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From shipping container to storage container: a trend encouraged by Covid-19

Storage containers now on sale as convenient solutions for commercial and personal use.

Upon exploring the impact of Covid-19 on intermodal logistics, it comes naturally to deepen how the resulting market polarization affected the sale of shipping containers and their ever-growing cost. While ports worldwide were experiencing an unforeseen lack of containers in a short time and found themselves incapable of satisfying a sudden increase in demand from manufacturers, in many countries shipping containers were thriving as storage solutions on sale for businesses and homeowners.

Reconditioning shipping containers for other purposes has been a major draw over the last year to counterbalance the effects of Covid-19, and it has interested both dry and refrigerated, brand-new, and second-hand containers. Beyond economic and logistic advantages, business owners benefit from containers converted into storage locations and small offices because of their versatility and corrugated steel’s long-lasting nature. Moreover, shipping containers are customizable and easy-to-build solutions ideal for storing unprocessed or sensitive materials that require specific thermal conditions for appropriate conservation.

When it comes to building wood-framed new structures or buying converted shipping containers that vary in size from 10ft, 20ft, and 40ft standard to 40ft HC, storage containers represent a safe and sustainable choice. But is it a convenient investment? Purchasing or renting high-quality steel containers can be a good value for money, especially if you consider that they are on sale at different prices according to structural characteristics and modifications needed. For example, it is common practice to install ventilation systems in dry containers to prevent condensation, while refrigerated containers – often used by freight forwarders to carry regular cargo to make up for the lack of dry containers – can become life-altering alternatives for small and medium businesses that operate in fresh produce markets.

Is it more convenient for companies to take advantage of the current container market situation? Will they eventually switch back to traditional buildings? Whether this trend will gradually arrest the more intermodal logistics will recover from Covid-19 or not, it all comes down to container manufacturers and local enterprises operating in different sectors.

Article by Susanna Belleggia.

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