The Sharing Economy

In today’s society where the pressure of environmental sustainability is growing, the problems of overproduction and overconsumption are becoming more and more important. To answer this problem, a new system of economy begins to appear : “The Sharing Economy”, also called “The Collaborative Economy”.  Just like what it is called, this system is all about sharing goods and services between different people and organisations. In other words, rather than owning a product or service, you give other people access to it and share it. This sharing system has different category of example. Let us take you to discover some of the famous one.

Real Estate

Home Exchange

You’d like to go for vacation but your budget is limited. Fortunately there is new way to find a cheap accommodation ! The Home Exchange system allows you to swap your home for a set period of time, with no monetary exchange ! Plus there is the internet that has made the process of finding a swap easier.

Barter

Barter is a system of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money.

The “Clothing Swap” is THE magical solution for those who love experiencing with new looks ! You can exchange your no-longer used clothing for clothing that you’d love to have.

Transportation

Carsharing

This system is very convenient for those who only need an occasional use of vehicle, as well as others who would love to get a taste of a new and different type of car.

Bicycle Sharing System

This service lets people to borrow a bike from a bicycle station and return it to any other stations located in the city. This system are often inexpensive, which encourages their use as transportation. Many systems have a smartphone mapping apps which shows how how many bikes and how many open parking are available at each station, increasing convenience for users.

Shanghai Metal Corporation has a vast range of bicycle dock. We offer personalized service and can accomodate any number of parking place in one bicycle dock. Every product that we provide is rust resistant, weather resistant, and theft-proof. To learn more, please visit our website or send us your inquiry. Our English speaking staff will guide you to find your wanted product with the best quality and price. Don’t forget to follow us on Social Media.

For more information : Wikipedia
Pictures from : Google Image

    

Ayu P.//SMC editor

 

The Container Shops of Alluring Asian Beauties

In our previous articles, we have discussed how shipping containers can be turned into convenient mobile pop-up stores. Container shops have already been applied all over the world. At least, this peculiar example from Taiwan gives some evidence to that theory.

In Taiwan there is a unique business concept of selling paans. They are betel nuts wrapped in a betel leaf that together make a powerful drug that gives energy boosts like caffeine. It is also a very dangerous drug that causes oral cancer. It is mostly used by truck drivers to stay awake during night shifts. Selling betel nuts is only allowed outside the capital Taipei.

The vendors of betel nuts are young local girls that sell them from small glazed kiosks. In order to attract drivers along the road, the girls wear revealing clothes. The transactions take place outside the kiosk letting the drivers stay in their cars.

A Polish architectural photographer Magda Biernat discovered a set of scattered shipping container betel nut stores when she visited Taiwan with his husband. During her journey she compiled a set of images that were displayed in her exhibition, “The Betel Nut Beauties”. (via Inhabitat)

Even though we might have negative opinions about the ethics of this business, it won’t deny the fact how shipping containers success in constantly defining new business concepts. This story also shows how fully operational real estate can be built in an environmentally friendly way by using abandoned materials.

Shanghai Metal Corporation is experienced provider of shipping containers. Our large variety of containers ensures that you will find the best product for you. We also offer prefabricated container buildings for office spaces and housing. Check our websites for detailed specifications or send us questions through this form. Visit also our social media platforms.

    

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: Inhabitat, CNN, Wikipedia

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

Please use the the social media boxes below to SHARE this article to reach all the friends of shipping container architecture everywhere.

In Container Homes Winter Is Always Outside

Shipping containers are a superior building material and the mainstream for affordable housing. As a form of prefabricated construction, shipping containers houses can to huge extent be built elsewhere than in their final destination. In order for shipping containers to become livable homes, they need a makeover including a proper insulation.

Shipping containers are usually described as an optimum construction material for areas with relatively high temperatures. The reason is that there are well know techniques on how make shipping container houses naturally ventilated. For instance the shipping container cruise terminal in Seville is designed to resist high temperatures during hot summers.

