Buying Shipping Containers in Dallas: 4 Tips to Keep in Mind

If you’re shopping for new or used shipping containers, you’re not alone. Not only have they become popular for storage, but many also use them as retail buildings, inexpensive homes, or even offices.

Shopping for shipping containers, however, can seem like a tedious process. After all, you need to know how to compare different types of containers and understand your needs very well. You also have to think about delivery.

Read on for four tips on buying shipping containers in Dallas to make the process easier.

1. Know About Container Sizes and Materials

Before you start shopping, you should have an idea of the container size you need for the intended purpose. For example, if you want a small house or office, then a 20-foot shipping container might work. However, a longer 40-foot version can meet your need for transporting a lot of cargo.

You’ll also want to think about the material and durability. You’ll most often find steel containers that can handle a lot of wear, but you also have aluminum options that have less durability but are easier to move around.

If you don’t feel sure about exactly the type of container you need, don’t worry. We can help you find the best option and even offer fully customized and modified shipping containers for sale.

2. Consider Used Shipping Containers

As long as you buy from a reputable provider and do a thorough inspection, you can save cash when considering used shipping containers for sale. In fact, you can cut your cost in half and also spend less for transportation.

On top of the savings, you get a more environmentally friendly option. And despite being used, these containers can still offer durability that will serve you in the long run. 

3. Understand Delivery Options

Due to the size and weight of a Texas shipping container, you’ll need to find the right shipment method that you can afford. You’ll want to ask the seller whether you will need to pay an additional shipping charge and what the charge is based on.

At the same time, you’ll want to make sure you have an appropriate delivery spot available with enough space for unloading the container. Also, remember that the ground surface should be hard enough to support the weight of the delivery truck and the container(s). 

4. Ask About Depot Services

Beyond needing to consider which container to buy and how it will be delivered, you should also check which depot services the seller offers. This way you can get some additional services (like container modifications)  thrown into the overall deal. 

For example, shipping container modification services come in handy when you need a custom container. Your seller might also offer repair, painting, cleaning, and maintenance services to keep your container in good shape. You can also find sellers who offer safe storage when you don’t need to use your container for a bit.

Find the Best Shipping Containers in Dallas

If you’re looking for shipping containers in Dallas, look no further than our company. We’ll work with you to help you find used or new shipping containers for sale that meet your needs. We also offer an array of depot services for your convenience.

Are you ready to learn more? Contact us today for a quote and help exploring your options.

Where to Buy Bulk Shipping Containers and the Benefits of Buying Bulk

The shipping industry is BIG business. A whopping 1.8 billion tons of goods were shipped and transported by shipping containers in 2017 alone.

To get the best deal on your containers, you should probably consider buying shipping containers in bulk. But, where do you buy them? And will you really be saving that much more money.

Here we tell you all the benefits of buying in bulk and where to get your bulk containers.

You’ll Spend Less Money

This is always the biggest benefit of buying in bulk. Because you will be transacting a substantial order, you will have more leverage to negotiate with the supplier.

If you’re going to be a repeat customer of these bulk orders in the future, let the supplier know. This will give them even more of an incentive to strike a better deal with you, so they retain you as a long term client. 

Owning Your Own Containers Means You Can Make Money on the Leftover Space

Buying in bulk means you have more containers to fill up and more profits to rake in. So, you own many containers and the goods you’re shipping don’t fill up all the bulk containers you own. You can perhaps rent them as container storage space to other people. Still making money on the original bulk shipping container purchase. 

Reduced Costs for Shipping

You’ll always get a better deal if you’re shipping a bunch of containers at once than if you’re only shipping one. Why? Because the transport costs the same in gas and labor regardless of the number of containers on the vessel. By shipping as many containers as you can at once you’re only paying for that premium once.

Get More Bang For Your Buck, Buying in Bulk Can Get You the Bigger Boxes

When you spring for a bulk order there are times you’ll be upgraded to the bigger containers for free. Remember the leverage we were talking about? When you buy in bulk you’re holding the cards.

Ask the seller if they’re willing to make a few of the containers 40 feet instead of 20 feet and they’ll usually let you do it at the same price. You might even be able to get your new containers at used prices by buying in bulk.

Buy Your Bulk Shipping Containers From the Best

So now that you know all the benefits of buying bulk shipping containers you need to know where to buy them. Well, you’re in luck.

