From moving goods, to reshaping the way we work, live and socialise, the humble shipping container really has come of age.
We take a look at its origins and its future.
Shipping Containers Have Revolutionised Industries and They Continue to Re-Invent Themselves
To tell the full story, we need to go back, way back to 1956. Some of the team at Eldapoint still think that’s not that long ago.
To begin, let’s introduce you to Malcolm McLean, inventor of the shipping container.
Sometimes in life a challenge can lead to an inspiring moment. McLean, a freight trucker from America experienced first-hand the slow and cumbersome process of traditional wooden crates loaded onto vehicles. He set about a design and product that gave organisation to the process and something that would allow him to take on more work, and in turn, grow his business.
Keep it simple, make it do a job was McLean’s thoughts and low and behold the shipping container was born. He certainly kept it simple and let’s be honest, for over nearly 60 years, it’s definitely done a job. As the years have passed, since Malcolm McLean brought us this effective design, the product has revolutionised the way goods are stored and transported across the globe and, lately we have seen a new revolution, container conversions, that means there is a re-invention that even McLean would be proud of.
Let’s delve that little bit deeper into shipping containers. From standard containers, that ‘big box’ of Cor-Ten steel that’s king of the sea, road and rail lines across the globe, to converted shipping containers, the latest revolution to re-invent this product.
From used shipping containers for sale, to sourcing shipping container storage, there is choice but choosing well is critical.
Is it a 10ft or 40ft shipping container that’s needed? My goods require a refrigerated ‘reefer’ container unit. Whatever the requirement, there is certainly an abundance of shipping containers for sale and a multitude of shipping container suppliers shouting for your business.
But here’s the thing to remember when
buying shipping containers.
When it comes to used shipping containers for sale or new shipping containers for sale, the same rules apply, ensure you purchase from a reputable, legislative supplier. It’s more than simply ‘buying a box’. Sourcing the right container for your needs is critical, making sure that the health and safety of those coming into touch with the unit is considered and covered and the lifespan of a shipping container suits your requirements. New versus old has pros and cons on both sides, but the good news is that there is plenty of choice when it comes to buying shipping containers.
First, look for a reputable supplier. Ensure the unit is safe and legislative to ISO Shipping Container standards.
For over 45 years, Eldapoint has supported the shipping and logistics industry with new and used shipping containers for sale throughout the uk, as well as providing shipping container depot services and maintenance and repair. Our longstanding partnership with the industry is well recognised by our customer base and peers.
For many years, shipping containers have provided storage and shipping solutions for chemicals, food, retail products and more. The range of shipping container sizes and configurations mean they are pretty adaptable for most needs.
Recently, Eldapoint were awarded a 3-year, £3 Million contract to support the Peel Ports Liverpool 2 terminal managing all aspects of reefer containers in and out of the port. Qualified with sector associations and a long list of industry awards, it’s clear to see why for the last 45 years, Eldapoint is recognised as a trusted support partner to the industry.
Our shipping containers sales division continues to grow strong industry relations, across the globe.
Industry Recognised Shipping Containers
and Container Depot and Storage Solutions
Many of the world’s leading shipping lines and freight forwarders have relationships with Eldapoint. They source their shipping container units from us and trust us to protect that asset throughout its lifecycle. We provide a turnkey support to clients, shipping container supply, new and used units, container modifications and storage and maintenance for shipping containers. This service approach delivers sustainability for our customers, extending lifespan of the shipping containers.
These shipping container units have been the staple of the logistics and shipping industry since Malcolm McLean’s first drawings to initial working model.
Standard shipping container options:
- 10ft Shipping Containers
- 20ft Shipping Containers
- 30ft and 32ft Shipping Containers
- 40ft Shipping Containers
Sometimes industries and sectors require shipping container solutions which are a little more bespoke. This is when our own specialist container units provide additional value.
Refrigeration Shipping Containers
These refrigerated shipping container units are perfect for industries and sectors storing or transporting goods including fresh and frozen foods, pharmaceuticals and other goods requiring temperature controlled environments. We have even provided custom made versions of reefer container units, for one of our clients, transporting high end value, prestige vehicles.
The bespoke refrigerated shipping containers for this particular client, means that during transportation around the globe, the vehicles, all electrics and vehicle management systems are at optimum levels for delivery to customer. It’s showroom environment, right to the door.
Eldapoint’s experience within the reefer container unit sector has seen us viewed as a trusted port operator partner for many years. The very sophisticated nature of these units, does mean that regular maintenance and servicing is critical. Our specialist refrigerated shipping container team and reefer container maintenance and servicing division have the knowledge to ensure your container units are operating well and goods in transport or storage are safe and protected.
From reefer units for transportation to onsite temperature controlled storage units, these shipping containers provide perfect environments and solutions for many sectors.
Specialist Shape and Access Shipping Containers
These units provide additional options when it comes to shipping goods or storage solutions.
When it comes to oversized products like plant equipment, internal racking storage systems or day to day operational ease of access, these specialist shipping containers are a very versatile option.
Eldapoint supply the following specialist shipping container options:
- High Cube Shipping Containers
- Open Top Shipping Containers
- Side Opening Shipping Containers
- Tunnel Shipping Containers
From the versatility of loading, to accessing your product, our specialist shipping containers provide ways to ensure your goods are protected.
Manufactured Shipping Containers
Many industries have turned to bespoke, manufactured shipping containers to provide versatile and robust solutions for a wide range of sectors. Industries and sectors including construction, the rail network, the UKs energy infrastructure and education have all see the benefits of modified shipping containers.
