Floating Containers – Assistants for Navy SEALs

As shipping containers are getting more and more applications from skate parks to swimming pools, it is  becoming very obvious that we haven’t seen everything that these steel crates can do. Now they developing a different kind of shipping container system for military and maritime industry.

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing a solution that helps organizations providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief support over broad coastal areas.  DARPA’s idea is to use standardized ISO shipping containers that form a platform for emergency helicopters to land. The floating shipping container system also offers accommodation facilities for its crew.

The solution will be designed to offer assistance to navy forces by freeing military ships to carry out other military missions. Tactically Expandable Maritime Platform (TEMP) consists of core-support modules that offer all the life support needed by the crew and delivery vehicles. The delivery vehicles, Captive Air Amphibious Transporters (CAAT), utilize air-filled pontoons that make the containers float. The crew will receive its supplies via unmanned air-delivery system.

The system has been simulated at the GRASP Lab of the university of Pennsylvania where scientists have demonstrated how the containers utilize GPS to easily assemble a floating platform. It would be interesting to know if the system could be controlled by artificial intelligence distributed with every container. Such system could be implemented with flocking algorithms that makes the  containers organize independently just like a flock of birds. Bringing this technology into play could be the next innovational step towards rescuing human lives.

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As already mentioned, this ambitious project uses ordinary standardized shipping containers. We in Shanghai Metal Corporation provide those containers worldwide. Please visit our website for more information or send us an inquiry. Remember to check our social media sites Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: Inhabitat, Makezine, DARPA, Wikipedia on Flocking, Flocking Algorithms on Jouni Smed’s lecture slides, Navy Live

Shipping Container Architecture – One of Those Accidental Innovations

There is one factor that is common to shipping container houses, Coca-Cola, Play-Doh and corn flakes. Just like a falling apple whose hit made sir Isaac Newton discover his laws of physics, all of these products were also discovered unintentionally. For instance Coca-Cola was meant to be a medical remedy for headaches, but as we all know, the pharmacist John Pemberton‘s chemical experiment in 1886 became another sort of refreshment.

In today’s world’s constant pressure towards innovation,  the most valuable discoveries can simply be found by accident, experiment or even emotion. For example potato chips were invented in 1853 by an angry chef George Crum who became so sick of  customers complaining about his fried potatoes that he prepared them fried slices instead. Surprisingly the customers did like the new dish and the rest is history.

Play-Doh was discovered in 1955 by Joseph and Noah McVicker who attempted to make an ingredient for cleaning wallpapers. A year later a toy manufacturer Rainbow Crafts started marketing the product and since then, the toy with a secret recipe has sold over 700 million US dollars.

Corn Flakes were invented by accident when the Kellog brothers John and Will accidentally left a pot of boiled wheat grain on the stove for several days. The mixture turned moldy but the product that emerged was dry and thick. Next they tried it with corn so corn flakes were created.

Shipping containers were invented and patented by Malcolm McLean, a trucker who was tired of the slow process of loading cargo in wooden crates. His invention really helped industries to save shipping costs. In 1956, loose cargo cost $5.86 per ton to load, but the use of ISO shipping containers lowered the costs down to 0.16 cents.

In 1987 Philip C. Clark saw shipping containers from another perspective and filed them a US patent for converting them into habitable building. He has once said that “Shipping containers can be so much more; they could be houses, schools, entire cities!”. Later on, many companies have implemented this idea.

Shanghai Metal Corporation is a mature builder of prefabricated and container buildings. We do business worldwide and are highly motivated in serving our international clients. If you are looking for container building solution, please visit our website or just send us an inquiry and our English speaking staff will guide you further. Meanwhile please visit our social media sites.

    

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

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Pictures and original articles: It’s Coca Cola in Blogspot, ISBU, Boxman Studios, The Huffington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, Inc.com, Business Insider, How Stuff Works?, Landi’s Labyrint in Blogspot, Pixellogo, Container Home, WordPress, Eagle Coatings

Cruise Ships Resting in Container Haven

A new application for shipping containers was invented as the design companies Hombre de Piedra and  buró4 built a cruise terminal out of shipping containers in the port of Seville in 2013. The container terminal is to let the passengers of the city’s river cruises to get on and off the ships.

