How to Start a Business Using Shipping Containers

There’s lots to think about when you decide to launch a new retail business. First, you’ve got to come up with a great business plan, then find startup capital, build inventory, get registered, and find your employees. Once you’ve got all of that figured out, you still need to decide on a location for your business.

In this post, we’re going to talk about why starting your retail business with a shipping container is the right move. Retail shops are the perfect match for what shipping containers provide, but there are some other benefits as well.

Keep reading to gain inspiration for your new shipping container business.

Starting Small With Retail Shops

The beauty of using shipping containers for retail shops is that they allow you to start small and grow comfortably. Because they’re affordable and take up little space, you really only have to worry about finding a suitable sized piece of land.  Once you’ve done that, you can build up your retail shipping container shop. They’re great for small clothing boutiques or thrift shops. They are an elegant solution to the problem of searching for a retail space to lease.

Getting Into the Arts

If you’re an artist or artisan, a shipping container space will be the perfect way to open up a gallery and showcase your paintings, photographs, wares, or whatever it is that you make and sell. This is one of the more popular shipping container based businesses out there, as other small galleries and pop-ups have shown in other parts of the country. Both Houston and Dallas are home to growing art communities, but space is always hard to come by as an artist. So, get a shipping container and start displaying your work today.

Fine Dining

A new trend in the culinary world is the shipping container restaurant. These are really popular in shipping container strip mall structures. But nowadays you’re starting to see them appear more and more by themselves, just about all around the country.

Its a known fact that Texans love their food!  It’s a great way to start a small restaurant if you’re a young chef and want to focus on building your menu and getting customers into the door. When you can’t find a space set up for your restaurant already, shipping containers make it easy to build a simple kitchen and small dining area.

Coffee Shop

Coffee shops are always better in cozier spaces. As with restaurants, shipping containers are really inviting to the coffee shop business model. You just need a simple space, big enough to fit your coffee machine, seating, and maybe a retail shop. Another perk is that they’re easier to build in bigger cities. You just need a small piece of land and the customized shipping container will do the rest.

Small Office

If you’re an independent entrepreneur in any field, a shipping container or two would make for a perfect office for you and a few other employees. Whether you’re a tax accountant or an architect, a shipping container provides you with ample space to set up a few desks and cabinets.

Start Your Business In a Shipping Container Today

Now that you’ve got business ideas from retail shops to fine dining, you can start creating a business plan for a shipping container based business today! It all starts with an idea and then a space to work in.

To get your shipping container business started, contact us at Equipment Management Services. We’re your one-stop-shop for new and used shipping containers in Houston and Dallas.

All about Shipping Container Tiny Homes

Shipping container tiny homes are a flexible and affordable alternative to conventional houses. They offer a solid, weatherproof structure at a fraction of the price of a traditional build. But what exactly is a shipping container tiny home? Let’s dig into this more and find out.

Shipping Container Tiny Homes Basics

Tiny homes are houses with very small external footprint and an inside designed to space maximization. The tiny home movement uses a lot of creative building materials, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Shipping containers are a popular building material for tiny homes because they already arrive with a sturdy corrugated steel shell. Shipping container tiny homes interiors offer a blank canvas to build out this space into an ideal home layout.

It’s also relatively easy to use more than one container to expand this space, side-ways or upwards. Extra containers can quickly give you a second or even a third story. As you can imagine, there are lots of shipping container tiny home plans to choose from. You are only limited by your imagination, budget and space constraints.

Ready-Built or DIY?

One of the benefits of a shipping container tiny home is the ability to customize your home economically. However, to make an empty container into a functional home takes a lot of work and specialized knowledge. If you have a good working knowledge of carpentry or metal work, adding internal walls and external windows to your shipping container could be easy. Plumbing and electrical work can be trickier in such a small space however.

Building your own shipping container home from scratch might save you money, but it can lead to frustration and expensive mistakes. If you are already a skilled builder, it might be possible to buildout your entire home by yourself, but that isn’t an option for everyone.

There are a handful of companies that sell ready-built shipping container homes and offer customization services to take care of the more complex building tasks for you. These services give you the freedom and flexibility to make your home your own while also giving you the experts you need to do it right.

To save on transportation costs, check for shipping container service providers in your area first.

