Why You Should Buy Shipping Containers Instead of Renting?

Do you need shipping containers for your business? You have two choices: buy the containers or rent them. Renting metal shipping containers usually seems like an affordable option in the beginning. You only incur the rental cost, which is a small percentage of the total price of the container. However, in the long run, you can end up spending thousands of dollars on container rentals.

Why not buy the containers instead? Although the initial cost is high, it is worth it in the long run. Keep reading to find out why you should buy shipping containers for your business instead of renting them.

You Enjoy Long-Term Savings

When you buy shipping containers, you incur a one-time cost and forget about future payments. This is unlike the rental option where you make monthly or quarterly payments to the rental company.

Imagine you have a long-term project that will last a few years. How much money will you have paid to rent shipping containers for that period? The chances are the amount will be close to or more than the cost of new or used metal containers.

What’s more: after the rental period, you can incur extra costs if the containers are dented, damaged, or in poor physical condition.

Buying makes financial sense for your business in the long-term. This is especially true if you intend to use more than one or two containers for your projects. You can get great discounts for buying several containers and make significant savings for your company.

You Can Customize Containers to Your Needs

One disadvantage of renting shipping containers is you cannot modify them to suit your needs. The rental company expects you to return the container in the condition and form it was in when they handed it over to you. 

However, when you purchase shipping containers, the ownership is transferred to you. You can modify the containers to your specific needs.

Whether you need to build container homes, mobile office spaces,  shelters, or storage solutions, you can customize the containers to your desired style and specifications.

You can add heating and air conditioning systems, advanced locking and security systems, insulation, doors, and windows. Any design you have in mind is doable as long as you own the shipping containers.

You’ll Save Money on Logistics

Does your business often ship supplies across towns, cities, or in other countries? If so, buying containers can save you a lot of money on shipping.

You only incur logistical costs such as fleet maintenance, fuel, and administration costs, and this can translate into long-term savings.

As you look for containers for shipping cargo, opt for the used ones. There’s no shortage of used containers in the U.S. In fact, around 25 million containers arrive into the country every year. 

Used containers are affordable, and with a little maintenance, they will serve you for many years. Consider your shipping needs and buy containers in the appropriate sizes.

Again, you can modify them to include temperature and humidity control features. This is incredibly essential if you are transporting temperature-sensitive shipment such as pharmaceutical products.

You Enjoy Convenience in Business

Imagine having containers at your disposal when you need to ship or store products for your business. The convenience that comes with buying your shipping containers is worth the price.

With rental containers, you only rent when you require them. Thus, if you urgently need them for a task, you have to contact the rental company, choose containers, fill out paperwork, and make payments.

If the containers are delayed or aren’t available in your preferred specifications, you’ll be inconvenienced. Buying allows you immediate access to the equipment when you need it.

There Are No Restrictions and Penalties

When renting metal containers, you are given a list of the things you can and cannot do with the equipment. For example, you are not allowed to modify them. Also, there are penalties for violating the rental terms.

Buying gives you the freedom to use your shipping containers without any restrictions. If the containers get damaged during use, you don’t have to worry about getting penalized.

Container rentals may seem affordable, but the extent of use is restricted to the rental company’s terms. Buy your containers so you won’t have to worry about violating the contract.

You Can Buy Shipping Containers to Rent

Are you worried about spending too much money on buying shipping containers? Why don’t you buy to rent and make money from the containers?

There are various ways you can make money from your shipping containers, recover the purchase costs, and make profits. They include the following:

  • Rent out storage space in your containers to small businesses
  • Design container offices or coworking spaces and rent them out to individuals
  • Rent out containers to companies that wish to ship products locally

Consider monetizing your containers, especially after the end of your project. You can make anything between $40 and $200 per month on every container rental. The price depends on the size, features, and condition of the equipment.

You Can Re-purpose After Use

Buying shipping containers allows you to re-purpose them after you complete your project. For example, containers that were previously used for storage or shipping can be converted into container homes or offices. 

Other re-purposing ideas include storage units, pop-up shops, patios, and container gardens. If you have no use for the containers, you can resell them to homeowners, container depots and local businesses.

Whichever option you go for, buying shipping containers as opposed to renting makes sense in the long run. You will never run out of something to do with them once your initial container project is over. 

Buy Shipping Containers Today and Make Savings

Buying containers is a better option as compared to renting. You get long-term cost savings, use the containers as you wish, and even make money by renting or selling them after use.

Are you ready to buy shipping containers for your business? Contact us today to get a free quote.

5 Crucial Things to Consider when Buying Shipping Containers

A shipping container is essentially a metal structure that is shipped across stormy seas, stacked one on top of another and often exposed to the extreme weather conditions of the open ocean. For this reason, it’s understandable that many think that most containers are the same and just buying any will do. 

While others may picture these as only being massive metal arks that aren’t very versatile for other needs outside of shipping large quantities of goods.

This article will try to clear up some of those misconceptions. We’ll discuss some of the different options that you should consider when purchasing bulk containers .  That way you’ll be equipped to choose the right containers for your needs. 

1. The Condition of the Shipping Container

As mentioned above, shipping containers are often exposed to the elements of the open ocean. This means sometimes, even for weeks on end, they’re getting sprayed by salty ocean water that can accelerate the rusting process. Still, others may have suffered damage during the process of shipping or even while in port.

While the option of buying used shipping containers may be an extremely cost-effective, the price will usually reflect the condition the containers are in. This is why it’s important to inspect the containers yourself before buying. 

Shipping containers get sold at different grades relative to their wear and tear. These grades take into account such factors as: 

  • Age
  • Whether or not they are wind and watertight
  • Scratches and dents
  • Rust damage–whether superficial or structural

Of course, when inspecting the condition the containers are in, you’ll want to consider what you’ll be storing in these containers or otherwise using them for.

