SMC’s Top 5 container innovation

There are plenty of benefits of to the so-called shipping container architecture model. A few of these advantages include: they are plentiful, they are easily transported, they’re stackable, relatively inexpensive, they can be prefabricated, and they’re extremely durable. Residential applications are also becoming a popular topic of conversation among green supporters. This article will show how the idea’s simply do not just stop with residential projects. They can range from a container Starbucks store in the states to urban growing projects.

1. The Dordoy Bazaar in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan is almost entirely composed of empty shipping containers stacked two high creating a maze for shoppers to buy all sorts of inexpensive goods. Typically, the lower container is used as a shop, while the upper one is used for additional storage. According to a 2005 newspaper report, there were some 6,000 to 7,000 containers in the bazaar; around 20,000 people worked there (as vendors, security, service personnel).


2. The world’s first hotel built from recycled shipping containers has popped-up in Uxbridge,  West London. Each prefabricated container comes fully-equipped with fixtures, furniture, and windows from a factory in China. The company, Travelodge, states that constructing this type of  hotel 25% faster and 10% cheaper than the more traditional construction methods. Also, construction is much quicker, because all that has to be done is to fit each container together like it was a giant Lego set.


3. This award-winning office design by Clive Wilkinson is made out of stacked shipping containers is the home office of Palotta Team Works, a US charity event company. The 47,000 square foot warehouse is filled with shipping containers that have been transformed into modern office spaces. This design layout saved the company a ton of money on construction costs, and it allowed the entire space to be more open and airy.


4. The urban farm unit by Damien Chivialle is composed of a shipping container with a greenhouse built on its open roof. It helps give back the growing spaces or allotments that many cities had years ago. Organic and healthy eating is back on the menu for many families and this idea fits right into that market. The company, Urban Organic Gardener have created a simply irrigation system that makes this project affordable and sustainable.


5. Of the nearly 20,000 Starbucks stores around the world, the South Salt Lake drive-through is one of only three built with recycled shipping containers. The idea behind the change in design came from a goal to upcycle.  Alisha Damodaran, spokeswoman for Starbucks, “We use a lot of shipping containers to transport merchandise, coffee and tea all around the world,” she said. “A container has about a 20-year life span, and after that, there’s no use for them. Our design team was inspired by a desire to help keep items used throughout our supply chain, like old shipping containers, out of the waste stream.” Starbucks goes further. Stores are LEED-certified, a rating system for energy efficient buildings. In addition, the design of each store is meant to reflect its surroundings.


Shanghai Metal Corporation currently provides a variety of new shipping containers that can be custom tailored based on customer requests. We hope that these inspiring designs will encourage all to explore their own ideas for shipping container use.

If you already have an idea, but need shipping containers check out our current offerings,, www.

To view  metal and construction products as well as SMC company information check out our website: click here

—And You Can Always Join The Conversation Here—


Twitter: (@Shanghai_Metal)




Henry B.//SMC Editor



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