Equipment Management Services is one of the leading providers in the USA. Located in both Houston and Dallas, TX, they offer a vast array of new, used, and modified shipping containers. They can deliver the containers anywhere you’d like and even modify them to your exact specifications.

Ready to buy your containers now? Click here to learn more and contact them today

Houston Shipping Containers Ready to Be Transported to Their Rightful Owners

Storage Containers for Sale: 4 Transportation Methods for Moving a Shipping Container

Moving a shipping container requires efforts from several different parties in order for everything to go smoothly. Lots of goods and cargo are stored in these containers, so efficiency, safety, and logistical parameters always must be taken into account.

So if you’re looking for transportation methods for container transport, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll look at 4 methods you can use to make sure your experience goes as smoothly as possible.

1. By Truck

For shorter distances, you can totally move a shipping container by truck. They’re relatively easy to load onto a truck because they tilt at an angle, in-order to load and offload them. 

From a logistical standpoint, make sure to take into consideration the space neeeded to deliver your container to the end destination. Container delivery by truck is a cost-effective method, but may not be as efficient if you’re traveling long distances or delivering within close quarters.

2. By Train

This is a method that can work for your freight containers if both ends (start and finish) are near rail lines. Otherwise, it’ll probably cost too much and take too many logistical accommodations to make feasible.

When shipping by train you must always consider the type of cargo that is being sent. You will be required to have certain permits for each, and also may have to pay extra for a very heavy conex box.

3. By Boat

Shipping overseas? Need to move cargo long distances and have access to water? Then going by boat might be your best option. However, there are a handful of considerations unique to this option, too.

Is your container watertight? Depending on the shipping container’s make and how long it’s been used, the answer could be no. 

Do you have access to a company to move it in and out of the port? These are often very busy channels and may require extensive planning to initiate. If you need to ship a conex box last minute, the cost may be exorbitant.

Naturally, this option will work best if you’re shipping something halfway across the world. See this complete guide for sea shipping so you can determine if this is the right solution for you.

4. Outsourcing

Shipping a container can be a big hassle. If you’re new to the game or don’t really want to know how to move a shipping container, you may be able to outsource the project entirely. This option will no doubt cost the most — you’re not only paying for shipping, but cargo loading and other forms of manual labor. However, this is a very convenient one-stop solution if you don’t want to be involved first-hand.

Moving A Shipping Container

When moving a shipping container, you have several options. The most popular choices are by train, truck, or boat, and the nature of your situation will help determine which method is best for your needs.

If you want to be completely hands-off, you can outsource your entire project. At that point, you’ll be making your best guess regarding how your outsource team got it to the end destination.

Looking to buy shipping containers? Learn more about how our products can help you today.

9 Things to Consider Before Building Shipping Container Homes

Building shipping container homes look simple, but any homeowner will tell you that there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Your preparation – from research to budgeting to design – will make the most significant difference in your ability to build the home of your dreams on time and “on budget.

What do shipping container enthusiasts wish they knew before they built their first home? We share things you need to know before you build – so read on.

1. Always Check out the Shipping Container Before Buying

Try before you buy” is a pretty common piece of consumer advice. It is particularly important when you buy shipping containers.

One of the most common regrets mentioned by shipping container homeowners is their failure to look at the containers before buying them.

When you buy shipping containers, you choose between three types: brand new containers, one-trip containers, and used containers.

New containers have never seen an ocean liner. But they are popular because you can build them according to your specs. For example, you can ask for a container that hasn’t been chemically treated.

One-trip containers are almost like-new but come with a slightly higher price tag.

At the same time, containers used and abused on boats are likely to come beaten and battered. You can’t plan for dents you don’t see, so it’s essential to at least see pictures of the containers before purchasing them.

Standard vs. High Cube Containers

Height is another common mistake made by customers who try to source containers on their own.

The standard shipping container is 8 feet, 6-inches tall. High cube containers are 9 feet, 6-inches tall. You typically want the high cube containers, which give you a much needed extra head-space. The high cube containers leave you with an eight-foot ceiling even after installation, which adds comfort and space to your home.

2. Ask About Houston Building Regulations

As with any building project, you will most likely need a permit before you get to break ground on a shipping container house in Houston. Shipping container building codes differ by city and even within zones of each city. Talk to your local planning permission office to learn about what kind of permits you need. Remember, it’s better to ask than pay unnecessary fines. 