2. What You’ll be Storing or Transporting in the Containers

The condition of the container you buy will also depend on the value and fragility of what you’ll be storing inside of it. Will you be storing or shipping things such as furniture, books, electronics, expensive vehicles, or other valuables? If so, then a new or Grade A condition container would be the best option.

These types of containers are going to be weatherproof, vermin-proof, rust-free, and won’t have any structural damage whatsoever. They’ll also be clean and either newly painted or repainted so as to last and keep your valuables in as pristine a condition as possible.

What about if you’ll be storing goods of lesser value or concern? These may be things such as tools, building materials, work equipment, and recreational vehicles. If this is the case, you could very well save some money and go with either a Grade B or Grade C condition used shipping container.

A Grade B container is going to be one that’s also weatherproof but may contain some superficial damage, such as rust and dents. 

A Grade C container is one you’d consider only for goods that can be partially exposed to the weather with little problem. It may include certain building materials and recreational or agricultural equipment. These containers won’t be weatherproof and may contain a certain level of flaking rust, which could limit structural integrity.

Beyond simply being used for storage, there are many other uses for shipping containers that will affect which options you go with.

3. What Purpose You’ll be Buying Shipping Containers For

How much you value long-term structural reliability or the cosmetic condition of your shipping container is going to largely depend on what it’s going to be used for.

Just some of the cool options shipping containers are popularly used for are:

If you’ll be using bulk containers solely as storage space and won’t be hauling them around for shipping purposes, neither will you be having business meetings inside of them, or use them as living space, then cosmetic appeal isn’t going to be a top priority.

In this case, a used container with just some superficial rust and denting may be an excellent, affordable option. 

However, if you’ll be turning your containers into a super cool, ultra-modern home, office, or restaurant, both structural integrity and aesthetics are going to be incredibly important. 

This is especially true if you’ll be making many modifications to the containers, such as cutting away parts of the walls for windows and appliances. Since these containers will no longer be just for storing goods, but will actually contain people, safety will be a top priority. In that case, you’ll want these containers to be dent and rust-free, especially in the critical areas that provide structural strength. 

4. What are the Local Building and Zoning Codes and Regulations?

While there are a great many advantages to using shipping containers as buildings, one potential disadvantage is that it can be difficult to gain permission in some areas to do so.

Not only does each state have its own codes and regulations, but each municipality does as well. Before making a major purchase on shipping containers to modify into a habitable building, make sure to address this items. 

  • The foundation it will sit on
  • The material used for insulation and how much is used
  • Proper electrical and plumbing
  • Structural integrity

Some municipalities don’t allow shipping containers to be used for habitable buildings at all. Others limit their use, such as not allowing them to be stacked on top of one another if intended for people to live in them. 

As an example of factors to consider, check out this reference relating to the codes of ordinances for the city of Houston.

5. Experience of the Contractor Who Will Be Working on Your Containers

Say you’ve decided to do a build with shipping containers. You’ve made your plans, picked out your location, and researched the effectual codes and regulations. After actually buying shipping containers, the next step would be choosing who will make the modifications needed to complete your build.

Building with bulk containers is still a relatively new trend. This being so, finding a contractor who is not just experienced, but experienced at working with shipping containers can be a challenge.

You’ll not only want someone who’s done some work on them before, but who can see the process through from design to completion.

Ask questions like:

  • Have you installed heating and HVAC systems for shipping container buildings?
  • Have you cut out and installed windows in shipping containers?
  • Have you insulated containers before?
  • Can you show me examples of your previous work?

Since this is such a specific niche, it’s well worth the time and money to find the right contractor for the modifications needed to turn your building idea into a reality.

Ask the Right Questions to Get the Right Containers for the Right Purpose

Do you think buying shipping containers would be your best option for your transportation, storage, or building needs? Be sure to take the above considerations in mind before purchasing shipping containers for any use.

Do you have container-related questions that weren’t covered above? Are you ready to purchase one or multiple containers for your needs? Then, get in touch with us today! So, we can help you through the entire process of choosing, buying, modifying, and transporting your shipping containers.  

What Not to Do When Considering Shipping Containers for Sale as Homes

How Cargo Container Homes Are Reshaping Low Income Housing

Estimates suggest there are between 12 and 15 homeless per 10,000 individuals in Texas. In Houston alone, that number equates to approximately 6,300 homeless individuals. 

Living paycheck to paycheck is also a national reality affecting 78% of the American workforce. These low-income families spent a whopping 1/3 to 1/2 of their income on housing needs.  Cargo container homes provide a unique solution to this housing crisis. 

The Cargo Container Home Solution

Many are looking at a cost-efficient solution to homelessness and increasing housing costs in larger cities like Houston and Dallas. Welcome to the dawn of the Tiny House Movement, where cargo container homes use new or used shipping containers to address today’s current housing issues. 

Whether you are choosing to downsize out of financial necessity, looking for more freedom, or a home with a smaller impact on the environment, cargo containers are a creative solution.  For the homeless, even a small home is superior to life in the elements.

Cargo containers homes also called shipping container homes or tiny houses are not just boxes. They can be beautiful, self-sustaining homes that people are proud to own. 

Curious to learn more? Keep reading to learn about shipping containers and how they can help both low income and homeless families.

What is a Shipping Container Home or Tiny Home?

Tiny houses, by most definitions, are typically between 100 and 400 square feet and provide the same things other dwellings provide. They have beds, showers, kitchens, and eating areas.  There is no rule on what defines a tiny house.  Some homes are as small as 26 square feet and a 1000 square foot house is also considered tiny because it measures less than half the size of the typical American home.