Know Your Local Regulations

The first thing you’ll need before you build your shipping container home is a place to put it. Owning a piece of land might seem like thats enough, but you’ll need to check with your city’s government about building permits before your start. A fabulous shipping container tiny home is no good if your city won’t let you live in it. Knowing the zoning laws for your area is an important step to take when you are considering a tiny home.

While some places have restrictive zoning rules, Houston, Texas is a great example of a place with very few restrictions when it comes to building a shipping container home. They do not have zoning laws, and instead use development ordinances to regulate buildings in the city.

Find Your Containers

Shipping container tiny homes are an easy and affordable way to design the home of your dreams. While building a long-lasting, functional shipping container home that complies with local regulations may seem daunting, there are experts who can help!

Reach out to us today to start your tiny house journey soon.

Container Home Texas

5 Tips for Choosing Shipping Container Hotels to Stay At

Are you an adventurous traveler, looking for somewhere different to stay? If so, then you should consider a shipping hotel. Not only are they totally unique, but they also come in a range of comfort levels and styles that you need to know about.

Shipping container hotels are becoming more prevalent, with more choices popping up around the world. Below, we give you 5 tips for choosing shipping container hotels to stay at.

1. Choose a Location

Staying in shipping containers is becoming extremely popular. You may actually be surprised at how many locations around the world have shipping container hotels. From Argentina to Japan, there are a host of choices for the adventurous traveler.

If you prefer to stay closer to home, then the US itself has a number of hotels made from shipping containers. Detroit has First Container, a boutique hotel with over 45 rooms. In Texas, you can find the Flophouze shipping container hotel.

2. Opt for Comfort

Surprisingly, staying at shipping container hotels can offer a very high level of service and comfort. One example is the Alterra Beach Resort in Argentina. It started life as a small accommodation service from shipping containers, then expanded to a huge resort, all made from the repurposed containers.

The location has all the luxury amenities you would expect. These include massage services, relaxing pool and spa services, and even its own art gallery.

3. Combine It With a Festival

For many, festival accommodation is nothing more than a flimsy tent. While comfort has been increasing to include yurts and better equipped temporary facilities, nothing can beat a shipping container hotel.

The US company Rollick Hotels specializes in temporary container hotel designs. Using an innovative design imported from Hong Kong, they plan to rent them out at major events such as the Superbowl and the major US music festivals.

4. Go for a Known Brand

It is not just boutique hotels that are letting you stay in shipping containers. Major hotel chains are also getting in on the act. One of these is the British firm Travelodge.

They have a shipping container hotel that is made from a huge 120 rooms. This hotel was covered in cladding to give it the appearance of a regular hotel. It was so successful, they then built a much larger 300 room hotel near Heathrow airport.

5. Save Money

Of course, there are a number of budget options for shipping container hotels. Scotland was one of the first countries to open a shipping container hostel, ideal for anyone backpacking in the highlands. The 12 containers each house mixed bed dormitories, that can sleep up to 48 people.

Finding Shipping Container Hotels

All that is left is to try out one of the many shipping container hotels located around the world. With more popping up, they offer an interesting alternative for your accommodation needs.

If you are considering building a container hotel, or have any shipping container queries, then contact Equipment Management Services. We can help you with everything from container sales to container modifications. Click here to discuss your needs with one of our expert staff members.

What to Consider when building a Shipping Container Affordable Home

Have you been inspired by the idea of upcycling a shipping container into your new home?

Shipping container affordable housing is becoming more common as mainstream housing prices continue to rise. As this is still a relatively new idea, all the details have not yet become common knowledge. So, let take a closer look at some of the ins and outs of this alternative minimalist dwelling units.

Shipping Container Affordable Housing

What you see stacked high on ships are now being used as building materials for the latest tiny homes and sometimes even trendy businesses. The containers themselves are reasonably priced, especially for a used one.

Of course, there are a lot of other costs to factor in, but for the price of one or two months of a mortgage, you could easily purchase a pre-owned container and begin the buildout process.

Where Will You Put It?

Before we even begin talking about the details of living in shipping containers, you’ll need a place to put your new home. Do you have a piece of land, or are you planning on shopping for one? Flat land is suggested, and privacy (no neighbors) is always nice.

