Uses and Benefits of Shipping Containers on Construction Sites

Construction Site Containers

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Shipping containers are more than just for shipping products worldwide. In the 1980s, many construction companies began utilizing containers on their job sites for a variety of reasons.

Many companies use these portable storage containers to store their tools and for safe office space. If you’re considering adding a shipping container or two to your construction site, consider all the ways you can use them and what the benefits are of having them.

Popular Uses for Shipping Containers on Construction Sites

Nowadays, you can equip your shipping containers with lights, shelves, and other things to make them feel less like a shipping container. If you’re unsure of how you would use a shipping construction site container at your job site, here are a few of the most popular uses for them.

1. Storage Container


One of the more obvious uses for shipping containers on construction sites is to use them as storage containers.

You can use these containers to store any tools and equipment your construction crew uses on the site. Keeping tools and equipment stored in one place can help prevent unintentional injury on the job and loss of equipment.

2. A Safe Break Room

Working outside can take its toll on construction workers. Whether it be a scorching hot day, a cold one, or even a rainy one, having a safe space where employees can take a break is necessary.

It may not have all the bells and whistles of a corporate break room, but it can provide construction workers a shelter to get out of the elements while eating their lunch or taking a quick break.

Many shipping containers can be equipped with bathrooms now to make them more comfortable for construction site employees.

3. An Office Space


Most construction sites need at least one office space where the project manager works and where employees can gather for meetings and review plans.

Utilizing a shipping container for office space is perfect for having onsite office space. You can equip these containers with desks, shelves, tables, and chairs so that you can professionally gather employees and discuss milestones and plans.

Shipping containers can also be climate controlled, so you can have a great workplace rather than out in the elements.

Buying vs. Renting Portable Storage Containers

buy or rent

The first step after deciding you want to have shipping containers at your construction site is to determine if you should buy or rent. There are pros and cons to both options, and the best one for you will depend on several factors.

Pros of Buying

The most significant benefit of buying shipping containers is that you own them. You can do with them as you will. Any changes you would like to make are at your discretion.

Another benefit of buying a container is that you’ll only be making a one-time payment when you initially purchase the product.

Pros of Renting

If you’re only going to need a shipping container or two for a couple of months, renting gives you that option without having to commit fully. Many rental companies offer containers that come fully equipped with all amenities you want.

These companies may offer containers with bathrooms, electricity, and climate control. You can rent one without having to worry about upgrading anything yourself.

Cons of Buying

When you purchase a shipping container to hold onto it for years and suddenly something changes, reselling it can be a hassle. Owning the container leaves you responsible for getting rid of it once you no longer need it.

Cons of Renting

When you rent a shipping container, you may not be allowed to make the upgrades you want. If the container you rent doesn’t come with electricity and you need that, you may not be allowed to make drastic changes.

Cost Associated With Buying vs. Renting

Costs will vary depending on whether you buy or rent a shipping container. Depending on who you’re renting or buying from will change the price as well. Some containers will cost you anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand, depending on their size and condition.

Renting will only be more cost-effective for you if you’re only planning on needing the container for less than a year.

When you buy a shipping container, you’re going to be paying a one-time fee, whereas when you rent, you may be making monthly or quarterly payments.

Some companies do charge delivery and pick-up fees which vary. With renting, you’ll be charged a delivery fee and then a pick-up fee whenever your rental agreement is up.

When buying, you should only be charged a delivery fee since you won’t need the company to retrieve it.

Resources Where You Can Buy or Rent Shipping Containers

There are many places to rent or buy containers online. One great place to look at a variety of sizes for rent is American Trailer Rentals. A resource where you can purchase shipping containers is Conex Depot.


We’re here to answer some commonly asked questions about shipping containers.

What Are The Types of Containers?

Shipping containers are more than meets the eye. These are some of the different types of containers you can rent and buy:

  • Dry storage
  • Open top
  • Tunnel
  • Open side
  • Double door
  • Refrigerated
  • Insulated
  • Cargo
  • Half-height
  • Car carriers
  • Can You Put a Shipping Container in Your Backyard?

    Depending on where you live, you can as long as it fits within your property line. However, keep in mind that some cities and states require permits which can be a hassle to obtain.

    Do You Need Planning Permission To Site a Container?

    Typically you won’t need planning permission to site a container. It’s best to check with your local authority to be sure.

    How Much Is a Container for a Container Home?

    The price for a container home will vary on the size you’re looking for. For smaller containers, it can be around $1,400 and then up to $10,000 for larger containers.


    These are just a few ways to utilize the containers for your workspace. Whether you choose to rent or buy, adding a shipping container to your worksite can be beneficial.

    Ryan Stetson

    Ryan Stetson

    Currently own two 20' and 40' containers converted into an office/workshop. Having worked in the shipping industry for 6 years, my goal is to share my personal experiences as well as connect potential container buyers with suppliers around the US.

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