3. Learn About Structural Integrity

Shipping containers are a robust base building material. After all, their design allows them to be filled, stacked, and shipped endlessly. However, shipping containers still deal with structural integrity issues and understanding how they work is critical for planning your home.

Consider how much steel you need to cut from your shipping container. As you remove material, you remove strength. You inevitably make the structure less sound. In which case you will need to reinforce it with extra steal beams, to make it habitable. How much is too much? Windows and doors won’t dramatically impact the steel’s performance, but removing an entire wall requires extensive consideration.

4. Minimize Welding When Possible

Working with steel containers involves some amount of welding, but if you can, try to minimize the amount of welding you need during the design phase. Welding is going to ratchet up the cost of your home and tack on more time to your building phase. Skip welding except in the necessary places, to ensure you stick to your budget and timelines. 

5. Think About Insulation

As with any home, your insulation should reflect the climate that you live in. An excellent local contractor can make the right recommendations.

The primary challenge you face in insulating your shipping container is the depth of the walls. The steel provides the durability shipping containers need, but there’s not much in the way of thickness. That means you’ll need to build the walls out to install insulation.

The process is similar to installing insulation in a basement. You have two options: build the walls in and remove square footage or build out and alter the aesthetics of your exterior. The decision is yours to make, but you’ll need to make it early as it will impact your design.

6. Plan for Wind

Shipping containers can withstand harsh conditions thanks to the strength they have in numbers. At the same time, even an unsecured, standalone shipping container can withstand winds of 100 mph. However, their ability to withstand those winds doesn’t mean that you’re not going to hear them.

Planning for wind is particularly crucial for Texas shipping container homes. Thanks to the state’s mostly flat geography.

In addition to planning for your container home’s wind rating, you also need to think about ways to block the wind (and the noise). Including these in your initial design plans will help save you time and headache later.

7. Plan for Rain

The State of Texas is famous for its thunderstorms and hurricanes – which can bring incredible amounts of rain in an instance, followed by flooding. 

When you plan your exterior, prepare for rain, particularly with your paint choices. Houston Shipping Containers would need a robust type of paint to withstand heavy rainfall. Ideally, you should choose a marine-grade direct-to-metal paint (DTM) for the job. Both Valspar and Sherwin Williams offer suitable products.

8. Understand That Aggravation Is Part of the Process

Many like the idea of building shipping container homes because it looks and sounds more relaxed than traditional construction.

However, the aggravation you’ll experience with a traditional home build can follow you into your shipping container building plans as well. So be aware of this before you start building. It’s important to recognize this early on, so, you are emotionally prepared to overcome the challenges which will come later. 

9. Choose Experts When Possible

Get in touch with expert designers, structural engineers, and professional drawing services from the beginning, particularly if you want a custom container home.

As strange as it sounds, choosing experienced contractors will save you money in the long run, even if their services cost more up front.

Building Shipping Container Homes Starts With the Container

Building shipping container homes is an exciting challenge for contractors and homeowners alike. As with traditional construction, getting prepared before you break ground will save you time and money throughout your build.

Everything you do, starts with selecting the right shipping container(s) first. To learn more about finding the perfect container blocks for your home, contact our container professionals.

Deciding Between New and Used Shipping Containers in Texas

You may have seen an upsurge in homes built out of shipping containers. Shipping Container Homes can be as small as 1 container or as larger as 11 containers stacked together to create a 3 story home.

Did you know that shipping containers can also be used for a module office, in-law suite, extra storage, and so much more?

If you plan to use a shipping container for shipping or some other creative solution, step 1 is to determine if you need a new or used container.

Read on to learn the pros and cons of each and how to find the right used shipping containers for sale in the Houston area.

New and Used Shipping Containers for Sale in the Houston Area

Deciding between new and used shipping containers can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider these pros and cons when deciding which type of container is right for you.

New Shipping Containers

We have listed the pros and cons of new shipping containers here.

PROS

Besides being bright and shiny, new containers have no risk of cross-contamination from the previous products it stored.

New containers are air and watertight and will pass all inspections associated with shipping on a container ship.

New containers will not be branded from previous use and will more than likely already come with forklift pockets. New containers are also easier/safer to modify and come with a longer manufacturer’s warranty. 

CONS

The biggest drawback of a new shipping container is the cost. Depending on how you are planning on using the container, it may not make financial sense to purchase a new container to store used or end of life equipment. 

