Can Shipping Containers be Used for Warehouse Space?

You don’t have enough space for warehousing, and the ones available for rent are out of budget. What’s the alternative?

Have you ever thought of using shipping containers for warehouse space? They’re affordable, convenient, and roomy. And the best thing is, you won’t have to pay for rent.

Here’s everything you need to know about a shipping container warehouse.

Can Shipping Containers be Used for Warehouse Space?

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Yes, you can use shipping containers for warehouse space. In fact, they can be used for anything as long as they’re legal in your state. You can turn a container into a garage, shed, warehouse, or even a house. Some people also turn it into an office area inside a warehouse.

While living in a 40ft container seems appealing, using it for warehousing purposes seems more convenient. Read on to find out the benefits or drawbacks of it.

Benefits of Using a Steel Shipping Container for a Warehouse Space

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The most obvious benefit of using a shipping container for anything is the cost. Whether you’re using it as a garage, house, office, or warehouse, it’ll cost you less than using the real thing.

Here are the other benefits of using shipping containers for warehousing.

Multiple Uses

You can put containers for multiple uses. If you’re not using yours to store goods, you can always use it to carry out meetings or conferences. These containers are polished and made from steel, so they’d make an excellent alternative to conventional offices if you don’t have enough room.

You can even build container offices by placing a container inside your warehouse to carry out business meetings; it’ll be doubling as an office.

Space-Efficient

Containers are either 20ft or 40ft; both are space-efficient and can fit anywhere. If you want the warehousing space anywhere, even in your backyard, a 20ft container can do. You won’t have to worry about finding a good place for it. 

Plus, you can always stack a couple of containers on top of each other if you want more space.

Quick Installation

While it’ll take you months to look for, prepare, and furnish a conventional warehouse, a shipping container will be ready for use shortly after you order it. It’ll arrive after a couple of weeks, depending on where you order it from.

Then, you can instantly use it once the forklift drops it in your area. You won’t need to get a construction crew or repaint the walls, which is a huge bonus.

Portable

Containers are easily movable, which may be the second-best thing about them after their cost. You can easily do it using a forklift whenever you want to move your warehouse space. Or, you can even tow the container. You won’t get that advantage with any other building. 

Durable

Shipping containers are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and all kinds of debris. They’re made of heavy-duty steel, and they seldom show signs of wear and tear. Again, you won’t get that with any other building.

On top of that, you don’t have to be afraid of theft and breaking it if you have a shipping container for or inside a warehouse. As I said, it’s designed to protect the contents inside, so it’s well-secured.

As long as you don’t take your container to the high seas, it’ll keep servicing you for decades.

Drawbacks of Using a Shipping Container as a Warehouse Space

storage materials get hot with no air conditioning in warehouses
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As with everything, shipping containers come with their share of downsides. In return for the endless benefits you’ll get, there are one or two setbacks you may want to consider.

Extreme Temperatures

The thing with shipping containers is they aren’t designed to be lived in or used by humans. So, their walls aren’t insulative. When the weather gets too cold, they get too cold, and vice versa. Of course, that can be dangerous in extreme temperatures, whether high or low.

Most containers are made of steel, which doesn’t reflect the heat, but rather absorbs it. The only way to overcome that is to get your walls insulated, which comes with its costs.

Maintenance Expenses

If you’re buying an old shipping container, you’ll likely need to pay a lot of maintenance expenses for it to work normally. It’ll probably have corrosion here and there, and you may have to replace the door locks.

Not to mention, if you’re placing it outdoors in an area with harsh weather conditions, you’ll have to carry out regular maintenance to protect it.

Design Ideas for Shipping Containers as Warehouse Spaces

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If you want to see people who’ve already done it, you can check out this warehouse office that was originally a shipping container. The owners decorated it and put it in the warehouse area, and it’s functioning as an office. 

The modern decoration of the container gives it an edge in the warehouse, and it looks compelling to try.

How Much Will It Cost You to Turn a Shipping Container Into a Warehouse Space?

save money using secure shipping containers as warehouses for business
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Depending on its state and size, buying a shipping container costs anywhere from $1000 to $7000. If you’re buying a new container, a 20ft one will cost you around $5000. Meanwhile, a 40ft one will cost about $7000.

If you’re buying used containers, a 20ft one will cost $1000–$2500, and a 40ft one will cost roughly $3000.

If you’ll only do some essential decorations and paint the container, the whole project won’t cost you more than $3500 on average. However, the cost will increase if you get insulation or cladding on the walls.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a 40 feet container cost?

A 40 feet container will cost around $6000–$7000 if it’s new. If used, the cost goes down to $2000–$3000.

How much does a 20ft container cost?

A 20 feet container will cost around $4000–$5000 if it’s new and about $2000 if used. It depends on where you get it from.

Can you live in a shipping container?

Yes, you can convert it into a house and live in it. In fact, a large number of people are living in shipping containers because they’re cost-effective. As a result, the market for tiny homes is expected to grow in the next few years.

Conclusion

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You only have to pay for the container and some essential decorations to get a shipping container warehouse. It’s a cost-effective, convenient solution. And the good news is, it’s highly durable.

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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