Also, will you go all the way and live “off of the grid,” or are you just after a non-traditional style home? If going of the grid, Solar panels or wind power can serve as a good alternative source of electricity.

Talk To Your Local Municipality First

Not to scare you off of the idea, but there are horror stories about people building a shipping container home, and having to tear it down because they didn’t have the proper permits. Don’t be like those people, get all of your permission slips before making this journey.

Shipping Container Providers

The best move that you can make is to purchase your shipping container from someone who deals with them all the time, and in a professional manner. Buying shipping containers from a local container depot is recommended over a random internet marketplace find.

Picking Your Pros

It is never too early to start planning on who will be doing the work on your shipping container home. Will you hire an architect, or will you design the floorplans yourself? You will need all kinds of home building experts. Electricians, plumbers and metal fabricators to name a few.

Advantages of a Shipping Container Home

This non-traditional style home comes with many perks.

Here is just a few,

  • Unique
  • Affordable
  • Sustainable
  • Mobile

The list of advantages goes beyond this short list, but this is a good start.

Disadvantages of a Shipping Container Home

As always, it is best to look at the cons, as well as the pros of the situation.

  • Challenging to insulate
  • Difficult to cut
  • Narrow in length
  • Finding building contractors with experience

The more of a challenge it is to build your shipping container home, the more you will appreciate it in the end.

Take that first step!

Yes, there is a lot to think about and plan for, but if you really want it then just go for it! Building a shipping container affordable home can be an unique, fun, and rewarding experience.

Do you have more questions about shipping containers? Texas-based Equipment Management Services (EMS) is the local leader in the container supply and modification industry. They are ready to help answer any/all your queries, contact them today!

3 Big Benefits of Living in a Shipping Container Home in the Dallas Area

We’re living in an era where possibilities are endless.

We can manifest tangible dreams that grow from our will into reality. However, when we look for our dream home, there seems to be a standard blueprint that many people follow.

But in the age of sustainable, progressive practices in every area of our lives, home’s can look just as unique as every person. One area where home building creativity abounds, is in the use of shipping containers for homes.

If you’re moving to Dallas or live in that area, unique and diverse shipping container homes are on the rise.

Let’s jump into the three main benefits of living in a custom shipping container home.

Affordability

When you’re searching for your new home, meeting your budget is ideal. What if there was a way to undercut your budget by…a whole lot?

The average cost of a shipping container can range anywhere from $1,500 for the bare minimum to $6,000 for a brand new, large container. So, from the very start, there are cost savings associated with using shipping containers as a base material – even if you end up spending thousands later to hire professional contractors for the build out.

Now if you want to save even more money, you may consider a do-it-yourself project. Especially if you are good with your hands and have the time to embark on such an ambitious project. This can be especially true if you are a person that is well versed in a craftsman-like trade.

The workings of this do-it-yourself project could look something like this. First review your circle of support to identify friends, family, or neighbors who are well versed in general contracting. Next begin rounding up a few of your friends who are fabrication savvy to help you with any welding needs. And then maybe along the way you reach out to an old architect friend for help with the design layout. All of these options can save you thousands in lieu of hiring professionals.

Mobility

The tough thing about the travel bug is that when it bites hard, it leaves quite the mark.

Living in a shipping container set up means you have the ability to pick up and go when you need to. A relatively simple deconstruction with some light packing and you’re on your way. Having this sense of ultra-mobility as an adventurous person or someone who lives in two places per year can be very empowering. It can reduce stress levels and concerns about renting, deposits, having two homes in two locations, and a myriad of other complexities.

Sustainability

Utilizing recycled materials is the only way we’ll pave the road to a greener future.

Shipping container homes are sustainable in the way that they don’t require standard production practices, which diminish access to natural resources and burden future generations with contamination. Shipping container homes also limit the space that needs to be filled with comforts like a TV in every bedroom. Instead the smaller spaces encourage a less consumer-centric lifesyle while at the same time increasing the desire to be outdoors.

Using a shipping container as a blueprint for a new home can reduce carbon footprint and encourage sustainable practices. By doing this, we invest in a future that will gift us a cleaner earth.

Build Your Shipping Container Home

Custom shipping containers are available to you in Dallas. With their ability to be affordable, sustainable, and flexible, it’s no wonder shipping container home popularity is on the rise.

