The issue of storage requires sometimes creative solutions. You may have seen shipping containers for sale, this is an emerging marketplace. The big storage units used to transport goods and cargo across the sea can be repurposed for agriculture, construction, haulage, or any business in need of temporary or permanent storage. 

This is no doubt an interesting way to both recycle a major transportation product and offer a quirky yet reliable storage option to the discerning consumer. But what is a shipping container? And how does it find itself becoming your new storage container? 

The original idea of a steel container to be loaded up with goods for transportation was the brainchild of an American trucker named Malcolm McLean. His trucking company owned a steamship and needed a way to quickly and safely transport goods from truck to ship. 

Following the principle that the vessel for storage of goods needed to be transportable rather than the goods themselves, McLean invented and patented the steel shipping container in 1956. From there he marketed and produced it for the masses, and it was not long before this innovative new method had a big impact. 

The container was invented closely following the theory of intermodalism, which is used in practice by the global shipping industry today. Intermodalism as a system allows for one container to be loaded with goods at a starting point for transport via sea, rail, and road to a final destination without the goods ever having to leave the container. 

Today the historical legacy of McLean’s invention has been containerization, an all-encompassing term that describes how the global transportation industry has dramatically changed since the first shipping container went on the market 70 years ago. 

The advances in shipping were revolutionary thanks to the new system of transportation. Not only is cargo safer and less exposed inside a metal container, but the whole character of port towns changed thanks to reduced requirements for labour. Cranes replaced teams of men taking cargo off ships, and innovation has largely reduced the expense of international trade and increased its speed. 

The latest offshoot of this world-changing innovation is the repurposing of shipping containers into storage containers. When a container is no longer viable for sea transport it can find another use for any kind of business. 

Recently the Trademarket festival opened up in Northern Ireland. Here businesses trade from repurposed shipping containers, which had previously been used as part of redevelopment efforts of former bank buildings after a devastating fire in 2018. 

So why use a shipping container for domestic storage? Well, aside from their game-changing history they are also extremely durable. A standard container can withstand severe weather and even fires. Containers are also very strong, as well as portable by design. 

There aren’t too many storage solutions as practical as the use of a former shipping container. These reliable units are sure to protect goods and stand firm against the elements. 


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