Tiny houses and shipping container homes are unique in their use of space. A bed may pull out from a raised area or drop down from a wall for use.  Many spaces in tiny homes serve dual purposes. A kitchen table, for example, serves as both an eating space and an office or homework space, a common experience in most homes, regardless of size.

Because of size and materials, Tiny Houses are less expensive to build and maintain, making them very affordable housing solutions.

What is the Size of a Shipping Container House?

Cargo container homes typically range from 56 square feet to 320 square feet. Specialty cargo containers also exist, with extra high ceilings. Most new shipping containers come with one main door opening (typically a double door) and a wood panel.

The smaller size allows for less energy and water demands making them easy to convert to off the grid or semi off the grid systems. Lower energy demands also equate to a lower overall cost to maintain.

Why Use a Shipping Crate Home as Opposed to Another Tiny Home Solution?

1.  Used shipping containers are plentiful. Most goods shipped both nationally and internationally are shipped in shipping containers. Shipping containers are moved by railway cars, river barges, and ocean liners.

2.  Used containers are also environmentally friendly.  Converting a shipping container into a dwelling allows you to Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse all in one.

3.  Shipping containers are already built and therefore prefabricated.  Prefabricated homes allow for quicker build times and can also significantly reduce costs.  

4.  Shipping containers are designed to be stacked for transport in harsh environments, so they are sturdy and durable. Depending on your location, additional attachments can make them very wind, storm, and hurricane proof.

5.  Multi-level home or even an apartment building can be made by stacking containers.    

Already many cities like Houston, Orlando, Los Angeles, and San Diego are using shipping container homes and apartments to address the needs of their homeless and low-income residents.

I Don’t Want to Live in a Box

You may be convinced by the price and utility of a cargo container home, but what about the aesthetics? Ultimately, you are only limited by your creativity.  Modifying a storage container is not difficult and you can check out our photo gallery for some inspiration.  

Need more inspiration? Imagine this, a porch can be added off the existing door structure, to allow for you to open up your entire house in temperate climates.  Installing a similar door on the other side allows for cross ventilation if you follow the prevailing wind pattern for the area.  This design allows you to be closer to nature which reduces stress but also decreases cooling costs. Because of shipping container stability, rooftop gardens and seating areas are very easy to create. 

Haven’t you always wanted a home with a view?    Stacking two containers parallel to each other, with a third crossing them, perpendicularly. Now you have created an instant breezeway. This design may be the ideal way to keep the in-laws living space separate from yours.  

Things to Be Aware of Before You Buy a Shipping Container

Cargo containers can be bought new or used. Used shipping containers must be completed cleaned and prepared before use as a new home. The cleaning should be done by a professional to prevent contamination from the previous shipments.

Local laws may dictate where container homes may be placed, so be sure to check all local permitting prior to purchase.

Other Uses for Shipping Containers

Because of their cost, size, and shortened build time, cargo container homes can also serve many other purposes. Looking for the perfect mother-in-law suite to drop into an existing backyard.

Need a private home office away from the traffic of the family? Shipping containers can even be an easy to build a second home on a piece of land you own. Shipping containers can also be rented as a temporary storage unit.

Regardless of your needs shipping containers can be an affordable solution to space, housing, and storage needs.

Time to Purchase?

We are here to help you choose the right cargo container home for your dwelling or storage needs.  We can also assist you with modifications and arrange services to install it on your property. Contact us for all your cargo container home needs.

Container Garage Modification by EMS

7 Step Guide to a Successful Shipping Container Garage Conversion

Looking to do add a garage onto your home but don’t want to drop a lot of cash? What if we told you there’s an affordable solution that can cost much less.  Shipping containers are a trendy, Eco-conscious way to add more room on to your home without breaking your budget. There are tons of things you can build with shipping containers, but we’re going to focus on one area of your home — the garage.

Building your dream garage doesn’t have to be difficult — or expensive. It’s easy when you follow our seven steps to creating an incredible shipping container garage.

1. Choose Your Container Size

Some of the largest cargo ships are built to hold up to 20 million containers. It’s safe to say your container choices are far more diverse than you think. The space you have available is going to affect the size of the container you’re going to get. You’ll have to consider the size and number of vehicles you want to store, too. Regarding size, standard containers are often 20 or 40 ft. Beyond that, you can find containers as big as 45 ft and as small as 10 ft.

Got a big SUV or roof racks on top of your car ? Look for a taller shipping container.

2. Choose Your Container Type

Container size is determined by the size of your lot and the number of vehicles you need to store. The type of container you get is more determined by your budget. Containers that are a little dinged and dented with a little rust will obviously be cheaper. If you’re not looking for a project or want a container that’s ready to go, try a one trip container. A one trip container was never part of a cargo operation. They’re in much better condition because they only made one trip — from China to the US.

3. Shipping Container Garage Style

Another thing to consider when building a storage container garage: what style are you going to build? Here’s where you can be as creative as your budget and space allow you to be!

Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • Got a compact car? One container might be enough for a neat and tidy one car garage.
  • Place two containers on each side and put a roof between them. You’ll have plenty of space to store multiple cars plus storage on the side.
  • Stack multiple containers like building blocks around your car storage space. You can create various workshops and storage from all of the containers.

Once you get started, you’ll realize how fun it is to build with shipping containers. Play around with your design until you get it exactly as you want it.

4. Prepare Your Land

Now that you know how you want your garage to look, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. You can’t just drop a few containers and call it a day; there’s a process you have to follow.

First, reach out to your local government to see if you need any permits to build a container garage. You don’t want your project derailed by paperwork.

Once you’ve got the all clear, you have to prep your land. Here’s how:

  • Measure and mark the area you want to use for your garage
  • Clear the area of any plants and debris
  • Lay a basic foundation, like a concrete slab or steel pipe footing foundation

Now you’re ready to bring in the containers and build your garage.

