The Many Architectural Applications of Shipping Containers vol. 1

There are many ways how to use shipping containers to create affordable and sufficient real estate for housing or business use. In these series of blogs we will briefly discuss some of them. The volume one takes you to container homes, hotels, and retail outlets.

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The benefits of container homes have been recognized worldwide. For instance, in Finland, container housing is becoming a great solution for offering affordable student homes.

This is the woodland cottage of your dreams.

One of the benefits of shipping containers is their modularity. Containers are like Lego blocks. You can pile them up and thereby even create a multiple floor or a multiple wing mansion. Still, sometimes only one container is enough for building a home.

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A container hotel system is a new trend to take the hotel business closer to a specific clientele. Besides, the hotel solutions are made for luxury consumers offering them a wonderful experience. For example an UK company Snoozebox offers portable hotel services to any location or any events. The portable lodge has 40-400 rooms and each room has a flat screen and a Wifi.

adidas shipping container pop up Boston Marathon Boxman Studios 13 adidas shipping container pop up at Boston Marathon, by Boxman Studios

Conventional retailing includes setting up a store in a fixed location and paying the rent for the use of the real estate. Modern retailing on the other hand, is mobile, meaning that instead of waiting for the customers to come to you, you will be able to easily relocate your business closer to your customers. This simple procedure is going mainstream and it can only be done with shipping containers.

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If one already has an online retail business, it can be easily expanded offline with shipping containers and create a combined retail infrastructure that has all the advantages of both online and offline retailing.

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Shanghai Metal Corporation  sells shipping containers internationally. We also make prefabricated shipping container housing and office solutions. Please visit our website on containers and container buildings for detailed descriptions. Follow us also on these social media platforms.

    

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Sources: See our articles on container homes, hotels, and retail outlets.

Continue to chapter 2

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Can Container Pop-up Shops Challenge e-Commerce?

E-commerce enables new innovative retailers to a start a business with a relatively small initial capital. As it is easy for new businesses to emerge and new products to be offered with affordable prices, e-commerce can benefit the sellers, buyers and societies. Still, the advantages of traditional retailing exist and, luckily, the cost-related disadvantages might  be diminished with the use of shipping containers.

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The use of shipping containers in retail real estate can break most of the disadvantages related to traditional retailing. By default traditional retailing suffers from high fixed costs, long leases, expensive rates and inflexible terms to name but a few. Also, as setting up a store takes forever, the costs tend to add up. Even though shipping containers are not originally designed to be used as real estate, they still are the most optimal solution.

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Shipping containers are designed to be shipped in extreme weather conditions in rough seas. Therefore they offer the best protection towards any weather, even against hurricanes. They are built of durable material and are sized according to international standards. Therefore they are also modular and stackable allowing retailers to compile a retail center according to her own taste in a very short time period. Even a shopping mall can be built in three to four months from scratch. Containers are also affordable, say, a used container may be sold by about US$1000.

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E-commerce can not fight back traditional commerce in certain areas. Security issues are always on top when establishing an online store. Possible credit card frauds might scare the customers away which forces businesses to invest a lot of money to buy expensive information security services and develop a a secure payment infrastructure. Also it is very likely that an online retailer might suffer major goodwill losses as customers become disappointed when the received products do not match with the products viewed online.

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Containers shops as a form of traditional commerce enable face-to-face communication with customers and thereby better possibilities to create mutual trust between sellers and buyers. It will also be possible for sellers to present more expensive alternatives and thereby collect bigger profits. Container shops are not also tied to a fixed location but can be relocated many times.

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By default, container shops can not get to the same cost category with e-commerce. Nevertheless, in a long term even maintaining an online store raises its maintenance costs and online retailers will be forced to start reaching for the advantages gained only via traditional commerce. The good thing is that, one is not forced to choose only one option. One can have them both, and create a combined retail infrastructure that has all the advantages of both online and offline retailing.

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The suggested hybrid solution can only be implemented with shipping containers. Shanghai Metal Corporation has a long experience in offering shipping containers for the use of housing, hotels and offices. To learn more about our container solutions and how to order, please view our website. Please also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. You can also download our new mobile application by scanning the QR code below.

SMC QR#BuildingValueAcrossTheGlobe

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: Wikipedia, Academia.edu, Treehugger.com, Dutchcorner, Stumuxlow, Remodelista, Archdaily, WordPress, Peggychow.com, Tourismtrends