Here at Unit Hire we think that shipping containers are massively underestimated. Most people assume that containers have little use beyond simply storing goods, equipment or shipping cargo overseas. However, this is simply not the case. There are a number of unique ways to use shipping containers beyond the basic tasks they were designed for.nnWe offer a variety of container conversion services that allow you to let your imagination run wild and come up with one-of-a-kind ways to use these units. Today we’re delivering you some inspiration for your very own storage unit project. From classrooms to pop-up bars, there’s a great number of reasons to look into getting yourself a shipping container for your next project.n
nIn less economically developed countries, many charities have begun a process of converting shipping containers into classrooms. Large containers with access to generators or solar power are ideal for rural, impoverished communities without access to permanent school buildings. One amazing example of this is the Digitrucks, a project by charity Close The Gap. The Digitrucks are portable shipping containers that utilise solar power to bring fully-equipped IT classrooms to rural communities in Tanzania, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.nnContainer classrooms are not only utilised for charitable purposes in poorer communities. In fact, here in the UK they have been used by schools looking for a cheaper, environmentally friendly alternative to standard school buildings. Many state schools in the UK have seen better days, so whether containers are chosen as temporary classrooms while school buildings are refurbished, or if they’re installed as permanent fixtures of the school landscape – there can be little doubt that they have the capacity to be incredibly useful.n
nStorage containers are also a great choice for small business owners looking for a more unique base to work from. Projects such as Pop Brixton and the Boxparks in Shoreditch, Wembley and Croydon emphasise the way that shipping containers are growing as a popular medium for cool, hipster retail areas. They’re the perfect size for a pop up shop, and with the endless customisation options available, are great for those looking to have their business stand out from the crowd.nnAside from simply looking cool and unique, there are even more reasons to invest in a shipping container for your next retail venture. One factor to remember is that shipping containers are designed to be incredibly secure and vandal-proof. This means that once you lock up after a long day’s work, you can be comfortable knowing that your business – and everything left inside – will be safe. Furthermore, they’re perfect for growing and expanding as your business grows. Shipping containers can be stacked and put together, giving your business more room to expand when necessary.n
nContainer restaurants are another steadily growing business trend, booming in popularity for similar reasons as container-based shops. Much like other small businesses based out of shipping containers, these restaurants have found their place in up-and-coming hip neighbourhoods from London to New York. nnHowever, unlike many shop owners, the main draw of containers for restauranteurs is perhaps the portability factor. Running a restaurant from a container is not only a unique way of branding your business, but also a great concept for those looking to move around. Whether you’re intending on working private functions, music festivals or any other events that need catering, shipping containers are portable enough for you to bring your entire restaurant to the people. Shipping containers may be the future of restaurants and, as a way to maximise your business’ potential on a budget, it’s no surprise.n
nWe’ve seen how storage containers can be ideal for small business owners, restaurateurs and even schools – but have you ever considered living in one? Without a doubt, the most unique and interesting way that shipping containers are used today is by those who choose to live in them. nnBut why would you build a house out of shipping containers?nnAs we’ve already mentioned, they’re incredibly secure, but also very affordable. This is great news for the DIY-minded, as shipping containers are a lot cheaper than usual home building materials. Furthermore, they are stackable and easily made modular, making them easy to put together as a first project for aspiring home designers.nnChances are that if you’ve decided to construct your own home, you’re pretty creative. Again, shipping containers are ideal for particularly creative designers due to their highly customisable features; you’ll be able to express yourself in your new home, both inside and out.nnFinally, container homes are often built by environment-conscious architects and designers. Thanks to the durability and reusability of storage containers, they make fantastic eco-homes for those looking to recycle used materials.nn nnFeel free to get in touch with the friendly Unit Hire team to discuss your own bespoke shipping container ideas or read our blog on the uses of storage containers here.