Used Shipping Containers

If you are purchasing a used container consider having it inspected by a certified member of the Institute of International Container Lessors. They can independently determine the grade and quality of the container. 

PROS

The first benefits of used shipping containers is they are cheaper than new ones. If aesthetics are not an issue, used containers can be great for an on-site, mobile office or portable toilet facility.

There are three different grades of used shipping containers, A, B, C. Grade A is only slightly used and can still be considered watertight. B and C containers are used containers that have various grades of defects.

CONS

For used containers, there are three factors to consider. The first, and biggest is the risk of cross-contamination. Chances are you will have no idea what was in the used container before you purchased it. Therefore this is not the ideal choice for the storage of sensitive goods.

Second, used containers are not considered “seaworthy” because of the potential for air and water leaks at the seals. Finally, used containers do not last as long as new ones. 

The first step in purchasing a shipping container is to be clear about your needs. From there it is easy to determine if you need to purchase a new or used shipping container.

Do You Need Used or New Shipping Containers in the Greater Houston Area?

If you are looking for a new or used shipping container in the Houston area, contact us. We have a large selection of both new and used containers and our qualified team can help you find the perfect one for your needs.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better: WHAT SIZE SHIPPING CONTAINER DO YOU NEED?

Shipping and storage containers come in all shapes and sizes for different uses and implementations.

For businesses, shipping containers can be used for their original purpose of shipping merchandise. And, they can be used for extra storage as either a solid part of your logistics mechanism or a short stop-gap until a warehouse is available.

However, depending on your needs, you’ll have to pick the right-sized shipping container in order to prevent wasting money on useless space or not having enough room to ship your merchandise all in one go.

Wondering how big is a shipping container needs to be? Keep on reading to learn all about the different sizes available on the market and what they’re most suitable for.

How Big Is a Shipping Container?

There are three main sizes available on the market. From 10-foot storage containers up to humongous 40-foot ones, each comes with their own special perks.

10-Foot Containers

These are the entry-level sized containers. 

Considered to be quite economic in size, these containers tend to be large enough for most residential buyers’ needs or for small businesses.

If you’re looking for extra storage space with a minimalist design, then a 10-foot container can work beautifully for you.

It can be used as a great portable storage solution, where you can put all excessive (but important) equipment out of sight.

However, you’ll have to keep an eye out for clutter or ill-used space, because every single foot counts here.

Moreover, if you’re planning on shipping a minimal amount of merchandise or you’re just starting, sticking with the 10-foot container can be cost-effective for your business. As it were, it keeps getting more expensive as we go bigger.

20-Foot Containers

This container size is the comfortable middle for many businesses. It follows the ideal of not-too-big and not-too-small for most companies’ needs. 

Same as the 10-foot storage containers, the sky is the limit in terms of usage. Whether you have storage in mind or straightforward shipping, a 20-foot container can be quite versatile.

A great way of using a 20-foot container is for the storage or shipment of vehicles. It can hold most residential vehicles as well as pickup trucks with no issues regarding space.

There are so many innovative business ideas for small shipping containers that can add immense value to your company.

40-Foot Containers

These containers are big enough to be looked at as portable storage warehouses, temporary office spaces or even school classrooms.

They are among the largest options available on the market. In addition to the tremendous amount of space for shipping huge equipment, they can be customized according to your preferred specifications.

For example, they can be set up to be full-side open units, which are perfect for materials and products that are fragile or sensitive in nature.They can be set up to be climate-controlled and refrigerated.

Ready to Get Your Container Game On?

Now you know all about how big a shipping container needs to be to suit your business. For even more details check out this article which outlines buying containers for sale in Houston.

Want even more information? Check out our resources section for the latest container tips and advice.

Tricks of the Trade: How to Buy Shipping Containers for Sale in Houston

If you want to build a minimalist home or expand your business, you may be looking for shipping containers for sale in Houston.

Whatever your reason for needing a shipping container, it’s easier than you think to buy one. We put together this simple guide to show you how you can purchase one for yourself or your business.

Keep reading to learn more about the steps you need to take before purchasing one or more shipping containers in Texas.

1. Know What You Need

The first thing you need to do is decide what you need in a shipping container. This will be determined by what you’re planning on using your container for.

If you’re using it for shipping goods, for example, you’ll need a different container compared to someone planning on using it as a backyard storage solution.