5. Container Garage Basics

Your foundation is laid, and you’re ready to place your containers. There are some basics to consider at this point of your build. First off, if you plan on parking your car in the container, it’s best to position it with the opening facing the driveway. If you’re using the containers for storage, consider pointing the openings towards your house so you can keep an eye on them. Second, if you chose a used container, you might have to do some upkeep. Painting, rust removal and prevention, taking care of dents and scrapes, etc. are all things to consider before you move in.

Containers are easy to build with and durable, so they won’t need much to get started. Just a little bit of work makes it all worth it.

6. Upgrade Your Shipping Container

Most home garages have basics build in that we don’t think about. With a shipping container, you have a bare canvas that you can make into whatever space you like.

Here are a few options to consider:

  • Add insulation to your garage if you’re using your containers not just for your car but for storage too
  • Add electrical drops if you want to use the container as a work space
  • Consider air flow and add a few windows if you’re going to be doing projects inside the containers

These are basic upgrades that make a big difference. Think about how you’re using your space and what you need to be comfortable.

7. Beyond the Basics

You’ve got your container garage set up the way you want it. If you want to tinker even more, here are more ideas for ways to improve your dream garage:

  • Add security, like cameras or motion detectors, especially if you keep expensive equipment in your garage
  • A de-humidifier keeps dampness at bay and extends the life of your car and items in storage
  • Install shelving and a work bench to make it your ultimate work-space
  • Add windows to open up the space
  • Lay down flooring or a ramp to make getting in and out easier
  • Need more ventilation? Put in a fan
  • If you change oil, paint, or need a place for runoff to flow, put a drain in the floor

With the money you save by using a shipping container to build your garage, you’ll be able to afford a lot of great upgrades!

Build More with Shipping Containers

Creating the shipping container garage of your dreams is easier and more affordable than ever before. Once you build your garage, you’ll start wondering what else you can do with shipping containers!

We’ve got tons of different containers to choose from and can help with modifications, too. Check out all of your options and build your dream garage today!

How Shipping Container Restaurants are Creating a Revolution in America

You want to open a restaurant or bar but you’re intimidated by the risk factors and high costs. There’s a way to make your dream of owning a restaurant come true while keeping your costs down — shipping containers. You’ve heard of food trucks, but a shipping container restaurant? Believe it or not, they’re actually creating a design revolution.

Shipping containers are being used to create offices, garages, and even swimming pools. We’ll show you how you can use them to make owning your own restaurant a reality — keep reading!

Ready to Go

The number one reason to create a container bar or restaurant?  Shipping containers are readily available.

The US imports way more than it exports. Many of those containers go only one way — from Asia to the US. That means there’s a steady supply of empty containers sitting around, waiting to be used. You’ll have a lot of choices when it comes to building with containers.

One choice to consider is used versus new. You can get a brand new container that’s in perfect condition, although used is probably your best choice. Used containers can be purchased cheaper. And as we mentioned, one way containers are very lightly used, so they won’t need to have much if any refurbishing done.

Cost Effective

Because there’s so much supply and not much demand (for now), you can pick up containers for cheap. On average, a mildly used container will costs less than $5,000.

One small cost associated with shipping containers: you’ll have to prep them. Be prepared to spend a little money adding insulation and windows to your container. 

The money you save with shipping containers can be poured into start-up marketing expenses in getting your restaurant or bar off the ground. 

Sustainable Construction

As we mentioned, the supply of shipping containers is high. Because of this, shipping container construction is Eco-friendly and sustainable.

With traditional construction, there’s a lot of materials and waste that go into it. However with container construction, they’re ready to go and only need a little bit of modification to fit your needs.

Plus, there isn’t as much energy used to move containers around versus building a restaurant from scratch. Building with shipping containers helps recycle and re-use materials that are already there and helps keep your carbon footprint down.

Flexible Design

You’d think that because shipping containers are only available in sizes from eight to 40 feet, your design options are limited. That’s simple not true.

Yes, your restaurant will be boxy-looking. But once you get creative, you’ll see how many options you have when building with containers. One container makes a tiny yet tidy little restaurant. Push a few more together, and you open up space.

Bonus points if your restaurant has an industrial or rough-edged concept! Sometimes an unfinished container is just the look you’re going for. You no doubt have a vision of what you want your restaurant to look like. Shipping containers can make that dream a reality.

Fast Set Up

When you build the traditional way, there’s sometimes a lot of “hurry up and wait”. Even when leasing a space, you might have to do some remodeling to make it to your standards.

Container restaurants can be put together fast. They’ve already got a ceiling, walls, and a floor, they just need a little modification.

After adding insulation, decor, and whatever other modifications you need, your container is ready to go. You can even find a company like EMS to make changes and deliver the containers ready to use.

Mobility

These containers are meant to be shipped. As such, they’re easy to move around. What does this mean for you as a start-up business? You can place you container restaurant or bar in whatever area makes the most sense for you.

For example, is there an empty lot that’s close to a high-traffic road? That’s prime real estate for a new restaurant. Although they’re not as mobile as a food truck, you’ll find container restaurants more flexible than traditional spaces. If you ever decide to franchise, you’ll have a built-in plan for expansion, too.

Energy Efficient

Utility bills can be staggering for restaurants. Think of all the water, heating, gas, energy, etc. that you need to run your business.

When putting together your restaurant or bar, you can make it more energy efficient. Think about using some of your construction savings to invest in things like solar panels or high-efficiency appliances.

Just using a shipping container is an Eco-conscious choice. You can go greener with just a few modifications.

