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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.




Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: Gizmag, Bof Architekten, Inhabitat


Where Did All the Ducks Go?

On January 1992, over 29,000 rubber ducks, turtles and frogs fell from a cargo ship in the Pacific Ocean. Since then, these plastic toys have been floating around the world passing Japan, Alaska and Hawaii. Some of them have spent their years frozen in an Arctic ice pack.

Rubber ducks in a river. (source)

Over 22 years ago, a 40-foot steel shipping container was knocked down due to rough seas and huge waves. Along with several other containers, all the bath toys were knocked overboard.


Some estimates suggest that up to 10,000 containers fall into the ocean every year. The World Shipping Council, whose members represent 90% of the world’s container ship capacity, say that figure is grossly exaggerated and estimate that on average no more than 350 containers are lost annually.

Due to severe weather and high seas, accidents or incorrect stowage, there are now shipping containers littering the seabed all around the world. Many float on the surface for months, some rupture and release their goods, but most eventually sink to the bottom — creating deep-sea stepping stones between ports across the globe.

Rubber_Duck_Sea_by_whispering_hills (1)

Rubber ducks floating on water. (source)

Since the accident, oceanographer’s have tried to track all the bath toys. Only about 3% of the missing toys have been reported. It is also estimated that there are only about a few hundred items left drifting in the world’s seas. CNN has published a map that indicates where the toys have run ashore. You can see the map through this link.

Shanghai Metal Corporation also offers shipping containers for construction and housing usage. You can our containers here. Remember to like us on Facebook and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

References: CNN

The cover photo article: Sonetel’s similarity with a big rubber duck