To learn more about shipping containers in Dallas, connect with our us today.

Dig This: How to Build an Underground Home Using a Shipping Container

Between energy concerns and overcrowding fears, the idea of living underground is currently gaining some popularity. Articles by industrial and construction companies muse about the possibilities, but rarely (and perhaps, ironically) go in-depth on the how and what of creating an underground home.

This undercurrent of interest now meets the booming interest of converting shipping containers into homes. Taking these units down, and using them to form a pre-packaged underground home has a lot of merits. However, its also not as simple as digging a hole and dropping in a box.

Read on to learn about the whys, the hows, and the costs of crafting your own underground container domicile.

Why an Underground House?

The two major reasons for building a house underground are to capitalize on space and to reap energy savings.

A hefty percentage of a home’s energy expenditures are wrapped up in heating and cooling the structure. These costs stabilize, year-round, given the 50-60 degree baseline temperature once you get 20-30 feet underground. The soil is dense and not subject to the wild fluctuations of wind and solar albedo.

The space-saving is less clear cut. The value of underground real estate has been ticking up as power and utility companies have increasingly learned to bury their lines. The earth is more stable in terms of natural disasters and safer for workers to perform repairs than forty-plus feet in the air.

Also, a house underground cuts down on overcrowding of streets and sightlines, allowing a more natural environment to stay in place.

Container Dimensions

Containers come in different dimensions of height, width, and length. Typically, a plan for an underground home will use four or more containers. To maintain structural fidelity, it’s best to work in pairs and secure the containers together before making doorways and other pass-throughs.

Installation FAQ

An underground house isn’t necessarily completely underground. Different plans call for the house to be linked in a spoked-fashion around a central atrium that acts as an entrance for people and light.

Another option is to build the container home into a cave or hill. Building an underground house into the side of a hill or mountain provides three-fourths coverage while still benefiting from coverage of earth.

Air ventilation needs to increase as more of the Container structure is put underground. Light refraction also becomes important, humans do better with natural light that is readily available, instead of continues artificial light. Also, running the lights 24/7 cuts into the energy savings of the home design.

The soil conditions of the area needs to be understood, and, if needed, shored up. Soil needs to have proper drainage to avoid sedimentation or erosion. You don’t want the walls to push in over time or the floor to give way.

Securing permits is key. Even if you own the property, you are unlikely to have an alodial title. The ground you are digging in may be part of the public space. Whatever the case, you will need a permit in many areas to perform large-scale excavation.

Shipping and Beyond

The strength and versatility of shipping containers make them a popular option for building an underground home or shelter. The containers are built to be stacked and withstand pressures from all sides. This means they require minimal modification to withstand the pressures of being buried.

Shipping containers are also plentiful and easy to find. Contact us to learn more about new, used, and pre-modified shipping containers for sale.

Everything You Need to Know About Designing the Perfect Shipping Container Office Space in Houston

You’ve seen all of the amazing ways you can use a shipping container as a home. But did you know that you can also create beautiful shipping container offices that are highly functional?

Not only can it be a trendy way to attract top talent, but it can also be cost-efficient whether you’re operating single or multiple units. You can equip the shipping container office exactly the way you need it.

Read on to learn more about how to build a shipping container office.

Determine Your Space Needs

You should choose the most suitable shipping container design depending on how many staff members are using the space at once to perform their job duties. One of the advantages of a shipping container is its cubic design—you can use a single container or stack them to create an entire building if required.

While you can run an entire operation out of a shipping container, you can also use them as add-ons to an existing commercial building. For example, you can use a shipping container as a training room or storage facility, or for any other purpose that you might need with some modifications.

Include All The Office Comforts

Using a shipping container as an office doesn’t mean you’re giving up any comforts of a traditional office. With some custom modifications, you can add features that will help keep employees cool such as air conditioning.

Letting natural light into any space has been shown to boost mood as well as having other benefits, so that is another consideration when designing your shipping container office. You can also inquire about adding bathroom facilities and septic tanks (once the container is in place) so people don’t have to go off-site.

One of the challenges of a shipping container as a workspace is limited indoor floor space. However, with a bit of pre-planning, you can ensure staff has room to move around unobstructed with all of the key elements in place. You can even set up the roof as additional space for staff to meet or have breaks.