Dream Kitchen

We all know the kitchen is the heart of a restaurant. Having good flow-through allows your servers and cooks to be efficient and safe.

When you use an existing space, you have to work with what you have. A shipping container kitchen can be built any way you want it to be.

You know what would work best for you and your crew. Container construction allows you to get as creative as you need to be.

Cool Designs

We’ve given you a lot of practical reasons to build your restaurant out of shipping containers. We’ll give you another reason that’s totally arbitrary but might just sell you on this concept.

Container restaurants are cool. Think about how unique and eye-catching they look even before you decorate it the way you want.

Your amazing food is the main draw, but having an incredible design will get a lot of attention.

Build Your Shipping Container Restaurant or Bar Today

You already have enough on your plate trying to get your restaurant off the ground. Building a shipping container bar or restaurant can save you cash, is sustainable, looks amazing, and more.

You have way more options when you design your space with shipping containers. Plus, with the money you save, you can pour it back into your business.

Whether you want to build from new, used, or modified containers, we’ve got tons of options for you. Check out all of the modification services we offer and make your restaurant or bar a reality today!

The Pros and Cons of Building a Shipping Container House

The average cost for newly constructed homes is $385,200. Many people are turning to alternative building materials such as shipping containers to ease the cost of new construction. 

They are so popular that even hotels like the Flophouze Hotel in Round Top, Texas are constructed entirely from shipping containers. These prefabricated boxes may be the perfect solution to creating your dream home. 

If you are considering building a shipping container house here in Houston, there are a few pros and cons you should consider first. Keep reading so you can make an informed decision. 

Pro: Speedy Construction 

Building with shipping containers is much faster than traditional construction methods. Smaller homes can reach complete fabrication within three weeks in offsite fabrication. Larger homes can be completed in a few months.  

Many of the small details and modifications can be done at the production site before the containers ever reach their final destination. 

Shipping containers are also much friendlier to the DIYer. However, it is smart to consult with a design firm or an engineer before embarking on your container home. 

Pro: Cost Effective 

Building with shipping containers can save you money when compared to traditional shipping methods. One man used two containers to create a rustic cabin that is completely off the grid for $35,000. 

Depending on the quality of the container and its location, a container can cost anywhere from $1,400 to $4,500 and sometimes more. You may be able to find one for cheaper, but you’ll want to make sure you can actually build with it. 

Con: Not Quite Eco-Friendly 

The general theory is that if you use old refurbished shipping containers, you are doing the environment a favor. However, these containers typically have wear and damage making them unsafe for new home construction. 

If you do decide to use refurbished construction you need to ensure the structural integrity of your home. 

New shipping containers offer you the freedom and structural integrity to create any building you can dream up. 

Harmful Chemicals 

Used shipping containers may have held toxic chemicals or other materials. They have also been treated to prevent corrosion during transit. 

Remember, containers are made of steel and spend most of their time near and on the ocean. Saltwater and metal is a recipe for corrosion and rust. 

Make sure you inspect your refurbished container to confirm that it has been adequately treated to be safe for use in home construction. You will also want to check for rust as this will compromise the structural integrity. 

The Eco-Friendly Part 

If you decide to use a refurbished container the most significant impact you will have is with the use of steel. The average 40-foot container has more than 8,000 pounds of steel. 

You are also reducing your use of other traditional building materials such as wood and masonry. 

Pro: Mobility 

Whatever your reason, maybe you don’t want the home to stay at its original location permanently. With traditional construction, you don’t have the option of moving your building. 

Containers can have your completed building moved to a new location as many times as necessary. 

Pro: Creative Freedom 

Shipping containers come in a variety of different sizes which gives you the freedom to create a home as large or as small as you wish. You can combine multiple containers to create a larger space. 

You can create large windows to open the space up and bring in a lot of natural light. Or you can install large glass doors that you can open up and bring the outdoors in. 

Using shipping containers lets you express your personal style. With the rules of traditional construction and architecture out the window, you are free to create. 

For the most freedom, try to stick with high cube containers, they are 9’6″ tall. This will make it easier to add insulation and still have room for a ceiling fan. 

If you aren’t worried about this, you could use a standard height container; they are 8’6″ tall. 

Cons: Permits and Codes 

Container homes are still relatively new in many municipalities. Because of this, many permits and building codes are not designed to work with them. 

Do your research to ensure you are legally able to build a container home. Then you need to make sure your home complies with all current zoning and construction regulations. 

Here in Houston, the best place to start is with the Building Code Enforcement office. If you do not comply with planning regulations, you may find yourself having to take the home down even if construction is complete. 

Pro: Toughness and Durability

Containers get manufactured with durability in mind. Their original purpose is to survive many months and thousands of miles out on an ocean tanker exposed to the elements. 

They often far surpass the minimum specs for new homes when it comes to strength and durability. 

To retain this strength, you need to be careful about how much steel you cut away. If you plan to make significant cutaways for doors, windows, and room openings, then you need to install reinforcements. Additional steel beams can carry the load. 

Construct Your Shipping Container House

If you are ready to start building your shipping container house here in Houston, Texas, we can help you get started. We have a large inventory of both new and used containers. 

We can help you create the container building of your dreams. This could be a home, office, or any other structure you need to have built quickly.  

Contact us today and let us help you create the shipping containers you need to build your dream shipping container home. 

Conex Box Buying Guide: 7 Factors to Consider before Purchase

For the uninitiated, what is a Conex box? It is a shipping industry term for a standard metal shipping container that provides mass storage and transport of goods across the world.

A Conex box seems like an easy sell if you need to ship or store things over long distances. However, these boxes are not just for transportation and storage. They have a lot of surprising uses outside of their main design. 

