Archive for the ‘Creative Uses’ Category

Music Festivals and Containers

That time of the year is finally here, festival season. Tens of thousands of music fans will gather from all over the country for a chance to see their favorite acts in one location. Music Festivals have a long and amazing history that spans over 60 years. Once in a lifetime moments such as Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar at the Monterey Pop Festival, Rage Against The Machine protesting naked at Lollapalooza, and even witnessing a hologram of Tupac at Coachella is what these gatherings are known for.

Since so many new festivals are introduced every year, the bar for new and innovative ideas has been raised. Festival organizers are now introducing unique attractions and vendors to ensure that the overall experience is elevated to match the musical talent. A few festivals came up with great ideas of shipping containers and innovative uses to attract new attention.

Shipping Container Innovative Uses at Festivals

Pop-up Booth:

Containers are an easy way to have a pop-up shop or trade show booth on the go. They can be easily modified with windows, door, electrical packages, and even air conditioning to suit any custom needs. Since shipping containers are easily transportable, they are an excellent and eye catching option to showcase products anywhere in the country.



Containers have been used for stages in many different ways. Some have used them as the base to build their stage, while others have used each box to create a mini stage within. The Tim Festival in Rio de Janeiro chose to stack and stagger boxes to house performers and projection screens in the gaps. This massive wall of containers created a truly unique experience which allowed everyone in the crowd to have a view of the spectacle.



Containers can also be helpful for more practical uses, such as storage.  Due to the natural security and durability of containers, they can be a great place to store expensive gear and instruments while keeping them safe from inclement weather that may occur. Shipping containers can be easily moved and stacked on top of each other if needed, which makes them the perfect storage solution for big production events.


The possibilities are endless when modifying containers. They can be made into dressing rooms, dining rooms, VIP lounges, offices, and even bars. The Bravalla Festival in Norrkoping, Sweden created a gateway and meeting place by stacking shipping containers on top of each other and decaling them with the festival’s logo. This served as a “home base” for groups to meet up or relocate each other. Plus, it also provides a great background for memorable photos.

karlsson-bjork-bravalla-music-festival-sweden-designboom-02 (1)

Music festivals are built on the foundations of fun and imagination. It comes as no surprise that the creators of these events are coming up with these amazing uses for shipping containers. The need for reliable solutions, like containers, will continue to grow as festivals do. So when you are traveling from one stage to another, be sure to keep your eyes open because you never know where you might see a container pop up. For more information about containers and modifications call us at (800) 386-2345 or visit

Thinking Inside the Box to Break Down Borders

If you were given the opportunity to have a one on one conversation with someone across the world, would you take it? Now I’m not talking about an online chat or FaceTime call but rather a new experience that actually lets you feel like you are in the room with another person. One company called Shared_Studios (a multidisciplinary art, design and technology collective) is using shipping containers to make this possible. 

Shared Studios

For the first time, people can have a fully immersive conversation with complete strangers living thousands of miles away. By outfitting gold colored 20’ shipping containers with state of the art audio and visual equipment, they have created a communication portal that can connect you with other modified containers all over the world. Countries such as The Unites States, Mexico, Afghanistan, Cuba, Syria, Rwanda, Germany, and many others can now utilize this unique experience.

(Barack Obama speaking to entrepreneurs through portals in London, Erbil, Seoul, and Mexico City)

(Barack Obama speaking to entrepreneurs through portals in London, Erbil, Seoul, and Mexico City)

These shipping containers are now responsible for facilitating global conversations, teaching various subjects such as language and history, allowing artists to design and create together, and even connecting family members. We now have the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of what it is truly like to live in another country that is not skewed by the media, stereotypes, and negative preconceptions.

Shared Studios

Shared_Studios’ goal is to have these modified containers & communication portals permanently placed around the globe. They have only begun to tap into what these portals can be used for. Since they are a global public art project, they are open to new ideas of how the world can be connected in the future through this technology. Shared_Studios has proved that there is no limit to what shipping containers can be made into. They are literally breaking down borders with containers. It seems like you can still be in the box to think outside of it. For more information go to

“Brojects” – Shipping Container Workshop


Cottage Life DIY take on a workshop “Broject” using a shipping container

by Mackenzie Akins on February 02

Cottage Life DIY’s Andrew and Kevin add shipping containers to their list of materials for their next “Broject.” Always finding new and innovative DIY ideas, Andrew and Kevin have decided to build a workshop out of a repurposed shipping container in the woods. Shipping containers are excellent resources for repurposing and are perfect for outdoor storage projects like a workshop. From the plan outline to the execution of the wooden deck, they’ve really outdone themselves this time.