Suit Your Brand

When it comes to running an office out of a shipping container, you will want it to reflect your company brand. That can mean using outdoor paint to cover rust and prevent wear, with the company name or logo clearly showing.

If you have clients coming into the container for meetings, then you’ll want to spruce it up a bit. You can consider some low-cost flooring options, and add other features such as a coffee maker or meeting cubicles. You’ll also want to make sure the entrances of the container comply with state accessibility guidelines.

Design The Ideal Shipping Container Office Building

While you might not have considered it yet, shipping container office spaces can be a way to save money on construction as well as becoming a trendy place for people to work.

With the right modifications, you can add all of the features one would expect from an office while showing off your company brand and even welcoming clients.

For more information about how to turn a shipping container into a great workspace, contact us today.

How Much Do Used Shipping Containers Cost? A Steel Containers Guide

Shipping containers are a huge trend. Whether for investing, for storing cargo, or even for establishing a home or a place of business. Demand for purchasing shipping containers has risen. And no doubt, if you’re reading this, you also want to get your hands on one.

You’re looking for a high-quality shipping container. You want to make sure you get the best product available.

Luckily, you don’t need to purchase new shipping containers for any of those needs. Buying used shipping containers can be just as high quality without having to break the bank. 

So the question is: How much do used shipping containers cost?

The price varies based on the product and here’s a quick guide to reference when making your purchase.

How Much Do Used Shipping Containers Cost?

When buying used shipping containers, you must first consider your needs before looking at the cost. 

Make sure you figure out the size of the shipping container before choosing. After you’ve determined the purpose of the container, you’ll have an idea of what the dimensions should be. Most likely, you’re using the container for cargo; the more cargo you possess, the larger dimensions you’ll need.

Once you’ve determined the size, you can now look at the cost.

Prices can always vary, but generally speaking, here are the price ranges to expect for used shipping containers:

  • 20 Feet = $2,100 (estimated) …contact supplier for actual prices based on condition
  • 40 Feet = $2,850 (estimated) …contact supplier for actual prices based on condition 

For particular modifications, the price will naturally vary. But generally speaking, a used shipping container should not exceed $4,000. 

Make sure you don’t go cheap on a used container. It may be tempting to purchase one under $1,000. But if a container is that cheap, it’s probably not of high quality and has hidden faults. 

But Wait! Make Sure You Know This First…

The prices above may seem appealing and cheaper than what you expected. But remember that you want to make sure the used shipping containers are also of high quality. Here’s what you need to look for when buying used shipping containers.

(Possible) Refurbishing

While we want to push you to get a high-quality used shipping container, there may always be the possibility that some sort of refurbishment will be required. This may include repainting the container or making minor repairs.

Weight A Minute!

Regardless of what’ll be stored in your shipping container, you’ll want to make sure the container can carry the weight of your cargo. When purchasing your used shipping container, inquire about the load of cargo that it can hold. You’ll have to calculate the weight of the cargo you plan to store to make sure it’s the right fit.

NOT a Sea Container

You may accidentally be looking at a sea container instead of a shipping container. The former is used for freight and can travel over sea or land. But a shipping container is used primarily for construction and is the better option for storing cargo. 

We’re Here to Help

So now that you know how much used shipping containers should cost and what to look for, you’re ready to look for one.

Equipment Management Services provides some of the best shipping containers for the Houston and Dallas areas. You can contact us to inquire about purchasing your shipping container and/or also get your container modified.

You can also find directions to our Houston office and our Dallas office. We hope to see you soon!

Essential Steps to Follow When Buying Shipping Containers in Dallas

Whether you’re looking to build a shipping container home or need it for another purpose, like carrying cargo, the process of buying shipping containers in Dallas can be intimidating to some.

Fortunately, it’s easier than you may realize to buy a cargo container. There are only five steps, and you could have your shipping container before you know it if you follow them well. Keep reading to learn more about what you need to do if you’d like to purchase a shipping container.

1. Know Its Purpose

The first thing you have to do is determine what you’ll be using your shipping container for. Some people use them for storage whereas others modify them into offices, homes, or barns. By knowing what you want it for, you can move onto the next step.

