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The Top 10 Ways to Upcycle Shipping Containers

7 Jul by Admin

The Top 10 Ways to Upcycle Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are the primary way to safely store and transport cargo owing to their strength, size and security. In recent years, however, there has been a growing demand for old or unused shipping containers in the construction industry, and we’ve seen some amazing transformations from standard shipping container to architecture wonder! Here we have our rundown of the top 10 ways to upcycle shipping containers.

Schools and classrooms

It isn’t uncommon to see shipping containers upcycled into temporary classrooms for schools undergoing construction work in the Western world. It provides a simple solution to a temporary problem and they are insulated and sturdy enough to protect the children using them from any weather type. A growing trend that takes inspiration from this is the construction of schools in less-developed countries using shipping containers. It just takes a few simple alterations to add windows and connect a few shipping containers together to provide an excellent school.

Restaurants and food trucks

From pop-up bistros to food trucks, shipping containers are an excellent size to set up a small restaurant. Often transported to festival grounds for the weekend or attached to a truck and drove from location to location, shipping containers can be a super cost-effective way to launch a catering business.

Houses and flats

There are actually two ways that shipping containers are being upcycled into homes. Firstly, the size and shape of shipping containers means they can be stacked to form a block of flats that provides the perfect layout for student accommodation, bedsits or emergency disaster accommodations. Secondly, in designer homes, the practical qualities and raw, warehouse aesthetic of shipping containers are being acknowledged as excellent materials to make a house design all the more unique.


Similarly to a block of flats, an office block can be built out of shipping containers. They are the perfect size for individual or small group offices and are a very low-cost way to set up a workspace.

Portable toilets

Ideal for festivals and worksites, shipping containers can also be transformed into portable toilets. Because of their size and weight, they provide a much more sturdy structure than Portaloos and can’t be pushed over.

Art studios and theatres

In recent times, the warehouse or industrial aesthetic has made a big comeback in interior design, and shipping containers are a big feature in a lot of modern architecture. In the art world, shipping containers are heavily favoured in art studios and theatres for a simple yet effective workspace.

Swimming pools

One of the most daring renovations of shipping containers is to make swimming pools. Shipping containers are completely watertight so are an excellent way to make an above ground or built-in swimming pool. Their size and shape also makes them the perfect depth and length for a swim!

Sheds and plant nurseries

For a more domestic repurposing, shipping containers can be used to create secure sheds for your garden, or owing to their insulation properties, they can also be very effective plant nurseries!


If you’re tired or parking your car on the street but can’t afford to build a garage, a shipping container could be perfect for you. Cheap, safe and weather-resistant, you can add a whole new level of security to your vehicle.

Camping lodges

Shipping containers can easily be transformed into camping lodges or little holiday rentals so you can get close to nature – but not too close! You can enjoy a few luxuries while camping with these little homes from homes.