If there is one thing that has had the most profound impact on freight, shipping, and international logistics it is the shipping container. Following the history of what became known as Intermodal Containers as narrated here, one cannot but shudder at the thought of the chaos that must have reigned in the shipping and logistics industry prior to the introduction of these life savers.
Today, the shipping container has not just remained very relevant in shipping and logistics generally but has found its way into other usages both for individuals and organizations. This has increased the demand for this item, with more people daily looking for ways of safely and easily gaining access to one or more.
This article’s main purpose is to show a few easy ways through which individuals can access this item, either to permanently own one (or more) or to rent them. However, we will first lay a background that will help the prospective owner understand the types and possible usages of a shipping container.
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Types of Shipping Containers
For many, a shipping container is just that rectangular-shaped storage unit you see at docks, building sites, and other locations. There is actually more to these containers as there are different types, suitable for different applications and situations.
Let’s look at a few of these:
This is the most common type of container seen around on a daily basis. These are usually used for dry materials and they come in standardized dimensions. You will commonly find these in 10ft, 20ft, and 40ft sizes.
As the name implies, it features a top that can be totally removed, making it more or less a convertible-type container. This makes it easy to load items that are taller than its height in it.
This is a container that has collapsible sides. With these sides collapsed, what you have left is the flat bed or rack, which can then take any kind of item.
Open Side Storage
Whereas the standard container has an opening at one end of the rectangle, the open side has doors on one of its sides, allowing for easy loading of wider items.
A tunnel has openings at the two ends. This type of container has the same. This allows for items to be loaded quickly from both ends of the container.
The double-door type of container is similar to the open-side container. The difference is that in addition to the side doors, the double door container adds the regular doors at one end. This means it has doors at one end and also on one side.
This is used for storing and transporting items that need to be kept at high temperatures. These types of containers are designed to retain heat and also include some form of heating system that regulates its temperature.
This is the direct opposite of the thermal container. Whereas the thermal container seeks to retain heat, keeping its content at a high temperature, the refrigerated container aims to keep its content at appropriate low temperatures. They are therefore designed for items that need to be shipped at a low temperature.
These are simply containers that are half the height of regular containers. They are mostly used for items that require fast loading and unloading. Some examples include stones, coal, etc.
This is self-descriptive. They are designed mainly for transporting cars across the ocean or other long distances. One of its characteristics is its collapsible sides which allow for easy and safe loading of cars.
While the examples listed above do not represent an exhaustive list of all types of shipping containers, they represent the most common types used today. You can also easily get any of these through companies like Shipped.
Other Uses of Containers
Yes, they are called shipping containers but they are not always used only for shipping. Containers are now being put to some very incredible and creative uses. Aside from the original purpose which is shipping, it is now also used for some of the following purposes:
A container is built to withstand a lot of wear and tear so they can be very rugged. This has made it an ideal choice for use as storage space. The items are safely locked and kept away from the elements as well as unauthorized persons.
Containers are now repurposed and used for constructing houses, hostels, hotels, vacation homes, and other forms of accommodations. It’s all about how creative you can be.
First it was common to see containers used as office spaces on construction sites. This has now changed as many other offices in different locations now also use containers.
You can find some other interesting container usage ideas here: https://www.marineinsight.com/recreation/top-26-innovative-uses-of-shipping-containers/.
How to Get a Shipping Container
Given the increased and diverse use that a container can be put to, how can one easily get one? There are different ways that you can go about this. However, the safest and most convenient means is going through a container marketplace.
Yes, there is such a thing as a container market place and you can find these online. The ideal marketplace will bring sellers and buyers together, making it easy for you to access a huge inventory of containers from anywhere in the country.
In many cases, you will have different transaction options. These will usually include the option to buy, rent, or rent to own.
This is a great option for anyone who has the money and needs to own one permanently. You can go to the site and get what you want immediately.
This is an option for those who only need a container for a specific period. Instead of purchasing one, you simply rent it for the period.
Rent to Own
This option is great for those who need a container permanently but do not have the funds for an outright purchase. With little monthly payments, you can eventually own the container.
Whatever the use for which you need a shipping container, and whatever the type of container you require, by working with a reputable container marketplace, you can easily find what you need at the best possible price.