There are two main considerations to be made:

Size

There are several sizes of shipping containers available. Let’s take a quick look at the most common options you can choose from.

  • 40′ L x 8′ W x 8′ H
  • 20′ L x 8′ W x 8′ H
  • 40′ L x 8′ W x 8.5′ H

Whereas nearly all shipping containers are eight feet wide, you can find lengths of 8′, 10′, 24′, 30′, 45′, 48′, and 53′. However, these make up a fraction of the containers available.

Grade

Once you know how big you need your shipping container, it’s time to decide on what condition you need it in. Shipping containers come in four grades so you can pick the right one for your purpose.

New

Also known as one-trippers, these are containers that are made in a factory (typically overseas) and sent directly to your nearest port.These are ideal for businesses looking to ship products around the world as they will last the longest compared to other grades.

Certified

If you’re looking to save some money while buying for your business, consider getting certified or cargo-worthy containers. These are used shipping containers that can still be used in overseas shipping lines. However, because these won’t last quite as long as a new container, you may find yourself replacing them sooner than you’d like.

Wind and Water Tight

Once a shipping container is no longer able to be used for overseas shipping, it becomes listed as wind and watertight. That means they don’t have any large holes in the sides but often have some rust and dents from years of use. Many people looking to use shipping containers to build storage or living spaces choose this grade because they’re less expensive but still provide excellent protection against the weather.

As-Is

The lowest grade of shipping containers is those that have obvious problems that prevent them from being completely waterproof. They may have extensive rust, holes in the metal, or doors that don’t seal properly.For some people, this isn’t a problem when they’re being used as a storage shed or for those that have the tools and skills to fix any problems they run into.

2. Find Shipping Containers for Sale in Houston

Once you know what you’re looking for in a shipping container, it’s easy to find a company that will provide one for you. We offer shipping containers for sale and can also help with modifications if you’re going to use it for anything but shipping. That way, it’ll start serving its purpose as soon as it arrives on your property.

3. Prepare Your Site

Once you’ve done all of that, you’ll want to make sure your site is ready. This is particularly important if your container is going to be a permanent structure somewhere so you don’t have to worry about moving it later. The largest sizes of containers can only be moved with an industrial crane whereas smaller containers can be moved with a heavy-duty forklift.

Determine Location

First, you need to know exactly where you want your container to go. The area should be level and larger than the size of the container so the shipping company can maneuver it into place. You’ll also want to make sure the truck can safely and easily get to the location you want your container. It would be a shame for your container to arrive only to find out it can’t be immediately placed where you want it.

Know Where You Want the Doors

Make sure you also think about where the doors should face. Shipping containers have one set of large doors that are only at one end. Most often, the containers are loaded so that these doors are facing the front of the truck.

Keep this in mind as you prepare your site so you can determine how the truck will get your container to the site. In some cases, you can request the container to be loaded in the opposite direction to easily get it where you want it. If you’re not planning on using the shipping container’s doors for anything and will be modifying it with your own doors, you may not need to worry about this aspect of preparation.

Maintain Airflow

If your shipping container is going to be sitting for any length of time, you need to make sure it has airflow to the bottom of the container. Otherwise, the floor may rust out over time because of moisture.This can be as easy as placing cement or wooden blocks where the container is going to be set. You can also get special casters that attach to the bottom of your container.

4. Arrange for Delivery

The final step once your site is ready is to make arrangements for delivery. The size of the container and future location for it may determine which option you use.

Flatbed and tilt trailers can be used for any size shipping container. However, if you need a larger container manipulated into place and don’t have equipment on hand, you’ll want a truck with a crane.

Ready to Buy Your Shipping Container?

Now you know the four steps needed to buy shipping containers in Houston. As you can see, it’s as simple as figuring out what you need, giving us a call, and having it shipped to your home.

Contact us today, so we can help find the perfect shipping container for you.

Container Home Texas

Top 10 Shipping Container Housing Designs for 2019

The shipping container home movement is on the rise—and for good reason. 

Shipping container housing is inexpensive to build, can be moved from place to place, and is environmentally-friendly. But those are only a few of the many benefits. And unlike most traditional homes, shipping container homes can be completely customized.  That’s why we’ve put together this list of the top 13 shipping container home designs, to help you get inspired.  

