With development projects continuously on the rise, people all over the spectrum are turning to alternative solutions that won’t break their budget. At a time when the demand for space is at a premium, it’s little wonder that temporary storage space and inside-the-box custom structures are increasingly popular.

Whether you are weighing your options for storage at your business or during a long-distance move or wanting to pursue a building project, it is important to go into any big decision with your eyes wide open.

We have received many different questions and heard various assumptions about shipping containers over the years, but here are the five most common myths that we would like to debunk:

“There are stacks of shipping containers sitting around and nobody knows what to do with them.”

Verdict: Myth!

Even prior to the COVID-19 global pandemic, international container fleets were at 99% utilization. Currently, there is an acute shortage of shipping containers worldwide and ocean carriers have found themselves scrambling for usable containers everywhere. New container production in Chinese factories is the highest it has been in years, but even this output has yet to satisfy the worldwide demand for additional new units. This shortage has driven the prices up on all new containers and is prompting the shipping lines to hold onto used containers longer than ever to fill their massive ships and meet freight demands.

Despite these industry-wide and worldwide price increases, businesses like Secure-Rite have been able to shield customers from most of these impacts through large inventory levels and purchasing power.

“Building with containers is always more cost-effective.”

Verdict: Although this can be true, it depends on the requirements for each project.

Affordability and durability are two of the biggest benefits of building with shipping containers. Building structures with shipping containers can certainly save you money on materials, foundation requirements, as well as the kind of maintenance that traditional wood or stone structures require over time.

Despite this initial cost savings, you might find that additional costs are incurred depending on the design plan you opt for, as well as any upgrades or higher-end finishes. It is also important to keep in mind that building a custom structure with a shipping container is not dissimilar to building a home or business space - you will want to factor in the cost of land, permits, inspections, and any adjustments required as a result of this process.

“My stuff will get ruined in a shipping container”

Verdict: Myth!

Your belongings are safe and sound inside the box! There are even a number of built-in benefits and tactics you can lean on to ensure the safety and preservation of your belongings, whether the container is sitting in one place over the course of a season, or being moved from one place to another.

For example, all Secure-Rite containers are weatherproof and ventilated with a minimum of two vents in each container. There are tie-down hooks on both sides, top and bottom, on the inside of the container to secure your belongings during transit. Accessories like block locks, shelving, and hooks are also available to help you better protect and organize your items. Take a look at this e-Book for more in-depth recommendations on packing your container for a move.

With that being said, there are certain things you should not store in a shipping container, such as hazardous, illegal, explosive, or flammable materials. Items like propane tanks should not be stored, and gasoline or oil should be drained from equipment before storage.

One storage client even remarked, “My stuff looked just as good coming out of the container as it did going in!”

“Using a shipping container is NOT an eco-friendly choice.”

Verdict: Myth!

The use of shipping containers is often thought of as being eco-friendly and sustainable. This is true, in that you are repurposing something that would otherwise sit unused once its shipping life was over. Recycling containers and repurposing them into officesstorage spaces, or other structures is a more sustainable and eco-friendly practice than building from scratch with traditional building materials.

Modifying or building with shipping containers entails off-site construction, which means that the builder can repurpose any unused material from your project for others coming down the pipeline, minimizing overall waste. When it comes time to deliver and place the modified structure, minimal site prep is required. If there is dry, flat, and level ground, you can place the structure directly on the ground without foundation, which reduces the carbon footprint that would otherwise be present in the production and pouring of concrete.

Reusing shipping containers not only arms you for mobility, but it is also undoubtedly a more sustainable option than many conventional building methods.

“If you’re building a structure out of a shipping container, it’s easier and you can probably do it yourself.”

Verdict: Myth!

Any construction project should only be done by trained or certified professionals. There are many considerations to be made when modifying a shipping container, such as the plot of land the finished structure will be placed on, size, type, desired result, building code, permits, zoning regulations, as well as any materials, equipment, or processes required to bring this project to life. You also would not want to run the risk of investing your hard-earned money into a project, only to realize there were peripheral factors you were not aware of and then the structure ends up not meeting a building code.

If you are wanting to build a workshopcabin, or any other custom structure using a shipping container, working with a credible and experienced supplier, builder, and local building authorities is paramount in ensuring the success of such an endeavour.

Like any other major project or decision, be sure to do your research on the pros and cons, realistic cost and timeline expectations, and which people you will need to consult with before committing to and kicking off your project. Secure-Rite Structures is certified to CSA A277 by QAI Laboratories, which means that all of our container structures are built to recognized standards and meet the Canadian Building Code. If you have a project in mind and need professionals in the room, give us a call or come see us, and let’s talk shop.