journey.
Shipping and Transportation
As the name suggests, shipping and transportation are the primary uses for shipping containers. If you have ever witnessed the impressive sight of hundreds of shipping containers being moved onto or off of a ship, it is quite a sight to behold. The organization and logistics help the process run as smoothly as possible, moving goods from around the world on a daily basis.
The compatibility of modern storage containers with ships, trains, trucks and shipping yards makes them the ideal solution to move mass quantities of goods around the world. When standardized containers are used to ship goods, it makes them more affordable for the end user because the container can swiftly be moved from one stage of the trip to the next without having to take additional time to pack and unpack.
When a freight container is sealed, it remains that way until it reaches its final destination, unless customs feels the need to inspect its contents. Here is some information on the different modes of travel for a standardized shipping container.
Cargo Ships – this is known as liner shipping, and the containers are packed onto ocean-going ships that travel on set routes. The World Shipping Council says there are around 400 different liner services.
Air Freight – naturally, travel by air is quite a bit faster than moving shipping containers by sea, but the haul is far less, which means the costs are much higher. Air freight is also less friendly to the environment.
Rail Freight – on the rails, you can ship large numbers of storage containers safely and quickly. Typically, a crane will move the containers from a ship to the rail cars, and then they will be moved to destinations across the country.
Truck Freight – on the road, it is possible to move goods to places a train can’t reach. Shipping containers can be loaded onto tractor-trailers directly from a ship or a rail car, and then transported to its destination.
Temporary Container Storage Solutions
Shipping containers also work well as temporary storage containers. Whether you need them in transit or to sit in one place for a certain period of time, their unique characteristics make them ideal for temporary storage. Here are some of the features that make them an excellent choice for temporary storage:
Weather Resistant – they are watertight, wind-resistant and have been designed to withstand the harshest weather conditions while keeping the contents inside safe and dry. All of that makes them ideal temporary storage containers.
Strong and Secure – the last thing you want when storing your items temporarily is for someone to break into the container and take them. The heavy-duty steel construction of shipping containers essentially removes the potential for opportunistic thievery because they are difficult, if not impossible, to get into, so a criminal won’t even bother.
Portable – if you need to move your temporary storage solution to another location, it is possible with a basic tilt and load truck due to the portability of steel storage containers. They are designed to move vast distances, and while it takes some extra equipment, there is no need to unpack everything if you need to switch locations.
Semi-Permanent Storage Solutions
If your storage needs go beyond being just a temporary pit stop for your stuff, then shipping containers are also great for semi-permanent storage solutions. The features that make storage containers work for temporary storage are the same that make them work for semi-permanent storage. There are many different reasons you may need to store items over the long-term, and shipping containers are a great way to do it. Containers can be moved around when needed, they can be stacked on top of one another to save space, and they can be modified to meet your storage needs.
A Range of Container Modifications
Modified shipping containers have become a popular topic over the past handful of years, and new uses keep coming up for these versatile steel boxes. The potential for making modifications seems endless, and it is likely the characteristics and features of the containers that get people’s creative juices flowing to keep finding new uses. You can use modified shipping containers for personal use or as part of a business venture, and they can take a multitude of different formats, including:
- Spare rooms or sleeping quarters
- Ticket booths
- Tiny homes
- Exercise spaces
- Disaster shelters
- Indoor playgrounds
The list can go on and on, and the only real barrier is your imagination. Once you modify a shipping container to meet your needs, you’ll have a strong structure that is both weather-resistant and portable, making it ideal for any season, virtually anywhere on earth.
Shipping containers play a huge role in international trade and commerce, and they can also make your life better with a few tweaks and modifications to meet particular needs. Conterm specialized in shipping containers for sale, shipping containers for rent and modified shipping containers. If you need shipping containers to help your business grow or you’d like to discuss modified shipping containers for personal or professional use, contact us today. It will be our pleasure to answer your questions and discuss container modifications options.