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We may be a little biased, but we think Shipping Containers are pretty amazing.
At first glance it looks just like a Simple Box, constructed out of steel, stacked on container ships, trains, or trucks and used to transport cargo all around the world. But when you look at the bigger picture of how Shipping Containers have changed the world, it really is amazing!
Not to mention the incredible ways people are using a single 20 foot or 40 foot shipping container for everything from a constructionoffice, to a container house, to a mobile medical clinic, and so much more.
This short Ted Talk video tells the story of how a truck driver named Malcolm McLean got tired of all the waiting and wasted time involved in the old method of shipping cargo. Rather than just being frustrated, he decided to do something about it, and the shipping container as we know it was born.
It took several years, but over time the young truck driver’s invention of a standardized steel cargo container for shipping was honed and eventually caught on. His first shipment set sail with 58 Boxes and has since sailed into history.
When you see think about how the Shipping Container has changed the way almost everything is manufactured and bought and sold worldwide, it’s no wonder they call it “the Box that changed the world.” …but really, it was a man who valued the one thing we can’t make and all wish we had more of – TIME.
We can all take a lesson from the man who invented the shipping container: the next time you find yourself frustrated about wasted time, direct your frustration into brainstorming a way to improve the situation. You just might change the world!
ISO Shipping Containers are typically made in the standard sizes of 8’ wide, 8’ – 6” high, and either 20’ or 40’ long. 40 foot containers are the most common size seen on cargo ships, freight trains, and semi-truck chassis. 20 foot containers are the most popular for renting. Some shipping containers are manufactured in lengths as short as 8 feet or as long as 45’, 48’ and even 53 feet long. High-cube (Hi Cube) containers are one foot taller in height at 9 feet, 6 inches tall.
Most Intermodal Containers are made of Corten Steel which is designed to help scrapes, dings and dents better withstand the weather by forming allowing the container to form a “protective” layer of hard rust (maybe the first time rust has ever been described as a good thing!). The corrugation of the 14-gauge steel walls give the container stacking strength and many times containers are stacked up to 8 stories high. Shipping Container floors vary somewhat, although most new Simple Box containers feature an inch and a quarter plywood or bamboo floor.
Of course they are still heavily used to move products around the globe, but Simple Box containers are also used as household storage units and as a way to efficiently move furniture and belongings from one home to another.
Beyond shipping and storage uses, containers are being modified and transformed into job site offices for construction companies, emergency medical clinics, cabins, and yes even container homes.
Shipping containers have come a long way and their potential in the future is limitless. At Simple Box we’re inspired every day by people who have new, creative ideas for shipping containers.