Container News

Shipping containers plastered in stark graphic branding are stacked in a Jenga-like configuration within a steel frame at the Hive-Inn, a concept hotel by OVA Studio. Individual units can easily be moved in and out for a constantly-changing design, with one-of-a-kind hotel suites traveling from one place to another.

Each container gets a unique interior design created by a brand, whether a luxury fashion house like Louis Vuitton, a tech company like Samsung or a celebrity like Lady Gaga. The advertiser’s branding is also painted on the exterior, creating an experience that immerses the occupants in the sponsor’s chosen visuals.

While some people aren’t crazy about feeling like ads are being force-fed to them, it’s not hard to imagine die-hard fans of companies like, say, Ferrari, jumping at the chance to stay in one of these rooms.

OVA envisions the containers being leased to individuals or companies who need temporary space, used not just as hotel rooms but also offices or retail stores. The containers plug into a grid system with a service core and slots for small terraces.

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The only big obstacle that he encountered during construction of his shipping container pad was making sure that the components passed all of the strict guidelines of the Uniform Building Code (UBC).

In other parts of the world, places like Odessa, Ukraine already have the the biggest shopping mall in all of Europe which uses stacked shipping containers to form alleys throughout the 170 acre site. In Asia, the Dordoy Bazaar in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan is almost entirely composed of empty shipping containers stacked two high and chock-full of inexpensive trinkets and toys. So, in other words, shipping container architecture is nothing new, but it is new when it comes to residential and office applications.


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While many intermodal freight crate transformations turn steel boxes into comfortable spaces, this project goes a step further both by taking maximum advantage of its material origins while still making the aesthetic result more than the sum of its parts.

Repurposed as an office by and for architect Patrick Bradley, this 45-foot cargo container (re)creation makes use of existing openings on either end and requires as few cuts in the surface of the sides as possible (an energy- and cost-efficient approach). Each of these openings is in turn taken advantage of, in one case to create an entry sequence and, at the other end, to facilitate a lovely little balcony extension.

In the end, there is little about the project that screams ‘shipping container’ at first glance, yet the overall shape and structural advantages of that core element are maintained and utilized throughout – a brilliant blend of old and new.

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Storage container architecture is one of the biggest (relatively) new things in building these days. With the low cost, environmentally friendliness, and availability of the materials, it’s no wonder that more and more architects are getting turned on to the possibilities of shipping containers. They’re perfect for more than just building houses; they are also the ideal material for low-cost communal and emergency housing. For dorms, urban apartments, jails and emergency shelters, shipping containers provide an ideal jumping-off point. We’ve already seen some of the most incredible single-family shipping container homes out there; now here’s a look at some of the best group housing solutions using steel storage containers. 

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Cargo container communities have been springing up all across China’s manufacturing centers, beginning with port cities where surplus shipping containers are cheap and abundant. The success of these converted containers as cheap housing has resulted in cities located inland to import the containers and build housing complexes with them. A perfect example is Chengdu, a city of about 11 million that is the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China.

Lured by lower land costs and much-improved infrastructure, companies are setting up shop in Chengdu and migrant workers are answering the call for laborers. Generally, male migrants work in construction while females are hired to work in factories requiring repetitive small-scale assembly and piecework. The hours are long, the pay is low, and housing is at a premium… bring in the container apartments!

For more information please contact our Sales Staff at 602-723-9608 option1.

Shipping Containers: Mislead Idea #1

Idea: I’d like the container moved to my property, then I’ll gradually load it, then I’d like you to come back three months later and move it to my “alternate location”.

Problem: Sure, the shipping container can be moved to location A with no problems. We run into the problem when the trucking company returns to pick the unit up. You’ll need a fork lift or crane on site that can pick it up and put it on the chassis or flatbed, and most people don’t have this type of equipment on site. At this point the project needs to be revised around this obstacle.

Moving Shipping Containers: Mislead Idea #2

Idea: I’m in the planning phase and need two 40′ containers delivered to my vacant lot in the mountains. I’d like them placed in a hole (which may or may not be dug out yet), and I don’t have a fork lift or crane on site.

Problem: A truck driver with a roll off truck doesn’t need a fork lift, but no matter how skilled he is he can’t drop a container of any size in a hole; and for that matter neither can a fork lift. We’re happy to sell you any number of containers, but would also like to see your project be successful. If this is your goal it’s best to have your holes cleared out, contact a local crane operator that’s cost effective enough to be affordable, but large enough to get the job done properly, and have the containers delivered on the same day on a flatbed truck or chassis (which tends to have a cheaper per mile cost than a roll off).

Burying Shipping Containers: Mislead Idea #1

Idea: I’d like to bury my shipping container shelter so that no one can see it.

