Creative Uses For a 20’ Shipping Container

I’ll bet when you think of a 20’ shipping container you envision those units on flat beds that are traveling behind a train.  Or maybe you see them at shipyards being loaded onto massive freight liners that travel across country or around the world.  The most popular way to see some of these containers is on a flatbed truck while driving down the freeway.  But there are so many other uses for these large containers that you would never think of.  I’m going to show you how versatile these units can be with just a bit of imagination and creativity.


There are some public schools that have had to expand due to a local school closing and those kids having to be rerouted to other nearby schools.  Since it is wildly expensive to build another wing on an existing school, using portable 20’ shipping containers create a perfect solution.  These units can be placed where there is a large area of unused land, positioned in rows or blocks and with a little landscaping in the front, it serves as a useful space for a small group of kids to conduct school.  When the extra space is no longer needed, the units can be removed easily.


Any construction worker knows when on the job site, there are usually trailers that the architects and foreman utilize as an office to conduct business or meetings away from the noise outside.  The designs of these workspaces vary.  Some units allow part of the side to open, creating a shutter style window to open and close.  Other units are completely closed up with only one entrance door.  There are many other styles as options depending on the needs of the user.

Emergency Units

These are portable units that can be refurbished to have electrical capacity with a portable generator and all the equipment needed for an emergency unit.  Position several side by side and you have a very large area designed to be set up quickly in areas where a portable ER unit would be useful.

Disaster Shelters

During those times when natural disaster strikes, temporary housing is an absolute necessity.  The 20’ shipping containers are a perfect solution.  Temporary, portable and comfortable to accommodate those people who have lost a home due to tornados, hurricanes, fires or other natural disasters.  While it certainly isn’t classified as the Ritz, these temporary shelters are much appreciated by those who have nowhere to stay after their home has been destroyed.  To them, it is the Ritz!

As you can see, these 20’ shipping containers have a wide variety of uses, more than just a shipping container for oversea goods, cross country movers by train or by semitruck.  With a little imagination, creativity and vision, these containers can serve so many people in so many different (and necessary) ways.  Next time one passes you on a flatbed semitruck, what do you see?