“We took an empty shipping container and turned it into the ultimate cottage workshop.”

To start planning, they come up with their wishlist for their ideal shipping container workshop. Next, they plan to open up the container with two large doors, plenty of space for storage on the inside, and a deck out front for a level building platform. Due to the sturdiness of the container, Andrew and Kevin also plan to build a rooftop deck to relax in. They’ve decided to build with a used container that already has some rust and wear on it, so they need to clean it up a little before starting reconstruction. After using some rust paint to extend the lifespan of the shipping container, they can start cutting out the doors.

They decide to paint the container black to contrast with the natural environment and implement the wooden doors. Once the doors are finished, all that is left is trimming the deck. The finished DIY shipping container features a beautiful outdoor space with a safe and durable storage area.  In their next video, Kevin and Andrew show how they make the rooftop deck to top off this dream shipping container workshop.


If building your own shipping container workshop sounds like your kind of Broject, let us help you! Contact us for a quote and we’ll get you started with everything you need for your DIY shipping container project.





Vertical Shipping Containers

What better way to enjoy a sunny afternoon than with a glass of wine and a beautiful view. This winery’s tasting room experience just became elevated. Cumulus Studio designed the shipping container building for Brown Brothers wine company to amplify the experience of the of scenery and to help lure tourists to east coast of Tasmania. The structure was constructed primarily using recycled shipping containers including the eye catching lookout tower, the Devil’s Corner Cellar Door. The tower invites guests to visually explore the landscape around the vineyard through thoughtfully curated framed views and interpreting the landscape. The guests will learn to appreciate the land where the wine originates in the same way they appreciate the wine that they sip on. There are three distinct openings, all with unique framed views- sky, horizon, and tower.

Shipping containers were used because of their flexibility, durability, affordability, and ability to be constructed quickly. The steel shipping containers are both structurally sound and can easily be modified. A total of 10 recycled shipping containers were used.

The shipping containers were modified off-site, easily transported to the site, and erected quickly. The sky lookout was cut from two parts a container and then put back together; the horizon bridge lookout is between the sky and tower lookouts and  the tower is constructed from two containers, end to end. The timber cladding on outside of the tower mixes the agricultural qualities with the raw industrial nature of the steel and the production process.

This vertical shipping container building utilized the small limited space and created an elegant 3 floor custom build pop-up shop. The project is the Streamer X Espresso Parts Barista Pro Shop is made from recycled shipping containers and positioned on a small island of real estate.










Photo: Designboom


In the Netherlands, architects have a developed structure made out of shipping containers at a bus station and is designed to enhance the waiting experience. The campaign called “prettig wachten” (pleasant waiting) is trying to make the time spent waiting more comfortable and less stressful for travelers. A 40ft shipping container is vertically placed and three 20ft shipping container were horizontally placed on the side. The horizontal containers are suspended together and form a roof.


A Georgia based architect Dachi Papuashvili shared his plan of constructing a tiny home with two recycled shipping containers. One shipping container stands vertically and the sits perpendicular like a cross. The plan was named The Skit, plans to utilize the recycled shipping containers but will also be very sustainable. The roof will be fitted with a solar panel and will make the home independent of any outside energy sources. The Skit will also feature a rainwater collection system and the heating of the home will be done by a small wood-burning stove. The outside of The Skit will be clad in wood and will feature two balconies.

Construction Trends 2016-2017

According to the American Institute of Architects’ Consensus Construction Forecast Panel expects the overall construction spending to grow about 6 percent in 2016 and stay in that range for 2017. With the 6% growth, the value of construction is predicted to reach an estimate of $712 billion. Commercial and institutional sectors are leading the growth trend in 2016. Both single-family residential and the institutional building sectors have the greatest potential for further expansion in 2017. Construction Dive came out with a great article highlighting the 10 construction trends to watch out for in 2016. This article talks about the trends of 2016 that contributed to the booming construction business. Container Alliance can help contribute to the strong demand of the construction industry and offer our level of expertise in these trends:

  • Prefab/offsite construction methods will become more popular

20-office-conversion-ca-9Offsite, also refers to modular or prefabricated, construction has been gaining momentum as an alternative building method to cut down construction time, waste, and cost. The goal is to leave less of a carbon footprint on our planet. Construction companies with unpredictable schedules or staff at various job sites can benefit from the convenience of having on-site facilities because it offers more certainty.

Container Alliance has office units for rent, along with a plethora modifications available to customize your shipping container construction vision. Our office units can be delivered right to a job site and are ready to go. The flexibility and mobility of containers make them great for any project, rather it is needed temporarily or as a long term solution. Speed up the time and save money!