They only needed 45 days in total to finish the project. Installing 23 shipping containers in a 500 square meter area took only two weeks. Therefore the installation costs were not high just like the terminal’s energy production costs. The terminal is naturally ventilated and it can be easily moved if necessary. The buildings’ bioclimatic solutions also ensure that it does not get hot in the terminal during Seville’s hot summers.

What’s more, the cruise terminal is designed to fit in the surrounding environment giving this piece of cargotecture a natural touch. A dialogue with the urban environment was an important objective for the project and thereby shipping containers were an obvious choice for the building material.

The city of Seville wanted a terminal that was able to handle ships with varying number of passengers sailing on the river Guadalquivir. Thanks to the use of shipping containers, the cruise terminal is also extendable allowing the agile installation of new docking pods.

In prefabricated architecture the present trends is to use shipping containers because they offer various benefits with only limited costs. Container architecture, i.e., cargotecture is a big part of today’s sustainable architecture industry. There will be more homes, hotels ect. that will be built on this super building material. Like the cruise terminal in Seville, other cargotectural innovations will emerge.

 

Shanghai Metal Corporation welcomes businesses all over the world to purchase our internationally standardized shipping containers. Our English speaking staff in Shanghai will guide you and consult you in finding the best products for your needs. Just send us an inquiry and we will get back to you. You can also take a look at our website for further details. Please also check our social media sites Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin.

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Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: Inhabitat, Hombre de Piedra, Buro4

 

 

Container Summer Pavilions – Luxury for the Modest

Have you ever dreamed about having a summer cottage of your own? Are you considering to buy one or perhaps to build it yourself? Building a vacation house according to one’s own design sounds fantastic, but you might be worried about the costs or confused about the choice of material. Luckily, there is a solution – shipping containers!

Besides shipping goods, shipping containers are also suitable for building beautiful homes in low cost. Actually, the price of an individual 40 ft or 20ft shipping container starts from US 2000. There are at least two reasons why the price is that low.

 

First, the manufacturing process is standardized according to ISO regulations enabling businesses to put containers into mass production. Second, there is a lot of oversupply of containers. According to some statistics, nearly 10,000 units sink annually in the world’s seas and thousands will be abandoned after their first use (read more about a case).

Building out of recycled shipping containers is as good as using totally new ones, and it is also cheaper. Shipping containers are meant to last for ages and tolerate extreme weather conditions in the oceans.  Therefore besides low-cost, shipping containers are also durable and can be considered as a form of sustainable building. Containers are so durable that they can even be converted into shelters for natural disasters.

What’s more, shipping containers come with unlimited design opportunities. The door solutions of shipping containers come in many forms and open-top containers can be transformed into swimming pools. Thanks to the pillars in their four corners, containers can be piled into a complexes of your desire. There are great examples of homes, hotels and stores that show container’s great architectural design. The container city in Mexico is know also for its visual design.

Inspiration for building an own container summer pavilion can be found in the container summer house competition organized by AC-CA. The pictures of these articles include representatives of the best contestant of the competition.

Besides vision and desire, you also will need the material. We in Shanghai Metal Corporation have a long history of providing standardized shipping containers for our international clients. We also have prefabricated container villa solutions that we ship  worldwide. For more details about our products, please visit our website or send us an inquiry.

    

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: Bustler, Bustler, Competitiononline, AC-CA, Wikipedia on Shipping Container Architecture

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Shipping Container Hospitals – The Future of Saving Lives

Shipping containers can be transformed into mobile hospitals just like they can be transformed into offices, homes, hotels, theaters, nightclubs, shelters, stores or swimming pools. Because of their modularity and availability, shipping container hospitals can become true life savers in the future.

