The first step to making shipping container conversions is to find and buy a collection of suitable containers, but this, for somewhat ironic reasons, was sometimes more difficult than you might think.
Most ISO shipping containers have particularly long and brutal lives at sea, and the reason for this is also the reason why they are so perfectly suited for conversion into buildings, shops and even football stadiums.
They are modular, standardised, exceptionally robust and designed to stack on top of each other and hold the weight of many containers on top of them, with a corrugated design that could survive many trips across some of the harshest shipping routes on earth.
However, when the logistics world was turned on its head, it brought with it an opportunity to buy and sell containers for the kinds of acceptable used container prices but without the mileage of a used container.
These are known as One-Trip Containers.
Opportunity Born From Crisis
There have always been some organisations that will ship a container once to a customer who sells the container to a buyer in their own country, as logistically it makes far more sense than shipping an empty container.
After all, if you have to use existing shipping routes to get a container to an international destination, it is not exactly cost-effective to sell it new, but the origins of the One-Trip Container industry as we know it begins with an infamous blockage of the world’s most vital trade artery.
The Ever Given’s blocking of the Suez Canal had a major knock-on effect on global trade, and a resulting side effect was an increase in the production of shipping containers to offset the ones that were effectively trapped on the wrong side of the planet.
Once these delays settled, this left a surplus of containers and increased production capacity, which meant that more containers could be dedicated to the growing world of container architecture.