Problem: On the surface, it’s a great idea and I’d like to do it myself. The sides of shipping containers aren’t designed to hold or support weight for an extended period of time. You’ll need to investigate a way to keep the pressure off the walls of the container. For an idea, read the article on using Gabion baskets to bury a shipping container.

Burying Shipping Containers: Mislead Idea # 2

Idea: I’d like to bury my container shelter completely, and have a few feet of soil on top of the unit.

Problem: Just as the walls of a shipping container aren’t designed to hold weight, neither is the roof. Shipping containers are designed to carry their weight in the corner posts, which makes stacking them easier. Think of it like this: Take a piece of plywood and stack two bricks on top of each other under each of the four corners. If you stand in the middle what happens? The result is cracked plywood. The roof of a container will do the same thing given enough time and pressure. If you are fixed on doing this you’ll need to find a way to truss out the top of the unit and keep some of the pressure off the roof, or just not bury it as deep.

Retrofitting a Shipping Container: Mislead Idea #1

Idea: I’m going to buy a container, then stop over at home depot and buy a door and a couple of windows to put in it.

Problem: This can be done, but standard window and door frames aren’t designed for this use, and will require a fair amount of effort to make it work. Containers tend to flex a little, so the frames need to be sensitive to this, as does the seal of the window and the door locks. There are a few suppliers of doors and windows that are specifically designed for shipping containers. Drop us an email and we’ll send you the details (the one we use the most doesn’t have a website yet).


Using containers for a fallback or bug out shelter is a great idea, and done more frequently all the time. As with any project, a strong shipping container shelter takes planning and dedication; and the end product is very rewarding and secure. If you have any questions about buying, moving, or using shipping containers as survival shelters feel free to ask us.

*While most questions are grounded in honest reality, the most concerning one that our staff and industry colleagues couldn’t answer (or wouldn’t – for legal reasons), was “I have a family of four, and a dog. If something happens and my family and I are sealed into a container with supplies, how long can we survive on the air in a 20′ vs. 40′ container?”

If you want more information on containers, contact Rolando @AZ Containers at 602-723-9608.



Here is an interesting project using shipping containers for low cost housing in Detroit. I think it is an attempt to help rebuild the economy in Detroit. Let's wait and see how this plays out. 

An unusual home taking shape inside General Motors' sprawling Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant is intended to be part of a movement to rebuild the city's economy and deteriorating, disappearing housing stock. Skilled-trades workers, taking breaks from their tasks at the factory that produces the electric Chevrolet Volt and other vehicles, dart in and out to do door, window and wall installation and framing, as well as electrical and plumbing work. Meanwhile, a nonprofit urban farming group is preparing property a few miles away that will welcome the project, what's believed to be the city's first occupied shipping container homestead. Come spring, the house-in-progress will be delivered to Detroit's North End neighborhood and secured on a foundation where a blighted home once stood. After finishing touches and final inspections, the 40-foot-long former container will feature 320 square feet of living space with two bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen, and will serve as home base for a university-student caretakers of a neighborhood farm and agricultural research activities.

I'm not sure what they do here . . . Maybe showcase container projects around the world and/or build all kinds of commercial and residential structures for people anywhere.

A green technology informational resource website that is dedicated to providing resources and educational information to those interested in developing building projects using shipping containers. The goal is to create awareness, and to showcase projects and ideas on the variety of uses that re-purposed, recycled industrial shipping containers can be used for as the basic building components for residential and commercial use. Remarkably versatile, durable and cost-effective, container structures can be quickly arranged into a variety of innovative configurations and architectural designs.

Contact Rolando at AZ Containers at 877-292-6937 to see how the most basic steel box to a customized, climate controlled storage or workspace with windows, they’ll have your solution on it’s way to you fast.


This listing takes you to a company in the country of Turkey and they appear to be a very large operation. They sell used containers, do container repair & modification. They can set up entire camps using shipping containers. They operate a number of websites. The picture below is of one of their creations, and one which I like a lot. 

Ozturk Container Company Industry and Trade Ltd. is one of the most experienced and well-developed companies in the production of containers Army Accommodation Demountable containers and Standards, Office containers, ISO containers Hauling, Shelters, Prefabricated buildings, containers generator, water treatment containers, Steel Construction Buildings, GSM Security containers.

If you want more information on containers, contact Rolando @AZ Containers at 602-723-9608.

I ran across this article about small locally grown produce in the country of Cuba while searching for something else and thought it would be a good addition to AZ NEWS. This is a good example of how someone could use shipping containers for selling locally grown produce, something which in my opinion needs to be done a lot more in the US. Actually, some of you who are unemployed might consider small time farming or container farming and selling produce to make some extra cash, maybe at a local farmers market, I'm talking about potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, kale, lettuce, squash, onions, radish & broccoli.


If you want more information on containers, contact Rolando @AZ Containers at 602-723-9608.