Emergency-Hospital-Container

 

Container hospitals have been already set up all over the world. For instance, container clinics were needed when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti in 2010 and a large part of the Grace Children’s hospital in the capital Port-au-Prince was demolished. Help was offered by a Massachusetts based company Containers2Clinic that send their 8 X 20 feet container to the  island to compensate the great infrastructural loss of the local hospital. (source)

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The first shipping container clinics were invented by Michael Wawrzewski who designed the concept of Clinics in a Can in 2005. Wawrzewski was also nominated as the AAPA‘s 2005 Physician Assistant of the year for his work in developing quality, cost-effective and accessible health-care. His first clinic was assembled in Kansas and shipped to Haiti on July 2005. (source)

An example of combining health care and great design is shown by an Indonesian firm DPavilion Architects has utilized the country’s rich resource base of shipping containers and built The Contertainer, a shipping container health clinic and a library in the island of Jawa. The shipping container complex is meant to provide better quality of life for those who have little money.

Shipping containers are built according to international ISO standards and designed to be stacked and piled up in a container ship. They have also made from durable steel in order enhance their use time and to be able to handle rough weather. As the example of The Contertainer shows, even the exterior design of the mobile clinics is not limited the original appearance of containers.

Container hospitals are the future of health care. For people in areas of low income and weak availability of health care services, setting up a pop-up clinic can be a life saver. Even in urban areas or peripheries patients do not necessarily have to be transported long distances in an ambulance because these pop-up hospitals can be placed almost anywhere. For nonprofits such as Unicef or Red Cross this solution is a must. Investing in setting up a container clinic to underdeveloped areas is a great way for businesses to show their corporate social responsibility.

Shipping containers can be purchased from Shanghai Metal Corporation. We have a large variety of shipping containers and we are also specialized shipping container prefabricated construction projects. For any details please visit our website. Please also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: Marine Insight, Inhabitat, Popular Mechanics, Hospitals of Hope, Inhabitat, Get Simple Box, Container Living,  Clinic in a Can

An Antarctic Prefab Shows the True Potential of Shipping Containers

India’s National Center for Antarctic and Ocean Research is situated in northeast Antarctica. The Bharati Indian Polar Station is built on an 27,000 square feet area out of 134 shipping containers. The research center’s residential quarters shows almost everything that can be built out of shipping containers including an hotel of 24 single and double bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, library, fitness room, offices, a lounge and an operational theater.

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There are at least two reasons why the research complex was built by using shipping containers. First, according to the Antarctic Treaty System, all the construction in the Antarctica should not leave any trace to the environment. Shipping containers make it possible to dissassemble and remove the building without causing any environmental impact.

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Second, due to shipping containers’ physical properties and their durability, they are an excellent building material for extreme weather conditions. Shipping containers are designed to be shipped even in a rough weather in the world’s seas. Therefore they can even handle the wind gusts of 200 mph and the temperatures of -40 C of the Antarctica.

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The shipping container complex was prefabricated in Germany and shipped to Antwerp and Cape Town. In Antarctica the research center was able to be assembled quickly. The facade of the center was designed to forestall the buildups of snow drifts.

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Thanks to the German company Bof Architekten, the center can accommodate 47 researchers during summers and 24 during winters. The energy of the center is provided by a Combined Heat and Power Unit (CHP) which is powered by stockpiles of kerosene. There are actually a total of three CHP units on site, so as to ensure that an untimely mechanical failure does not leave the residents in dire straits.

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Shipping containers and shipping container architecture are one of Shanghai Metal Corporation‘s largest businesses. Our containers are built to last according to international standards. In order to learn more about our products and services, please visit our websites on containers and container projects. Please also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Try also scanning our QR code with your smart phone, tablet or phablet.

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Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: Gizmag, Bof Architekten, Inhabitat

Better Education Obtained in Container Schools

Today shipping containers are used to build apartments, hotels, stores and saunas to name but a few. But why does it make sense to build schools out of containers?

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The first reason is that especially old wooden school buildings are likely to have mold issues that may cause severe health risks. For example an article of a Finnish science magazine Tiede states that every second school in Finland has mold issues (source). Students are therefore either forced to stay in their mold school or move to another school. Container schools could be installed in relatively short time and with relatively low costs.