Relocatable Equipment Buildings - REBs
A robust and safe way for industries to house critical and valuable equipment, Relocatable Equipment Buildings are a staple for many industries. Due to the strong, secure nature of shipping containers, they provide a perfect environment to ensure asset equipment within them is protected. Although these offer solutions for a wide range of sectors and products, they are commonly used by the rail network – accommodating critical signalling equipment, trackside – as well as providing cost effective ways of locating, housing and protecting telecommunication equipment.
Due to the sensitive and valuable equipment these buildings normally protect, it’s important that relocatable equipment buildings meet with UK Safety Standards. Eldapoint has supplied relocatable equipment buildings to these industries and many more for many years. With LINK-UP Railway Registration Certification for REBs, installations carried out by Personal Track Safety (PTS) operators and our industry knowledge, means the rail industry trust our expertise when it comes to commissioning relocatable equipment buildings.
This knowledge has even seen us provide these buildings for global rail networks.
You can read one of our rail network manufactured shipping container case studies here.
As the telecommunications industry within the UK enters 5G connectivity, we are experiencing a number of enquiries and orders for relocatable equipment buildings. Planning for such a wide reaching and multi-location infrastructure demands strong levels of planning, something Eldapoint is industry recognised for.
Portable Accommodation Shipping Containers and Welfare Units
From educational classrooms to commercial offices, using modified shipping containers, internally and externally fitted out, to create portable accommodation, is providing a temporary, as well as long-term solution. These specialist shipping container buildings are great examples of how shipping container accommodation delivers a more flexible approach.
The ability to be on-site and in place quickly, means if a building is needed urgently, shpping containers for portable accommodation can help.
The construction industry has used portable accommodation units for many years. The buildings provide necessary space for site management and welfare units for site visitors and staff. Our shipping container manufacturing division assist customers with all elements of internal and external fit out. Electrical supply, plumbing and toilet facilities are all areas we can assist with.
The added value of these buildings, is the facility to move from site to site, creating cost effective and sustainable solutions for customers. As a more permanent structure, portable accommodation shipping containers offer a secure and safe environment.
Shipping Containers for Safety and Hazerdous Substances
Sometimes our customers need shipping container units that provide added safety and security. These are generally due to the substances and products they may be shipping or storing within the container units.
Substances including chemicals, petroleum, flammable liquids or gas, need added protection and require a container housing that protects those working with it.
We design and manufacture a range of shipping container buildings that provide secure, safe and robust ways to protect goods, including:
- Blast Resistant Shipping Container Buildings
- Fire Retardant Shipping Container Accommodation
- Hydroflow Units
All of these shipping container buildings meet with our stringent processes and UK shipping container legislation. We are members of the Modular and Portable Building Association, which adds further credibility to our business and confidence to our clients.
Shipping Container Conversions
This is an area of our sector that over the last few years has become very popular. Everything from shipping containers converted to pop up shops, to swimming pools from converted shipping containers.
Shipping Containers Converted for Housing
Throughout the world, many people are seeing the solutions that converted shipping containers offer from everything from social housing, to luxury homes throughout the globe.
Everything from a standard 20-foot shipping container to a combination of converted shipping containers, provide the flexibility for architects and land developers to create sustainable and stunning projects using converted shipping containers. It’s exciting to see the solutions that are being brought to the housing sector, with some of the UK’s local authorities looking toward shipping containers for solutions to Britain’s Housing and Homeless Crisis.
We have to also say, that we find it hard to hide our envy at some of the simply stunning architectural homes that have been created through shipping container conversions. One of the Uk’s most recognised shipping container house conversion projects, was that of architect Patrick Bradley. Patrick became one of the UK’s most talked about architects when he embarked on his own shipping container house project, followed by Kevin MacLeod and the Grand Designs TV team.
The home, costing only £133K is to be admired for a number of reasons. The cost for such a creative and eye-catching building, the sustainability of the project and the way that Patrick cleverly managed to integrate converted shipping containers into the Irish countryside.
Four used shipping containers were the foundations for the project and formed a giant cross, cantilevered over a stream. This gave Patrick the space required and with the addition of floor to ceiling glass panels, the view was one to admire.
Shipping Container Buildings for Retail Sector
A number of brands are embracing converted shipping containers in a bid to take competitive advantage. From a container pop up shop, bar and shipping container restaurant, to using converted shipping containers for barbers, the emerging trend of integrating these units to the community is exciting to see.
Some brands are using converted shipping containers and turning them into portable shops, taking their brand and products to every corner of the UK. This is sometimes to introduce a brand to an area, or at times, to trial an area prior to fully launching.
We have seen everything form drink launches, to sports equipment touring in converted shipping containers.
Malcolm McLean’s Shipping Container Legacy
Well, we are pretty sure you will now agree that Malcolm McLean’s invention has certainly helped the world and we have a lot to thank him for. Our products and goods being safe and reaching our customers, to our latest shopping and housing environments, shipping containers have certainly come a long way from Malcom’s humble idea.
The thing is, in its’ initial, raw format, the shipping container continues to do exactly what he wanted it to do. It serves an industry well, making the process of storing and moving goods simpler, safer and more secure.
We don’t think Malcolm McLean would have had the foresight to see just how far his shipping container invention would come, but we certainly think he would have approved.
Sourcing and Planning the Best Shipping Container for Your Project
Eldapoint has been delivering intelligent container solutions to a wide range of sectors for over 45 years, so whatever your shipping container needs, we can assist. From supply of used or new shipping containers for sale, to converted shipping container projects, we have the experience, knowledge and expertise to support you.
You can browse our Shipping Container Divisions by clicking the links below and to contact our team with any questions you may have, or to receive a free quote, simply use our form.
We hope you benefit from shipping containers and when you see the next one, have a think about Malcolm McLean!
- Shipping Container Manufacturing Division
- Shipping Container Conversions Division
- Container Sales Division
- Shipping Container Depot