While it is common to see shipping containers as railroad cargo or stacked by the thousands at shipping yards, the industrial storage devices serve many other purposes. You can rent or purchase standard shipping containers that are insulated, temperature-controlled and have open or closed tops and sides. These features make containers ideal for creatively showcasing your products or providing solutions to storage challenges. The following list outlines some of the most imaginative and practical ways to utilize shipping containers.
In recent years, pop-up shops have become all the rage in urban areas as a way for retailers to set up temporary stores in high-traffic areas or at fairs and conventions. Global brands and local mom and pop businesses use shipping containers to house the temporary stores and entice new customers with a flash retail effort.
Some of the most popular pop-up shops include HBO's temporary digs in Las Vegas, London and other cities selling items from its wildly popular show "Game of Thrones." The temporary storefronts provide the multimedia conglomerate with an easy way to have a local presence and promote new seasons by selling show paraphernalia and even medieval-era food featured in the show.
But even small businesses including art galleries and restaurants are taking advantage of the pop up shop craze to rent containers and sell wares when they do not have a traditional brick and mortar commercial space. In fact, a temporary pop-up shops do $2 billion in sales during the end-of-the-year holiday season. For some small retailers, the lift in profits and exposure to holiday shoppers makes investing in temporary quarters like shipping containers well worth the cost.
Office Space And Workshops
When your business is expanding or you are building a new facility, shipping containers are great for temporary or even permanent offices and workshops. You can rent containers that come with portable heating and air conditioning systems and are ready to be wired for electricity and Internet access.
In addition, some shipping container suppliers can provide custom modifications to containers including:
- Windows with security bars
- Electrical panels and wall outlets
- Single or double doors with deadbolt locks
- Painted exteriors and interiors
- Wood paneling and space dividers
- Overhead lights
- Finished flooring
- Shelving systems
Long-Term And Short-Term Storage
If you run out of warehouse space, you can rent shipping containers to house equipment, merchandise, archives and perishable goods. Refrigerated containers are ideal for storage or travel. They enable you to store delicate, temperature-sensitive equipment or cargo that needs be kept below freezing.
The electric cooling systems of containers will keep your possessions safe while traveling by rail, water or sitting on your lot for several months. In addition, because containers are not permanent structures, you may not need a building permit to add one to commercial real estate. However, be sure to check with municipal regulations before planning to move a container for an extended period to your property.
Moving Products Overseas
Shipping your goods with overseas air delivery services can be an expensive endeavor. Furthermore, you have no control over how your merchandise is arranged on a plane or exactly where it will take off and land.
However, you if work with a container shipping service to deliver large amounts of merchandise, you can choose the size of your container so you can plan exactly how much cargo you can fit into one unit. You can rent small 20-foot containers or huge 45-foot containers for large items.
If you are a small business, you can also share container space with other businesses if you do not need to rent an entire unit on your own. In addition, some shipping container firms can help you navigate international shipping rules and restrictions so your goods do not get turned away at the border due to paperwork errors.
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