1. Stacked Home Design

Tiny homes are more popular now than they have ever been. If you’re ready to make the living adjustment to a much smaller space, you can create your own tiny home out of just one or two shipping container units.

Need more space then that? A stacked home is a great option for properties that don’t have a lot of square footage. You can build up instead of out. This is also a good style home if you live by something scenic, like a forest or an ocean, and want a good view. 

2. Modern Wood Cabin Design

Have you always dreamed of living in a cabin? By using shipping containers, you can build a modern cabin for a fraction of the cost. And don’t let the metal material of shipping containers get in the way of your inspiration. You can line the inside and outside with woodsy materials, like real wood or faux wood, to create a more traditional cabin feel. 

3. Simple Single Story Home Design

Despite the previous mentions on this list, your shipping container home doesn’t have to look different from the other houses in your neighborhood. You can simply create a modern, single story home for you and your family if that’s what you prefer. You could save a lot of money by using shipping containers as your base material. Not only that, you would be helping the environment by using 

4. Two-Story Modern Home Design 

Of course, if you want a bigger home, you can build a sleek, modern, two-story home with shipping containers, too. But let yourself get creative with the design. Maybe the second story hangs over the driveway. Maybe the second story doesn’t extend over the entire home. Maybe the second story functions more like a loft. You can even use shipping containers to build an attic space above your home if you want extra storage. 

5. Ranch-Style Home Design

The terms “ranch-style home” and “shipping containers” might not seem to mix, but you can build a 1280 square foot ranch-style home much cheaper when using shipping containers rather then traditional materials. All you need is two shipping containers. Set them 16 feet apart to form a large entryway and living space/dining area between them. The containers themselves house the bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. And there’s still plenty of room left over for a kitchen. 

6. Castle Home Design

Okay, so this home isn’t really a castle, but it can resemble one. You can build a two-story, three-story, or even a massive four-story square with shipping containers, leaving an empty space on the inside, like a courtyard. You can even stack more shipping containers vertically at the corners to make towers. 

7. Vacation Home Design

A shipping container vacation home lets you enjoy your summer or winter break without emptying your bank account. You can make the vacation home small for a quiet getaway or connect several shipping containers together so the entire family can join you. 

Staying near the ocean? Fill in the walls with large windows. Want to include the outdoors? Turn the top of the shipping crates into spacious balconies where you can lay in the sun or stare at the stars all night. 

8. Split/Bridge Home Design

A split or bridge home consists of two units linked together with a bridge.

This bridge can be on the second story and “float” over an outdoor living space or a garden. You can also leave the “bridge” at ground level and fill it with large and beautiful windows. A split home gives you the option to create two separate living spaces that are joined together. This makes it a good choice for people who live with a grown child or an older parent. 

Everyone gets to live together and still keep their privacy. 

9. Guest House Design

Do you have a lot of guests staying with you? You can give them their own space, by building a guest house from shipping containers. You would only need a couple of shipping containers to make a small guest house. That means you won’t have to spend a lot of money for something that looks great and is functional. 

10. Work Studio Design

If you need extra space to create art, you can always use shipping containers to create a functional work studio. You can connect this to your home if you want, or you can make it a separate unit on your property. Forming a large, empty space is a fast and inexpensive job with containers. You can also add a sink, power outlets, tables, storage, and anything else you need. 

Get Inspired By the Top 10 Shipping Container Housing Designs Ideas

Are you interested in building your own shipping container living space? Use these top 10 styles as your inspiration and starting point. And let yourself get creative. There are next to no limits when you’re building with shipping containers. 

Not sure where to find the containers themselves?

Make sure you click here to take a look at some of our shipping container options! 

The Inspirational Story of a Texas Container Bar

The city of Austin is a weird city and proud of this fact. The Texas metropolis even adopted the phrase “keep Austin weird” as a semi-official slogan to entice visitors from out of state. So it should not be much of a surprise that local businesses would try to play up the city’s unique vibe as much as possible.

Enter Container Bar, on Rainey Street, that’s built out of seven re-purposed shipping containers.

But why would you build a business out of shipping containers? Is it just a gimmick or is there more to it?

The Life and Story of Austin’s Container Bar

Admittedly, using shipping containers for construction is not new. That idea probably originated with the “micro-home” trend some years back. The idea was to build small, utilitarian, and easy-to-transport homes. With that criteria, using shipping containers was an obvious fit. Shipping containers are prefabricated, cost-effective, and easy to transport from one plot of land to another. So the first container buildings were very small homes built out of single container units. 

