Considering the environment, as well as the ease of mobile delivery and construction, with the right building materials, your organization could be equipped with the means to carry out its services from within a durable, secure, and climate-controlled steel shipping container that doesn’t blow the budget.
What are Shipping Container Offices?
Shipping container offices are storage containers that have been designed and constructed to host a convenient office space for your business.
They are also used to provide additional space for growing businesses who need an affordable interim solution for their employees, are used on construction sites to lend builders an easy and mobile office site with a roof over their heads, and are also used to serve as an interim office space in times of renovations and emergencies.
Today, shipping container offices are becoming a much more convenient solution compared to traditional building and construction woes.
Their durable design, eco-friendly features, affordability, ease of being re-located, durable resistance to harsh weather, and their environmentally friendly impact on our planet, makes a shipping container office space a valuable way to lead your company into its future.
What are the Costs of Shipping Container Offices?
Based on our research, you can expect that your modular office container will cost roughly around US$16,000 if you go the DIY route and around US$40,000 if you go through a builder, depending on your container size requirements and any modifications including walls, windows, doors, electricity, and plumbing.
A big chunk of this will also depend on whether you choose a new shipping container or are happy with the more sustainable option of a used shipping container for your office space.
The prices of storage containers differ depending on their dimensions, the type of container, and their wear and tear condition. This also applies to shipping containers that are being used for more than just a great storage solution, such as container offices.
Here are the types of containers you can purchase to customize and build your container office project and their approximate price range:
One-trip containers are basically as new as new gets as these cargo containers have only traveled once before being sold. The wear and tear damages will be minimal if any, and the cost of these types of containers will be more than other older containers.
- 10ft – Between US$3,000 and US$5,000
- 20ft – Between US$3,500 and US$7,000
- 40ft – 40ft containers are made by request and as such are a pricier option than other containers. New 40ft containers can cost up to US$9,000.
Wind and Water Tight
Wind and water-tight (WWT) containers are not able to travel long international distances by sea vessels unless they are also classed as cargo worthy.
They are guaranteed by the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC) to be wind and watertight and have no leaks but are generally older shipping containers, ranging between 10-15 years old, that have some cosmetic wear and tear damages.
As you can expect, a WWT container will need more materials to convert it into a stable and lasting office space worthy of your business and employees.
Cargo-worthy containers are also WWT containers and can be used for international shipping due to their durability and resilience. Because of their efficient design, they may be used many times for shipping purposes before being sold and as such may come with more wear and tear damages than other containers.
Both WWT and cargo-worthy containers are classified as used containers.
- 10ft – Can be bought for less than US$3,000 depending on the condition.
- 20ft – Again, depending on the condition, used 20ft containers can be bought for as little as US$1,100.
- 40ft – Used 40ft containers range in price from as little as US$1,200 up to US$3,000.
You can read more about 10ft, 20ft, and 40ft shipping containers and their prices on our blog page for further information on container costs.
Modular Construction Vs Site-Built Construction
According to Level Set, commercial office buildings cost around US$238 to US$286 per square foot for a ground-level office space. Prices rise drastically per square foot for mid-and-high rise office spaces.
Considering you can purchase a 40ft shipping container, with interior dimensions of 285 square feet of floor space as just the frame of office space for as little as US$1,200, the savings you can reserve on purchasing a shipping container office is enormous and can go towards other office accessories and features for your team.
Buying vs Renting Office Containers
At Container Addict we like to follow a simple rule when it comes to choosing between buying or renting your container space and believe if you follow this concept it’ll work for you too.
If you need a container office, or a storage container for whatever reason, for 6 months to a year or more, the most valuable and cost-effective solution for you is to purchase your shipping container(s) rather than rent.
It can cost around US$585 a month, not including delivery and taxes, to rent a shipping container office and they aren’t always available right away. Many companies also have a two-month minimum rental agreement so you should take that into consideration when deciding whether to purchase or rent your container.
Sizing and Floor Plans for your Shipping Container Office
Shipping containers come in sizes as small as 8ft and as large as 52ft but pre-fabricated office spaces and the most popular container sizes are 10ft, 20ft, and 40ft units.
