Man standing in an empty shipping container

Shipping containers have been used for the transport and freight of all kinds of trades goods for decades. In recent times, however, they’ve become increasingly used for storage by both organisations and individuals across New Zealand and abroad.

We thought we’d showcase just some of the ways shipping containers are being used for storage purposes that might even inspire you to do the same.

Business documents

Any business owner will know just how much documentation is required to keep the administrative and regulatory cogs of an operation compliant and functioning. In short, it can be immense and documents like tax records, need to be retained for at least 7 years. Even for small businesses this amount of documentation can quickly stack up and for medium-large sized organisations – the storage of these documents becomes an issue that needs addressing.

Shipping containers have become great storage solutions for documentation for organisations allowing them to keep documents onsite but out of the way. This relieves pressure on storage space within an office space and with lockboxes easily fitted, it is often a much more secure option too.

Farming equipment

With agriculture being the biggest industry in New Zealand (representing around 70% of New Zealand’s exports) it’s no surprise that farms across the country have become big users of shipping containers as storage solutions. The amount of farming equipment required to manage a farm in this day and age is a lot more than you might expect. Tractors, farm trucks, wagons, mowers, scythes, rakes, mulchers, cultivators, balers – the list goes on.

While much of this can be stored in the barn/shed of a farm the increasing demands on storage, especially with new forms of equipment and machinery being introduced means that many have turned to shipping containers for back-up storage. Not only is it a much more cost-effective solution compared to building a new shed but it’s a flexible one too given the transportable nature of shipping containers.

Food and drink

One solution that might not immediately come to mind when it comes to shipping container storage is food and drink but with Reefer containers, in particular, it is definitely an option that can be utilised. Reefer containers are essentially refrigerated containers that are also insulated allowing for controlled temperature environments to be established and maintained, making it ideal for perishable goods.
Supermarkets have used refrigerated containers to help manage supply issues and restaurants have also found them useful during peak times when regular storage doesn’t suffice. For individuals, this option is less common though we have seen some creative uses like that of temporary wine cellars where temperature control is a great benefit.

 

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Furniture and household items

Whenever you move into a new home, it doesn’t take long before you start to use most of the space between the four walls of your comfortable abode. After a few years, you often replace or upgrade bits of furniture and then have to think about what to do with the old ones. For a variety of reasons, you won’t necessarily want to dispose of these things completely so storage is the way to go.

Shipping containers can be a great choice here as they’ll allow you to free up space inside your home, keeping it as clutter-free as possible. If you get one that is water/weather tight and one with vents or whirlybirds you’ll also avoid any worries about mould and mildew damage. Many people also use shipping containers to move house too which is fast becoming a popular service around the country.

Gardening equipment

Gardening is a great joy for many New Zealanders as a way to relax, unwind and get close to nature. While many homes have garden sheds, if you have a large garden then the shed you have may not be large enough for your needs.

Shipping containers are again a great storage option here, especially those fitted with double doors which make access a breeze. Many people also opt for the 10 ft shipping container for this purpose given they don’t need as much space offered by a standard 20 ft container. Another option people consider is to modify the shipping container and create a proper garden shed with doors, windows, shelving and sometimes even electrics too.

Hazardous Goods and Chemicals

A specialised niche also exists in terms of container storage with respect to hazardous goods and chemicals, used by a variety of industries. These can include the storage of things like paints, thinners, Class 3 flammables, oils, petroleum etc.

There are specific shipping containers you can get for the transport and storage of such materials called Dangerous Goods Containers which have specialised features that are required to be compliant. These include bunded floors, discharge valves for spillages, large vents for airflow and easy to open doors. Whatever your requirements, we can give you specific advice to meet your needs.

Vehicles

Kiwis love their cars and own a lot of them with among the highest rates of vehicle ownership per capita in the world. With space in a typical double garage or carport quickly used by your everyday domestic vehicles, people often need to look elsewhere for ways to store their sports/speciality/vintage cars.

Shipping containers are great options for these as a standard one can fit one or sometimes two cars at any one time. With ramps fitted at the front of the shipping container (preferably weather tight with vents), you can easily drive them in and out whenever you need. Again, it’s a great, cost-effective solution that allows you to keep your beloved cars close and accessible.

 

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Some great ways to use your shipping container for storage

As you can see, there are some great ways you can use a standard or specialised shipping container for storage. Whether you’re an individual or an owner of a business (small or industrial) they can offer quick, easy and accessible storage solutions for your needs.