2. Decide What You Need

With your shipping container purpose in mind, there are three basic things you need to decide on before you make your purchase. By keeping these things in mind as you search for shipping containers in Dallas, you’ll save time and effort.

Size

There are several different sizes of shipping containers to choose from. They are either 8.5 or 9.5 feet in height and eight feet wide. The most common lengths are 20 feet and 40 feet, but you can also get them in 8, 10, 30, 48, and 53 feet in length.

Condition

You could purchase a new shipping container for your project, but a used container will work for most projects. Be sure to check its condition so you know it will be as weatherproof and watertight as you need it to be.

Modifications

Many companies, including ours, provide modification services so that your cargo container will be ready to be used as soon as it arrives. This is especially great for those that don’t have the tools and skills to transform their shipping containers themselves.

3. Find Cargo Containers for Sale

Once you know what you need in a shipping container, you can find one that meets your needs. As long as you’re looking for a common size, it should be easy to find one.

4. Get Modifications Made

If you want any modifications made on your shipping container before it’s sent to you, now is the time to do it. Be sure to communicate regularly with the container modification company to make sure everything is the way you want it before the final step of delivery. 

5. Arrange Shipping

Once your shipping container is ready for you, it’s time to make arrangements to have it shipped to you. You may have the means to transport it yourself, however, most people need the help of a professional transportation company.

Be sure to have the location ready so the transportation company can set it exactly where you need it when the containers arrive. Because you’ll likely need a backhoe or other heavy machinery to move your shipping container, it’s best to have it put in its permanent position immediately.

Ready to Buy Shipping Containers in Dallas?

Buying shipping containers in the Dallas Texas region can be a simple but painstaking process. Since it takes time to laboriously go through every step of the process outlined above in-order to prevent problems along the way. 

If you’ve completed the first two steps and are ready to make a look at containers, contact us today. We would be more than happy to guide you through the rest of the process so you can get a cargo container that fits your needs and budget. 

What Are the Different Types of Container Sizes?

The modern shipping container has been around since 1955. Malcolm P. McLean’s company started using the same truck trailers to move goods on both the highway and the sea. 

While the concept hasn’t changed much since then, the design options of the containers have changed. Now, you can find shipping containers in an array of sizes and designs. 

The trouble is, there are so many configurations that it’s tough to know which one is right for your needs. Read on to learn about your options for container sizes as well as the different types of containers.  

Common Shipping Container Sizes

The majority of shipping containers are 8 feet wide, so the height and length is what really separates them. 

The standard height for containers is 8.5 feet. But, high cube containers, which are 9.5 feet tall, are also considered standard.

The most common lengths for shipping containers are 20 and 40 feet long, so these are considered standard sizes. In fact, cargo ships are measured in TEUs, or twenty-foot equivalent units. The 20-foot container is so common it’s considered the base unit of measurement.  

You can also get containers in different lengths like 8, 10, 30, 48, and 53 feet. You can also get modified containers built to your specific dimensions, so the possibilities are endless. 

If you plan to use your container for highway transportation, you need to check the laws for your region before you buy a shipping container

There’s actually no federal length limit for truck tractor semi trailers, but there is a minimum length requirement. The minimum length requirement is different in every state, and ranges from 48 to 59 feet.  

Types of Shipping Containers

Standard dry containers are the most common type since they can handle most goods and cargo. 

Insulated and refrigerated containers have insulation in their walls which is why they’re great for produce, dairy, or meat. These two types of containers are both insulated except refrigerated units have a condenser that lets you control the temperature.  

High cubes are great for lightweight cargo because you can store more without adding any length. They’re also great for home or office conversions since there’s more head room for insulation or lighting.

Tunnel and side open containers have different door placements for easier access to the cargo. Tunnel containers have doors at both ends and side open containers have doors on the long side of the trailer. 

Open top containers don’t have a metal top, but you can cover them with a tarp. If you need to store or transport tall items, open top containers can help. 

Purchase Your Shipping Container Today

With such a wide range of container sizes and types, there’s a shipping container for practically every need. 

Whether you need a shipping container to transport your products or you need one for storage, Equipment Management Services can help. We offer new, used, and custom containers to clients near our Houston/Dallas locations and also all across the country, if feasible. 

To learn more about the shipping containers we offer, contact us today.