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Shipping containers are also suitable for places where winters are long and cold, and where it snows a lot. Originally shipping containers were designed to resist rough weather in the seas during shipping and therefore shipping containers later became an excellent building material. It seems that shipping container architecture was invented like Coca-Cola – by accident.

There are examples of shipping container winter homes that are suitable for Northern countries such as Northern USA, Canada, Finland and other Nordic countries.  For instance an American real estate agent Jeffrey White is transforming shipping containers into affordable and eco-friendly homes for low-income families in Salt Lake City. Each home is made out of two shipping containers, and the whole projects costs 120,000 dollars including the land they sit on. (source)

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In order to build beautiful homes like these, the shipping containers need to be enforced with proper insulation. In Shanghai Metal Corporation we sell both shipping containers and highly moisture resistant glass wool for insulation.  Our prefabricated container homes come with polystyrene foam insulation. If you are building affordable homes we will gladly offer you all the material. Just send us an inquiry and our English speaking staff will contact you. Meanwhile please visit our social media sites for future updates.

    

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: The Fair Verona, Jetson Green, Small Cabin Plans, Tiny House Blog, Inhabitat

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Living on the Edge of a Floating House

In today’s world people are taking construction business the dew dimensions. The ultimate extremes seem to be in space and underwater but another setting of prefab architecture is on the surface of water.

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The world has many examples of beautiful floating architecture. A floating house has basically two features that are superior compared to their on-the-ground counterparts.

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First, floating houses offer safety in areas suffering from floods. An article on BBC tells about an idea of floating houses saving people from UK’s floods. Besides residence, also school buildings have been converted into floatable forms. The concept of floating school buildings has already been applied in Nigeria.

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Second, a floating building also operates as a transportation method. An example has been set in Finland, where sauna rafts have become a sort of a summer trend. Sauna rafts are basically rafts that are equipped with motor engines that move the raft in a moderate speed. Inhabitat has written more about the design of Finnish sauna rafts that also include a patio and hammocks. Formerly Shanghai Metal Corporation wrote an article about container saunas and container swimming pools, but this solution has both of them in one package.

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For construction businesses the environment brings challenges as we’ve seen in case of floating architecture. In large major projects it’s the pioneers of the business who define the standards for quality. Shanghai Metal Corporation is one of them, not only because of the width of its business that encompasses prefab building, containers and steel building but also due its success in executing successful projects including some of the largest steel bridges in China.

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For information about our construction projects, please visit our website. Please also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: BBC, The Huffington Post, Inhabitat, Inhabitat, Inhabitat, Inhabitat, Inhabitat

The Cliff House Defines the New Extreme of Prefab Architecture

An Australian Company Modscape has come up with a design of a five story building clinging to the side of a cliff in southwest Victoria Australia. The Cliff House resembles the house of the Marvel comics character, the Ironman Tony Stark.

tony starkThe real life Ironman house is equipped with a carport, a living room, kitchen, an open-air spa, BBQ room, three bedrooms with one having an en suit bathroom and a larger bathroom. The only entrance of the cliff house is at the top floor from where an elevator or stairs take the residents to every prefabricated level.

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 At the lowest floor, the home opens up to another outdoor space, which seems to float above the water. Patio furniture, an outdoor kitchen and a jacuzzi tub extend the luxurious feeling of being above the ocean. The minimized amount of furniture emphasizes the connection to the ocean and the horizon.

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The Cliff House’s design is inspired by how barnacles cling to the hull of a ship. Like barnacles, the house is anchored to a cliff by steel pins. The house works as a natural extension to the cliff bringing an absolute connection with the beautiful ocean.

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Perhaps some people would hesitate about coastal erosion and how it affects the house’s steel fasteners. Fortunately, the former president of the Royal Institute of British Architects Maxwell Hutchinson has said in BBC’s interview that there is no reason why the design should not be structurally sound. Cantilever beams drilled into the rock could support the building just as crampons support a climber. Hutchinson also mentions that the building costs might become high because the people in the industry tend to dislike everything unusual.(source)

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Shanghai Metal Corporation is also an experienced builder of prefabricated homes. We offer modular houses, hotels, villas and offices. Please visit our website for more information. Please also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Try also our mobile application by scanning the QR code below.