The Variety of Uses for a Conex Box

There has been a trend that has been building for a while. This trend burst into popularity over the last few years. What is this trend? Using shipping containers as makeshift or permanent buildings.

It may seem like an odd idea, but it has a good deal of benefits. Shipping containers are far cheaper than many mobile homes or offices on the market. They are also designed to be very strong and airtight. So, adding heating and cooling options to a custom shipping container home or office is possible. There can be many more types of modifications that can be made to these Conex boxes, like everything from windows to indoor plumbing. 

Here are just a few factors you should consider before you purchasing a Conex box for your storage or living space…

The 7 Important Factors to Look For

It is always a good idea to do some research before any major purchase. Conex boxes can go for a few thousand dollars, so buying them without thought can cost you later. Once you have reviewed these 7 factors, though, you should be ready to make a more informed purchase decision. 

1. Sealed and Sturdy

Conex box’s main purpose is to prevent damage of products that are being moved great distances. Therefore, they can withstand all kinds of weather in-order to protect their content from harm. In the process however, they tend to get fairly banged up. If you are saving some money by buying a used Conex box, it is important to inspect the Conex box first for any dents and damages. However, if you are buying a new Conex box, this should not be a problem. 

The key factors to check when it comes to wear and tear are damage to the overall structure, the container’s ability to seal, and whether the doors open and close without a problem. If all of these things are fine, then you should be in good shape.

2. Cleanliness

During its lifetime, a Conex box will contain a wide variety of objects and products, often for days to weeks at a time. During this time, the vast majority of places will clean their shipping containers between uses. Sometimes however, the smell will build up. If there is a nasty or odd smell in the Conex box during inspection, ask the distributor when it was last cleaned before considering that box for purchase. 

A Conex box can be easy to clean, but it requires a bit of diligence. Failing to keep a conex box clean can lead to dangerous internal growths that can be hazardous to ones health. 

Obviously, a new Conex box for sale should have no cleanliness issues, although checking it out first will not do any harm.

3. Moveable

When purchasing a Conex box, you must be able to get it to where you need it.

If you do have a big business and a means to transport it, this problem is an easy fix. If not, you need to look for moving services that deal with Conex boxes.

For those in the Houston area, we here at Equipment Management Services do offer easy transport. For those outside of Texas, we do still provide shipping at an appropriate price. 

4. The Right Size for Your Needs

Conex boxes can come in many different sizes. Figuring out which size will fit your need is an easy thing to overlook. The common size for Conex boxes are 20 feet long and 40 feet long. Also, they can come in custom sizes depending on your needs.

5. Locking Mechanisms

With everything stored and locked away, you want to know that everything is secure. Some Conex boxes come with a locking mechanism built into the doors. Most of them do not. 

When determining the cost and need for a Conex box, always factor in the addition of a lock if needed. What kind of lock you set up will depend on your budget and need for security. 

6. Whether to Rent or to Buy

Sometimes if your need for a Conex box is very short term, you may want to rent a unit instead of buying one. However, if your need for a storage container goes beyond 3 years or so, it would be best to buy the Conex box. 

Obviously, if you intend to make modifications to the Conex box, renting would be a bad idea. There are places that do rent already modified boxes, so if you can find one that suits your needs, you can save some money by renting.

7. Modifications

If you are looking to modify your Conex box, you will need to first understand what those modifications will be and then plan ahead. Budget them out first and do your research on how to make these modifications with the least amount of labor and cost.

Contact Us, we will be glad to discuss your modification needs and give you an honest estimate. 

Keeping Your Future Secure

There are a lot of factors that go into purchasing a Conex box. However, keeping some of the above considerations in mind, you should be able to make a more well informed decision about your Conex container purchase.

Interested in learning more about the INs and OUTs of Conex boxes ? We have a lot more information where that came from! Feel free to check out our blog resources or contact us directly to discuss your shipping container needs. 

Freight Shipping Container Modifications in Houston: Container Homes and More!

The port of Houston hit a new record for processed container volume last year. The port handled 2.7 million 20-foot equivalent units. That’s up 10% from the previous year. 

With this much volume, there are plenty of containers in the area that are available for purchase. Their affordability and durability make them an attractive option for multiple construction projects. 

If you are considering using freight shipping containers for a home building project on your property, you need to read this guide first. It may save you countless hours of frustration, time and money. 

Let’s get started talking about some local regulations affecting your container use. 

Where to Build Your Shipping Container Home 

Texas is known for being one of the friendliest states when it comes to building with shipping containers. They tend to have more relaxed regulations when it comes to construction and zoning in general. 

For even greater building freedom, stick to the suburban and rural areas. The closer you get to larger cities like Houston the more regulations will be in place. 

Keep in mind it isn’t just the city and state government regulations you have to contend with. Many neighborhoods have an HOA agreement that regulates what can and cannot be built in a particular neighborhood or community. 

Using Your Container for Storage 

Don’t assume that you can use a shipping container for storage or as a shed on your property. Just outside of Houston the DeerPark City Council members decided they didn’t want shipping containers used for permanent storage within city limits. 

If a business wants to use a container, they must obtain a Special Use Permit. Even after approval, there are many other rules you need to follow. For instance, you cannot stack one container on top of another. 

You must also build an 8-foot opaque privacy fence to block the public view. 

Hotel Made of Containers 

Shipping containers aren’t just for storage, homes, and mobile offices in the Houston area. About an hour and a half outside of Houston in Round Top they are welcoming in a shipping container hotel. This shouldn’t be a surprise since the city is known as a mecca for antique and green living enthusiasts. They approved a six container hotel located just minutes from downtown. There are even plans to expand the hotel with more containers in the future. If you are looking to build, this would be an attractive area with container friendly zoning and codes. 

Can You Build a Container Home in Houston?

