Shipping containers aren’t just useful for the transportation of goods or for the storage of merchandise. They have a whole list of uses from the obvious to the not-so-obvious, due to the fact that they can be easily modified. With a few simple accessories, you can increase the usefulness of your shipping container, making it a more worthwhile investment for your money.
Here are seven of the most useful accessories that you can add to your shipping container:
One of the most important extras you’ll want to add to your shipping container is something so simple that many people overlook it. Vents bring air circulation into your box, which is important whether you plan to use your container for an office, a work space or simply for storage.
If you want to use your container as a living space or a work space, then vents are a necessary addition. Obviously, you won’t be able to spend any amount of time inside a container without ventilation and outside air coming in.
But even if you’re only using your container for storage, vents are important. Containers are airtight, so to avoid any musty smells or dampness that could get inside, you need a certain amount of air flow.
Vents can also help lower temperatures inside the container during the summertime. For smaller containers, small vents are sufficient, though larger steel vents can also be installed as needed.
Every shipping container comes with a set of heavy doors at one end. These can be useful for securing whatever is inside the box, but they’re quite heavy, making it cumbersome to have to open and close them and deal with the locking mechanism every time you want to get inside.
Cutting an additional door into your box can make accessing whatever is inside the container much easier. A variety of different doors can be installed once an entryway has been cut into the container, from standard swinging doors to sliding doors – even fashionable French doors can be added if you’re planning to use your shipping container as a home.
If you’re planning to access your container’s contents more than once or twice per month, a door is one of the best accessories that you can invest in. It is important to keep an eye on the quality of all seals to ensure maximum use from your shipping container.
Typically, containers sit on the ground or on a simple foundation. Since they are, then, slightly raised, you’ll have to step up when entering and down when exiting. A simple ramp can make it much easier to move cargo in and out of the container.
Certainly, you can make your own stand-alone ramp out of plywood, but for safety and stability, consider purchasing a steel ramp and fitting it to the end of the container. Most professional-grade ramps like this can be retracted once you’re done so that it isn’t in the way, helping you maximise your space and prevent injury or frustration.
In their raw form, containers don’t come with lighting or electricity. However, basic electricity is very easy to install in a shipping container. Simple electrical outlets can make it possible to put lighting inside the container and also to plug in tools needed for work or further construction.
Once you’ve wired your container for electricity, it can be powered by a generator or plugged directly into your electrical grid. A generator could then be stored inside the container when not in use for maximum portability.
Another way to improve ventilation and to increase the amount of natural light in your container is to install windows. This is especially useful if people will be inside the container often; for example, if it will be used as a workshop or as a portable work-site office.
When it comes to windows, you have a number of different options. Standard slide-open windows are common, as are windows with security grills on the outside. Another option is to get windows with shutters that can be closed and even locked during the colder season or to secure the window at night.
Shelving can be a great way to maximise the storage space inside your container and to keep the possessions you’ve stored organised. Heavy-duty shelving, in particular, can be used to hold items that weigh a lot or that would otherwise have to be placed on the floor of the container.
Shelving can easily be custom cut so that it can hold whatever type of equipment you need it to. Once installed, shelving can help you get a great deal of value out of your container by allowing for better utilisation of your space without requiring you to buy a larger container (or to further modify the one you already have).
Air conditioning and heating
If you’re planning to spend a lot of time in your container, air conditioning and heating are “must have” accessories. These additions make it comfortable to be inside a container that’s been modified to serve as an office, a workshop or even a modular housing unit.
Air conditioning units can be placed in the corner of the container so that they don’t take up much space. The frame that holds them can then be retracted when the container is being transported, keeping everything safe and secure. Similarly, a number of different heating sources can be added to keep container occupants warm when the weather is cold.
Container experts can help you choose and install the accessories you need to get the most out of your new box. But you don’t need a new container to enjoy these additions. Sturdy second-hand containers can all be modified or fitted with these extras, just as easily as brand-new boxes.
Don’t just take your shipping container as-is. Adding accessories can be an extremely worthwhile investment that will increase the utility of your box and help you get even more value out of your purchase.