If you have a small business, a 10ft ground-level office space could provide a more than adequate office area for your business service capacity.
Larger businesses, on the other hand, can rest easy with their container office designs knowing that you can connect more than one container unit side-by-side as well as stack your containers from the ground up to allow for a multi-level shipping container office.
Below are some of the best modular shipping container offices around the world to inspire and ignite your creativity for your very own container office.
Simple 20ft Shipping Container Site Office
Made simple for the specific purpose of housing construction site workers for fewer distractions so builders are sure to get their work done in a timely manner.
Spacious and Stylish Small Business Office Suit
A great thing about designing your own office space is that you get to be creative with the style, furnishings, and office equipment. Just because it’s an office, it doesn’t mean it has to look like a conventional outdated office space.
Container Office Warehouse – An Entrepreneurs Dream
What was once a warehouse for delicious pastries and freshly baked bread, Bakke Rij in the Netherlands, is now a warehouse full of fully furnished and renovated shipping container offices for entrepreneurs to hire.
A Villa of Containers
Located in East London in an old and run-down Victorian warehouse, Containerville now hosts numerous working shipping container office spaces for small business owners. Upcycling old shipping containers, this space now provides for 200 small businesses in East London.
High Cube Container Offices
Brooklyn-based shipping container company in Melbourne Australia, Container Space, built its offices out of 6 high cube shipping containers complete with a fully functioning kitchen as well as a bathroom that includes showers. Multiple windows line the walls to allow for maximum lighting in the offices which helps to save energy making this build a doubly sustainable choice.
Container Kings Box Office
Here’s a fantastic example of how to make the most out of the interior space of a 20ft shipping container office. Finding the right plan for you and your business doesn’t have to be hard when you have an experienced team like Container Addict by your side to help you make the most of your future office space.
Get Your Tickets at the Box Office
Okay, so this box office doesn’t sell tickets to the theatre or cinema, instead what it does is provide energy-efficient, multi-story, recycled shipping container office spaces for start ups and small businesses alike.
The Box Office hosts 12 small offices and studios for multiple businesses and the greatest thing it doesn’t do looks like a boring box.
Steel Structured Meeting Spaces
Fancy an office for one or two employees and a meeting space? A 20ft or 40ft shipping container is the ideal office size for your business. With enough room for two-three desks, a client meeting area to ensure the best customer service experience, and a small powder room, what other modifications could you need?
Benefits of Shipping Container Offices
With environmentally-friendly and sustainable practices on the rise for the betterment of our planet, the benefits of using a container for your modular office space are insurmountable.
- A Customizable Design
While shipping containers may look like steel boxes, there are so many ways in which you can customize, configure, and construct your modular container office to create something that suits you and your organization best. This includes the inside as well as the outside of the container.
- Cheaper Costs All-Round
Add heating, insulation, walls, windows, doors, and a few other building necessities to your office design and you’ve got yourself a fully-functioning office container with limited labor costs, less complexity than an on-site building, and works out cheaper by thousands of dollars.
- Less Construction Time
Alongside cheaper costs is the fact that your container office can be built in much less time than a traditional office project because the shell is ready to be renovated upon delivery.
This means you can have your business up and running in less the time it would take in a conventional on-site office building and focus on your day-to-day exigencies and business requirements to oversee your clients and services.
One of the most important facts to note about shipping containers is that they are mobile and this is a huge benefit and convenience for any business.
Things like rent, property, land prices, taxes, consumer demands, target audiences, etc, are constantly changing. If your business can no longer deliver what your customers require, or if you have found a better location for your company, you can have your storage container building picked up and delivered to your new location.
- Environmentally Friendly
The environment has seen many changes over recent years and some believe we are heading to, or are already in a climate crisis.
Using recycled materials is one major way we can all help to combat this existential impasse. Choosing to repurpose, and upcycle, old shipping containers into offices and other building projects is one of the many solutions we can access towards creating a brighter future.
Container Addict is here to provide support and help you to find sustainable and affordable answers for your new office complex.