Their uniform size and shape let you treat them like Lego blocks during construction. You can arrange them to suit your needs. With so much flexibility, people started using shipping containers to piece together their own custom homes. From there, it was only a matter of time before someone got the idea to move the concept into the commercial space.

A few enterprising business people have already experimented with using containers for pop-up restaurants. These were usually small mobile kitchen or bars, more akin to a food truck than a brick and mortar establishment. But it wouldn’t be long until someone came along and expanded on this idea.

An Idea Born of Necessity

The Container Bar in Austin was the brainchild of Bridget Dunlap. A successful entrepreneur, Dunlap already owned several successful businesses in the city. But when she leased a plot of land near two of her existing venues, she had a mind to do something different.

Most of her previous ventures had been located in old homes that had been renovated into bars. However, around the time that she set to work on her new project, Dunlap recognized that the Rainey Street area was changing.

Dunlap’s first Austin-based bar and the first bar on Rainey Street had recently closed. It was shuttered and torn down to make way for a new, 250,000 square foot residential building. This seemed to be the herald of things to come, as the old bungalows that Dunlap and other local proprietors had been retrofitting into restaurants and venues were disappearing.

Luxury hotels and condos would take their places. And Dunlap recognized that she would need to plan ahead because Rainey Street would not stay the same forever.

A Bar Built to Move

Dunlap went into her new venture knowing that Rainey would only be a temporary home, with a permanent life elsewhere. Normally, having to pick up and move your entire establishment as part of a business plan would be a non-starter.

The decision to use shipping containers for the construction was not incidental. Nor was it just to cultivate an industrial-chic vibe. No, building with containers was essential to the bar’s future.

Ease of transport was a big selling point for people looking to build micro homes, and it would be that quality that allowed Dunlap to move forward with her plans. But even though the containers themselves are portable, Dunlap had her work cut out for her.

While shipping containers are themselves portable and durable, you need to account for all the material you are taking out during construction. Creating doorways, putting in plumbing, and especially multiple stories all need to be accounted for during the design phase.

So Dunlap sought the help of North Arrow Studio, in-order to ensure the container bar would be structurally sound while being fully mobile. Since, this bar would need to hold up to the rigors of being disassembled and moved to a new location in the future. 

All that hard work, however, would pay dividends when the finished product was settled on its first foundation.

The Opening of Container Bar

Unless you were part of the team planning and building the Container Bar, you probably would have had no idea what it would look like when it finally opened to the public.

You might expect a dingy industrial setting, maybe trying to cultivate a sense of danger and mystique. That would be the obvious direction to go. Which is probably when Dunlap opted not to go in that direction. Instead, she took advantage of the container’s compartmentalized nature to give patrons a variety of settings.

Rather than entirely renovating the interiors, Contain Bar uses a series of visual effects to give each area its own feel without entirely stripping away the containers’ utilitarian nature. There’s a winter scene, tiles and gradient patterns, dark wood cladding, gold leaf, and walls of repeating text, to name a few. These scenes are further enhanced with lighting and other visual effects to accentuate the vibe and ambiance. 

Built from seven containers over two stories, the 8,000 square foot space has a mix of indoor and outdoor areas with upstairs balconies and open courtyards.

Inside the structure, you will find multiple cubbyholes, where patrons can relax away from the main bar area. There are also several private rooms, and the mix of mood allows anyone to find a setting that suits them.

What Container Bar’s Success Means for the Future

The circumstances that brought about the Container Bar’s existence are not unique to Austin Texas. As urban areas grow, small enterprises find themselves pushed out to make way for new development.

Hence, more entrepreneurs are looking at shipping container construction. Faced with an unpredictable urban landscape, having the option to pack up and move out is an undeniable advantage.

Are you considering building with shipping containers for your new business concept? Check out some of our trendy container bar ideas. Whether as a permanent or a pop-up installation, they will always create a buzz.

10 Trendy Shipping Container Pop-Up Bar Ideas

Over the last few years Pop-up bars have been getting more and more popular. Their temporary nature creates a natural buzz in both the local and online communities. They can also attract a new crowd of people to your business. 

But one of the best parts of pop-up bars is the ability to design a fun and creative concept. Since shipping containers are prefabricated, they let you save money on building costs and put it toward decorations instead. 