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The second reason can be studied from Samsung. In 2012, the South Korean electronics chaebol established a shipping container school in the South African village of Phomolong as a part of its corporate-social responsibility program. The school offers its 21 students premium education facilities with solar powered electricity system and notebooks, an Internet connection and Samsung Galaxy tablets. (source)

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In Orange County California, creative architects had an over three months projects of expanding the Waldorf School in Costa Mesa by using shipping containers. It took 99 days to build four buildings out of 32 shipping containers. The eco-friendly construction project cost two million US dollars which was estimated of being 10-20 percent cheaper than an “old-school” building project. Also it would have most likely taken more time than 99 days to finish by using other material than shipping containers.

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There are many types of internationally standardized shipping containers. Some have an open top and some can be opened from the sides. Thereby it gives designers limitless opportunities to develop mobile education facilities. In order to solve mold related problems or take education to less developed areas, governments, nonprofit organizations and companies’ CSR managers should look for containerized education solutions.

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Shanghai Metal Corporation is a proud provider of shipping containers. Our wide variety of container products can be seen in our website http://www.smccontainer.com. We hope that you also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. You can also try our new mobile application by scanning the QR code below.

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Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: Tiede magazine, Cnet, The Volt Report, Arch Daily, Wintech Modular Buildings, Lion Containers, Design Boom

All Aboard for the Maersk and MSC VSA

It has just been announced that a new 10 year Vessel Sharing Agreement has been formed on the Asia-Europe, Transatlantic and Transpacific trades. This  new agreement will replace all existing VSAs and slot purchase agreements that Maersk Line has in these trades.begegnungsverkehr_zweier_grosscontainerschiffe_auf_der_elbe_copyright_hhm_0The VSA will include 185 vessels, with Maersk contributing 100 with an estimated capacity of 2.1m TEU with the overall purpose of the cooperation to share infrastructure. The pair believe they will be able to provide more stable and frequent services as well as cover more ports with direct services. MK-CN738_MAERSK_G_20140710132403The agreement follows the collapse of the P3 alliance between Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM, which fell through in June when Chinese competition authorities refused to sanction the deal. A spokes person from Maersk states,  the new agreement differs from P3 in two key ways: the combined market share is much smaller and it will be a pure vessel sharing agreement.

Unlike the P3 alliance, this agreement isn’t expected to encounter regulatory opposition because it is narrower in scope, even though it also extends to trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific as well as Asia-Europe routes. China’s antitrust authorities ended the P3 deal last month as many Chinese and smaller shipping companies felt they would be squeezed out of key routes. Had the agreement gone ahead, it likely would have saved each of the three partners close to $1 billion in annual costs. The P3 alliance would have controlled close to 40% of cargo shipped from Asia to Europe. It is unclear yet how much cargo the 2M tie-up will account for. It will, however, help secure their finical situation and help reduce the ever increasing cost of transportation for traders. It would be wise now to move to buy or lease some containers in order to make sure you capitalize on this development.

imagesSuch partnerships are common in the industry. In 2011, six container-shipping lines created the G6 Alliance, one of the largest vessel networks linking the Far East to Europe. And the CKYH Alliance, which was formed in 2002, includes Japan’s Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. , China’s Cosco Container Lines, Taiwan’sYang Ming Marine Transport Corp.  and South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Co.

Shanghai Metal Corporation currently provides a variety of new shipping containers that can be custom tailored based on customer requests. We hope that this article 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, click here

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Here are 6 Fascinating Facts on the Container Shipping Industry, a.k.a. the “Invisible Industry”:

  1. Shipping is the “greenest” mass transport
  2. Almost 90 % of everything we buy arrives via ship
  3. An estimated 17 million shipping containers are currently floating around the world
  4. About 10,000 shipping containers get lost at sea every year
  5. About 97% of all dry freight shipping containers have been manufactured in China.
  6. The annual travel distance of a regular container ship is equivalent to 75% of the distance to the moon and back.

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