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Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: Business InsiderBBC, Gizmag, Comicvine, Inhabitat

Party in a Box! Going Wild in Container Night Clubs!

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Shipping Containers are designed to transport freight in rough weather conditions for long distances. They are also all built according one international standard, so that the loading of container ships can be optimized. Later on, their structure inspired architects to design modular houses and now containers are used also e.g. as hotels, stores and offices. Now they are also building night clubs out of containers.

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Shipping containers have strong foundations on each of four corners. The foundations enable stacking and piling them into huge real estate complexes. A Singaporean company Venue VBox is using this feature to build mobile discotheques out of containers.

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The company’s “Night Box” pop-up nightclub is a container systems that can hold 500 people. Such systems are applied also in other countries. For instance New Orleans’ 2009 and 2010 Voodoo Music experience event has had VIP lounges made of shipping containers. It has been more common for businesses to open a temporary bar for crowded events by using a single container. Used containers cost between US 1000 and 2000. The price, mobility and overall attractiveness makes containers a great solution for arranging mobile parties.

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Such internationally standardized containers can be purchased from Shanghai Metal Corporation. We offer basic containers, open-top containers and refrigerated containers to name but a few. More information can be found in our website. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. We have also launched a mobile application that you can download by scanning the QR code below.

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Tuomas P.// SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles:  Trendhunter.com, Rocknrollproblems.wordpress.com, Intra-plus.com, Shipping Container Architecture on Wikipedia

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.

containerForECommerce

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.

stumux

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.

remodelista

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.

puma

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.

uniqlo_container_shop

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.

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Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

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

Container Shops – The New Hot Trend in Modern Retailing!

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. Boxman Studios have listed some benefits of container stores.

Wherever there is a container pop-up store there is always crowd, there is no question about that. This phenomenon has been proven by various consumer brands including Nike that “just did it” and designed a shipping container to reach its lacrosse market, making 38 stops in 52 days across the U.S. You can read the whole story in Box Man Studios’s article.

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Another reason why container pop-up stores attract consumers is that they are equipped with electricity generators that can be used to set up Wi-Fi hotspots. While surfing online they can also admire ads on containers’ vertically extended walls and perhaps scan your company’s QR code with WeChat.

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What’s more, container pop-up stores are 100 % customizable. Containers come with various kinds of door solutions, letting companies customize to pop-up stores according to their brands.

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

Adidas also executed a successful pop-up campaign in 2012’s Boston Maraton where it attracted many people among 27,000 runners. The German sports brand also showed its creativity by bringing  a shoe box shaped container store to Chicago’s Lollapalooza music festival in 2010.

lacoste LIVE shipping container pop-up shop at coachella

Especially clothing companies are going for pop-up retailing. Besides Nike and Adidas, also Lacoste and Uniqlo have had their container shops to visit California and New York.

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Generator enabled and refrigerated containers have also made it possible for restaurant businesses to step in the pop-up business. During the construction of the new World Trade Center in New York City, the fast food chain Subway offered the workers an exclusive Subway store consisting of three stacked containers moved higher and higher up the building as the building grew. Starbucks has also opened some innovative drive-thru container stores across the U.S.

Shanghai Metal Corporation is a proud provider of shipping containers that can be used as homes, hotels, offices or pop-up shops. Our website offers a detailed description of our containers and container houses. Besides visiting our site, please also remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Please also try our new mobile application by scanning our QR code with your tablet or mobile phone.

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Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: Illy pop-up café in Melbourne, Archiexpo.com, Retaildesignblog.net, Designboom.com, ContainerTech.com, Starbucks newsroom, Boxman Studios, Eventmarketer.com