The short answer is yes, you can. There is no law prohibiting you from using shipping containers to build your home. However, there are some restrictions that we will get into in the next section. There is also the opposition you may face from those who do not want a container home in their neighborhood. 

Container homes are being successfully built in and around Houston. For example, this colorful home located in one of the many transition neighborhoods uses 4 containers

Your Container Home Can’t Be Too Tiny

We’ve all seen the tiny home trend where people live in a microscopic floor plan. One shipping container is perfect for this sort of living. However, you won’t be doing it in Houston. 

There are minimum dwelling regulations that your home must comply with. For instance, you must have at least one habitable room that is 120 square feet. Then the other habitable rooms must have no less than 70 square feet. 

No habitable room in your home can be less than 7 feet wide in any horizontal direction. The exception here is the kitchen. There is also a minimum ceiling height. You need to keep this in mind as it may make the difference between you buying a standard height container or a high cube. 

The minimum ceiling height in Houston is 7 feet. A standard cube is 8’6″, and a high cube is 9’6″. Now, this may seem like a lot of room, but you need to factor in your HVAC system, electrical wiring, and insulation. By the time you are done the finished ceiling on the inside of your container could be a foot lower than the height of the container. Then you still need to think about if you plan to install a ceiling fan. So, as you can see, there is a lot to think about when designing a tiny home out of a shipping container. 

Not to worry, we have ton’s of experience modifying shipping containers to your exact specifications. So contact us today for an insightful discussion on how to proceed. 

Use a Certified Fabricator 

Make sure you work with a certified fabricator for the other prefabricated building components you will need. If you plan to cut away a large portion of the container, you will need to construct alternative load bearing structures from steel. 

If you buy your trusses and beams from a certified fabricator, then individual inspections are not required. A city inspector will check for certification numbers on the structural components during your construction. However, if you have these numbers already, you can make the whole build out go a lot smoother. 

Start Using Freight Shipping Containers

Whether you plan to use freight shipping containers for storage, an office, or your home, you need to check with the local and state regulations to ensure that your new structure is legal. You don’t want to invest time and money only to find out that your new building needs to be taken down. 

Start by deciding how you want to use your container. Then check to see if that use is allowed. If you plan to build a container home, make sure you follow all of the codes because inspectors will be checking that you are throughout your building process. 

Contact us today and let us help you design a modified shipping container that is perfect for your needs. 

40 Foot Container: 8 Ways to Use a 40 FT Storage Container for Business

1.83 billion metric tons of goods were carried in shipping containers in 2017. But there’s more you can do with shipping containers than just cart goods around the globe. 

In fact, you can use a 40-foot container for business or personal purposes as well. In most cases, you just need to make a few conversions to make a 40-foot shipping container into exactly what you need.

If you’re wondering how you can use portable storage containers in your business, keep reading. We’re sharing with you five ways to use 40 ft shipping containers. 

1. Transform a 40-Foot Container Into an Office

40 feet is a lot of space. If your business is expanding, you may not want to invest time and money into finding and leasing new space. If you have the land, it’s easy to place a 40-foot shipping container on that land and you have the perfect space for a container office. All you need to do is minor modifications to ensure the container is ready for an employee to move in.

2. Turn It Into a Bistro or Restaurant

While food trucks are all the rage, it’s much harder and more expensive to set up a food truck business. Most cities have strict regulations regarding where and when a food truck can park. And it’s not uncommon for a food truck to break down. When that happens, there’s no business. 

But with a 40 ft shipping container, you have the perfect structure to build a bistro, coffee shop or restaurant. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about high rent increases, since you will own your building outright.

Check out our shipping container gallery for all the amazing structures that we can build for our customers. 

3. Indoor Gardens

Traditionally farmers grow their fruits and vegetables outside in the ground. Unfortunately, doing so leaves them vulnerable to animals, bugs, vandals, and bad weather.  But when you convert a 40-foot shipping container, you eliminate all of those issues. Best of all, by adding more than one shipping container together, you can build an indoor garden to the exact size and specifications you need.That means fresh produce year-round that you can deliver to your customers. 

4. Extra Storage

Extra space is at a premium these days. And getting extra space usually costs you a lot. But shipping containers give you the extra space you need at a fraction of the cost. You won’t have to rent storage space on a monthly basis, which saves a lot of time and money. And you can place your shipping container wherever you need it. That eliminates driving to a storage facility that may not be conveniently located near your office. 

Having extra storage is especially great if you have a seasonal or holiday-based business where there are times during the year when you need more space for your products. And, during the rest of the year, you can use the space however you need to. 

5. Bathrooms

Most women will tell you that there never seems to be enough bathrooms, especially when they’re at an event. No one wants to spend their time waiting in line for the bathroom which is why shipping containers are so great. Instead, you can build your own additional bathrooms. This is perfect because shipping containers are pretty easy to move around.

That means if you own a business where traveling to events is common, you’ll always have extra bathrooms to supply. This is also a business in itself since bathrooms made from shipping containers are much nicer to look at than the usual port-a-potties seen at most events.

6. Swimming Pools

While owning a pool is a dream for many, the reality of owning a pool isn’t always so cost-effective. But since you can make a pool or sauna from shipping containers, it’s now easier than ever. There’s no need to dig a giant hole in the yard, instead, a pool business can simply place a shipping container on the property. Shipping containers make the perfect swimming pool because it’s customizable.

You can easily convert a few shipping containers to make your customer’s pools as long and as deep as they want. 

7. Emergency Shelters

The number of natural disasters is on the rise. And according to NASA, global warming is making those disasters far more destructive than in the past. 

Emergency shelters are now becoming a necessity. And building them out of shipping containers is a great idea because they’re already built to withstand extreme weather conditions. 

