Are you ready to be different than everyone else? Are you wanting to build something out of a box? If you are saying yes to both questions, shipping containers may be a route for you! ISO containers are a great way to build a unique structure that can be within reach of the average person.

Shipping containers were designed for storing and transporting goods. However, there are so many different ways to upcycle steel containers into a wide variety of new structures.

So, what can you REALLY build with a shipping container? The short answer is really - anything! - even if shipping containers are commonly used by business and home owners. Containers provide a scalable building block to create extra storage, retail space, restaurants, homes and so much more. Here is a general list along with images of how containers have been and are continuing to be utilized:  

  • Storage and Sheds. Sure it is the most basic use, but containers are great at storing things.

  • Cabins, guesthouse, tiny homes and vacation/main houses. The hottest trend in the past few years in containers is container architecture.

  • Offices and building extensions. Containers can add in extra space for people too. Containers can fitted out with insulation, electricity and desks easily.

  • Fire training stations. Containers can be burned again and again! As long as you replace that wood floor with something that doesn’t burn. We have all sorts of ideas on how to change the space to keep your team on their toes.

  • Saunas, pools and pool houses. Who doesn’t want one of these?!

  • Food trucks, restaurants and bars. Containers make everything more fun!

  • Portable toilets. Ground-level entry that can be moved to wherever you need them. And everyone will be happy they’re not a port-a-potty.

  • Retail shops and malls. Downtown Container Park in Las Vegas is a perfect example of how to take a great, creative idea and make it a reality.

Food trucks take over Toronto

Food trucks take over Toronto

Las Vegas , here we come!

Las Vegas, here we come!

  • Bistros and coffee shops. Starbucks has been running with this idea for a few years, but there are so many more takes on getting caffeine to those in need.

  • Student housing facilities and schools. The most classic example of this is TempoHousing in Amsterdam.

  • Emergency hospitals/disaster shelters. Containers can be moved around quickly and easily, making them a choice for quick response. The real hold-up here has been finding the way to create government-approved solutions that can be made where they are needed and at the right price point.

  • Nurseries and indoor gardens. This is such a great, sustainable way for locally grown food just about anywhere. Check out how they do it in Antarctica, Las Vegas and just about anywhere you can set down a container.

To find the right container for you, just contact us directly at 877-374-5452. We’d be happy to help make your vision a reality!

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Way back in May of 2013, we posted about ramps. And while the concept of ramps has not changed in that timeframe, options for container ramps has. We’re taking a fresh look at ramps and what your options are.

Why to consider purchasing a ramp?

Container ramps are aimed to make loading and unloading items safer. Cargo container thresholds are approximately 6 inches from the ground without blocking under a container, which can make it more difficult to get heavy items in and out of the container.

Lifting loads can cause unnecessary short- or long- term injuries. Some loads are on wheels and are simply too heavy to lift into a container. Using a ramp decreases the likelihood of injuries to occur, reduces health risks related to lifting heavy objects and lowers the risk for loads falling or spilling.

Cement ramp made with indentations for the lockrods so the doors can open

Cement ramp made with indentations for the lockrods so the doors can open

Do you want a permanent or portable ramp?

There are pros and cons to both options. Here are some things to consider when trying to decide the best route to go.

Permanent Ramp

Pros

  • Easy to use

  • Don’t have to worry about anyone getting hurt putting it in place

  • No lip – easy to roll right into the container

Cons

  • Hard to build to work well. The lockrods that lock the door shut extend down beyond the bottom of the door, so you need to make allowances for that. Most people remove one set of lockrods and then make indentations in ramp for allow for the lockrods.

  • You cannot move your container around after you build a permanent ramp.

  • Only works with one container

Various portable ramps

Various portable ramps

Portable Ramp

Pros

  • Can work with multiple containers

  • Many different options available

  • Generally no need to customize anything

 

Cons

  • Must consider the weight of the container and who will be moving it around

  • Must train employees to use the ramp safely

  • Must store the ramp in or out of the container



What is the right style of ramp for me?

Ramps come in a variety of sizes and styles. To figure out the best option for you, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What is the weight limit you will need for the container?

  • Do you need a smooth rolling surface for managing a pallet jack with small wheels or are you moving in larger, heartier wheels that can handle a variety of surfaces?

  • Will the ramp be used in a variety of different kinds of weather? Rain and snow can make a ramp very slippery.

  • Who will be using the ramp? Will the weight of the ramp be an issue?

  • Will the ramp be stored in the container, along side it, or somewhere further away? You may want to consider something lighter if the ramp will be moving around a lot.

Ramps come in various lengths with different weight limits. They come in different surfaces: a grit coat surface, aluminum curb, punch plate or wedge ramp. We have listed different options below including their specs so you can check through what will work best for you.

The right ramp for you really depends on your situation, who will use it and what you want to put into it.  At the end of the day, if you can get things in and out of your container safely and easily, that is all that matters.

How to figure out ramp pricing?

Call us!  We would love to help you pick the right ramp for you.  Depending on the specific ramp, pricing will vary.

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A one-trip 20' container is like a blank canvas. The possibilities are endless.

A one-trip 20' container is like a blank canvas. The possibilities are endless.

A Super Cubes container makes the red carpet

A Super Cubes container makes the red carpet

What would you do with a one-trip 20' container?  We have some great customers who have taken 20' (and in some cases 40') containers and created something much bigger than a box.  We are showcasing some of the fun stuff we've been a part of or at least supplied containers today.

Super Cubes worked with Matter last year to create some unique spaces at their gala. We created a red carpet entry where everyone walked through container to come into the Sun Country hangar. We created a virtual reality booth where attendees could tour hospitals created by Matter (and see containers shipped from Minneapolis to the hospitals). We used 20' containers to create a stage along with the nose of a Sun Country plane!  Click here to read more about it.

We worked with SW Living in Florida. They are creating great off-the-grid living spaces out of containers. Pictured below is their prototype.  To find out more about them, click here.

While containers are great for storage, they are quite literally blank canvases The one pictured below features a mural designed by a local high schooler. Read more about that here. We also had a customer camouflage theirs to fit into their surroundings.

We have had customers turn containers into garden shed. We had a farm add on storage for pipes and other materials that can be accessed directly from the barn.

One Super Cubes customer partially buried a 20' container into a hill.  It provides great storage and is safe from storms.

Alchemy Architects in St Paul took a Super Cubes container and converted it into an off-the-grid, stand-alone, 20' hotel room. Super Cubes helped with the big window next to the bed and the utility closet opening. They did an amazing job designing the space to make use of every square inch an beautiful materials to finish it off.  The container made the rounds last year at various festivals and fairs. This summer, you can book a stay in it through AirBnB. To read more about it, click here for the container's website and here for the AirBnB listing.

Super Cubes was also involved with a shrimp farm in Las Vegas. Yes, you read that right. Shrimp in the desert outside of Las Vegas. It was to bring sustainable, locally-sourced shrimp to a market that had very high demand. Here is a link to our blog on that one too. Although they did use 40's for this project, it seemed too fun to leave out.

One last 40' project was an 8-container home in St Charles. We have so many pictures of this gorgeous home, you really just need to visit our blog devoted entirely to it.  Click here to check that out.

So what would you do with a container? What is holding you back from doing something with one? 

Check out the pictures below and click on them to enlarge them.

Are you looking for a one-trip/"new" 20' container? We just want to let you know that even though they are getting scarcer, we do have them! Particularly in Minneapolis, but in other cities throughout the US. Give us a call today! We also have used 20's and 40's and one-trip 40's as well!