Need some inspiration for your shipping container pop-up bar? We’ve put together some of the best ideas for shipping container bars in 2019. 

1. Movie Themed Bar

People love movies. Movies give us a window into another world, and they give us the chance to see and experience things we would never get the chance to do in our normal lives. In fact, about 54% of American adults watch a movie in a theater every month.

By creating a movie-themed pop-up bar, you’re giving people a way to escape from the everyday stresses of life and helping them retreat into a different reality. You can turn your shipping container bar into a Harry Potter common room, your favorite Disney princess castle, or the Death Star from Star Wars

2. TV Show Themed Bar

You can also decorate your pop-up shipping container bar in the theme of a popular TV show. For example, Stranger Things and Game of Thrones pop-up bars have done well in the past few years.  

But again, you have to time a TV show pop-up bar right. The Stranger Things pop-up opened six weeks before the second season aired on Netflix. Since people were already hyped for the new season, they were excited to check out the bar. Picking the wrong TV show at the wrong time might make your bottom line suffer. 

3. Holiday Themed Bar

As the holidays get closer, people start looking for holiday-related places to visit and activities to do. You can jump on this excitement by turning your shipping container bar into a holiday getaway. 

Is Halloween coming up? Create a haunted bar full of zombies, vampires, or monsters. Is Christmas right around the corner? Hang Christmas lights, put up stockings, and turn your bar into a winter wonderland. Since there are so many holidays throughout the year, you can redecorate and reopen your bar again and again. 

4. Animal Bar 

Petting and cuddling dogs and cats can actually reduce people’s stress. Since many people are weighed down by bills, work, and other responsibilities of life, they will jump at the chance to spend some time with adorable animals. 

However your animal petting bar doesn’t have to stick to the traditional cats and dogs. Think outside the box. Make your bar home to a few owls or some adorable baby goats. If you provide animals people don’t get to interact with very often, they’ll be even more excited to show up. 

5. Superhero Bar

Superheroes are no longer just for nerds. In fact, superheroes are more popular today than they ever have been before. Because of this, you can attract people from all different walks of life to a superhero themed pop-up bar. You can base your bar off the well-known Marvel universe or choose to give it a different comic book look and feel. 

6. Medieval Bar 

A medieval pop-up bar gives people the chance to experience a Renaissance era blast from the past. It also gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to decorations. You can choose to make your shipping container bar look like the inside of a castle or keep it in the theme of a traditional tavern. 

No matter what you choose, people will enjoy stepping back in time for a few hours. 

7. Bubble Warp Bar 

One minute spent popping bubble wrap can relieve the same amount of stress as a 30-minute massage. To help your customers break away from the stress in their lives, you can create a bubble wrap pop-up bar. The process isn’t hard.  All you have to do is cover the walls, tables, chairs, glasses, bottles, etc. with normal bubble wrap. When someone orders a drink, they get to pop all the bubbles, in the bar and on their glass, too. 

8. Lego Bar 

Want to create a nostalgic pop-up bar that’ll remind people of their childhood? You can build the entire bar out of lego blocks.  Okay, maybe not the entire building, but you can certainly build tables, chairs, and other features out of lego pieces. You can even include lego dishes if you want.  Just be careful with the floor. No one wants to walk on those dangerous lego pieces (even if they’re wearing shoes!). 

9. Travel/Getaway Bar 

You can also turn your bar into a popular travel destination. Over 39 million Americans can’t afford to go on a summer vacation this year, so you can give them a relaxing getaway at your bar instead. For example, cover the floor in sand, shells, and beach balls and bring the beach to them. 

You can choose any number of vacation destination themes. But make sure it’s someplace that interests the people in your area. 

10. Let the Location Be Your Draw 

One of the best benefits of opening a shipping container pop-up bar is its portability. You can move the shipping container from place to place without a lot of hassle or money. Because of this, you can put your bar in a beautiful location and let the natural surroundings be your draw.

However, you have to make sure the location you choose to put your bar is easy for people to reach. No one wants to drive an hour away to get to your bar. 

Opening Shipping Container Bars: Essential Pop-Up Ideas for 2019

Shipping container bars may be inexpensive to build, but you have to come up with an interesting design to set you apart from the competition and attract customers. These pop-up bar ideas should give you the inspiration you need to open your own shipping container bar soon. 

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