Whether shelters are needed to house the homeless after a storm or to place in a backyard for increased peace-of-mind, there’s a definite market for more emergency shelters. 

8. Extra Lab Space

Sometimes businesses need a safe space where they can perform experiments. Shipping containers are safer to perform experiments in because they’re not made from flammable materials.

Also, if something does go awry, the problem is usually contained within the shipping container itself. This allows a safer space and you can modify it by adding as many shipping containers as you need. 

Features to Consider When Modifying Storage Containers

Portable storage containers are great because they provide you with a basic structure that you can use for practically anything. And they’re much cheaper than investing in new construction.

All you need to do is add a few features to personalize the space such as:

  • External and internal paint
  • Personnel door
  • Windows
  • Internal electrics, heating/cooling, and lighting 
  • Security and lock boxes
  • Shelving
  • Exhaust fans

Shipping containers can be placed side-by-side or even on top of one another. They’re an affordable way to create new buildings without using additional raw materials. 

Take some time to learn some basic information on how to shop for shipping containers. That way, you’ll eliminate errors and end up with exactly what you need.

Why Building With Shipping Containers Makes Good Business Sense

There are many reasons why 40-foot shipping containers make sense when you need something built. Here are a few of our favorite reasons:

  • Unique style
  • Faster to build
  • Eco-friendly
  • Portable
  • Affordable
  • Durable and tough

Also, it’s easier when it comes to building structures made from shipping containers. They can be built at the factory and then easily shipped to wherever you want it.

That eliminates problems and expenses usually associated with building in remote places. 

Contact Us

Whether you’re already in business and need the extra space a 40-foot container offers or you’re looking to get into a new business niche, we can help. We have shipping containers to suit every need.

And we’ll even do modifications. Ready to get started? Click here to contact us

Shipping Container Primer : Shipping Containers for Sale Near Houston

If you are looking for shipping containers in Houston, then you are in luck! The Port of Houston climbed into the top five list of ports in the United States. It handled 2.46 million containers in 2017. 

What this means for you is that there are plenty of container options for you to choose from. To help you get started, we are going to give you an overview of your options and what you should look for in your next container.  

New Containers 

New containers are going to be your most expensive option. The advantage of them is that they are in the best condition. 

To get started, think about what you plan to ship and the regulations of the country it is going to. Remember that freight carriers charge by weight and volume. You also need to think about your company’s growth. It can be smart to buy a container bigger than what you need right now. 

If you want to build with your container, then instead of cargo, you need to think about usable interior space as a room. 

Used Containers 

Operating revenue for Port Houston is $366 million. This is up 10% from the previous year. To continue this growth, a four-year project to deepen and widen the channel is in place. 

What does this have to do with you buying containers? Well, the more shipments that can come through the port, the more options you will have for used containers. As the port grows, so does the container industry. Buying a used container can save you a lot of money. The trick is to balance quality with cost. You will find used containers that are quite cheap, but these containers may not be in good or usable condition.

You need to make sure your container complies with either shipping regulations or building codes.  If you plan to ship your cargo via ocean freight, then Houston is a great place to look for your container. The port ranks number one in the country for waterborne tonnage at 173 million short tons

What Is Your Intended Use?

If you plan to use your container for shipping, you need to make sure you buy the right container for your cargo. The amount of general cargo that comes through Port Houston is around 3.5 million. This cargo typically comes in standard sized containers. 

Styles of Containers 

When it comes to shopping for your container, you have a couple of different options when it comes to style. 

Standard, Hard Top, and Open Top 

These are the containers that everyone thinks of when they think of ocean freight. They are metal boxes that are 20 feet wide and 40 feet long. At one end you will find a set of doors. 

Hard top containers have a roof that is designed to be removed. This way your cargo can get dropped in from the top. 

An open top container is accessible on the top with a tarpaulin roof. Unlike the hard top 

These containers work great for shipping dry goods. Anything in boxes, bags, or on pallets can go in these containers. 

Ventilated or Insulated? 

Some containers offer ventilation or insulation. They look exactly like regular containers, except they provide increased or reduced air circulation. 

Ventilated containers have openings at the top and bottom to encourage the flow of air. Insulated containers have a layer of Polyurethane foam on the walls. This will help regulate the temperature inside. 

Reefer 

If you need more than just insulation, then you will want to look at reefers. These containers have refrigeration thanks to a powerful compressor built into the container. These containers are a must if you need your cargo to stay frozen or is temperature sensitive.

Flat and Platform 

Think of these containers as a very large pallet. They are what you need for large or over-sized cargo. They are a flat platform with no walls or ceiling. 

Do You Need Modifications?

Do you need your container modified for a specific purpose? Ask if your container dealer can help you with this. Modifications are typically a discussion when you want to turn your shipping container into a building material. This means you need to add windows, doors, and electrical. 

Some companies have limited skill in this area. They will offer you a handful of pre-designed options. These companies may not have what you need though. 

Look for a company that can work with you. You need a team that can be as creative as you when it comes to the shipping container of your dreams. 

Do You Need Delivery?

Ask if the company you plan to buy your shipping container from will deliver it. Otherwise, you will have an added expense of moving your container. One catch to this is if they will ship it anywhere you want. Texas and Houston are huge geographic regions. Many container companies will either only move your container at the port terminal or in a minimal radius from it. 

Shop for Shipping Containers in Houston

When it comes to buying shipping containers in Houston, think about your budget and intended use. That way you can narrow down whether you need a new or used container. 

If you intend to use your container for shipping, you need to decide which style of container will work best for your cargo. If you are struggling to choose, we can help you sort through your needs and the available containers at our Houston Depot. 

Contact us today and we can help you find the perfect shipping container for your needs.