  • Green building will grow in commercial and residential sectors            

Going green is a growing trend that has gained some momentum in the past few years, leading the residential sector to play catch up. “The growing trend in both sectors is driven not just by a desire to produce environmentally friendly structures, but by consumer demand, higher-quality results and lifecycle cost savings,” according to experts at Greenbuild 2015.


Photo: Freshome


  • Jobsite accidents and criminal indictments on the rise         

At a job site, there are two main concerns are security and theft. On-site storage is vital to the construction industry to keep expensive equipment, tools, and materials safe. Container Alliance offers a safe and secure solution with our shipping containers. Our One Trip containers come with standard with a lockbox to prevent your lock from being cut. Our containers come in various sizes and can be customized according to your needs. Contractors can rest easy with the peace of mind that their valuables are kept safe.

  • Remodeling will have a strong year, especially in the luxury market

The economy is picking up again, so are renovations. Data has shown that more people are willing to invest more money in their homes. Home improvement spending has doubled since 2012, increasing the opportunity for contractors to take advantage of this trend. Renovations are happening everywhere, sports stadiums, hotels, schools, hospitals, and residential homes. Container Alliance can provide on-site storage and offices while shipping container construction and/or renovations are happening. We have an array of sizes and a variety of modifications available, including enhanced security, shelving, custom paint, and electrical packages. Shipping containers will keep your items safe while renovations are happening.

Shipping Containers Are Great For The Holiday Season

Now that everyone is full from all the turkey, stuffing, mash potatoes, and pumpkin pie, it is time to start planning your Black Friday extravaganza. With the holidays just around the corner, consumers are looking for all the best deals on Black Friday, it is the biggest sale day of the year. Having shipping containers can help your business grow, stay organized, and create a great branding opportunity. Here are four ways shipping containers can benefit your business:

View on Rear Left with door open

Extra Storage Space – Extra storage space during the holiday season is especially valuable to the retail environment because of all the extra stock stores have during the peak season. In most cities, affordable inventory storage space is limited and using shipping containers is a cost effective alternative. The sky’s the limit on the design possibilities, they can be stacked or cleverly arranged to maximize as much space as possible. Not to mention, containers are eco-friendly and prevent the use of bricks and cement. Tons of shipping containers are just sitting idle in ports, so why not reuse them? Help the environment by taking objects that would normally be thrown away and turn them into something productive. Do you only need storage for a few months? Container Alliance has long-term and short-term rental options available. Don’t feel tied down with purchasing a container, rent one first! 

container-shelvingInventory Control – By having extra storage on site, businesses can have access to their stock at all times and can manage it better. Shipping containers for business is a great way to stay organized, especially if you add shelving to your unit. Shelving systems are a simple, cost-effective method of utilizing the space inside your container.

Office Space – Office space can be limited especially in the retail environment. Affordable office space is a whole another issue. Since renting a traditional office may not be in the budget, shipping containers provide a way to create an office space without breaking the bank. This will benefit businesses who want to make a profit without spending the majority of their money on rent and various other expense that goes along with owning a business. Office conversions are an extremely functional modification that can allow for various applications in the re-purposing of cargo containers for an onsite office space. Container Alliance has a variety of office containers to suit your needs including, 20ft office conversions, 40ft office conversions, and 40ft office / storage conversion combinations. Although we can customize your office to your exact specifications, we do have a few popular office packages and pre-built offices that may suit your needs.  We have a variety of door, window, flooring, insulation and electrical options that can be tailored to your specific use.


Branding/Marketing – With so many holiday sales going on, you need to stand out from the crowd. Using shipping containers for business is a  a unique and innovative way to draw attention to your brand or products. Pop-up shops are becoming a growing trend. Shipping container pop-up shops give the retailers more flexibility than having a brick-and-mortar store. Shipping containers are affordable and can be relocated if necessary. Opening a temporary store is great for marketing purposes or if you want to test the waters of a new store or product. It is a powerful tool for creating brand awareness. Shipping containers for business purposes can even be custom painted to match your brand’s color scheme!


Shipping containers are a sustainable and inexpensive way to expand and grow your business. Don’t wait for customers to come to you, make the customers want to come to you. Shipping containers pop-ups will mesmerize their customers with their attention grabbing and unique display. Shipping containers are completely customizable and can be modified according to the needs of an individual or business.

Let Container Alliance help you grow your business. We have various container sizes and conditions in stock, as well as rental options available. Our knowledgeable sales reps can answer any questions you may have. Give us a call today at (800) 386-2345 or fill out a quick quote form.


What Is The Cost Of Shipping Containers?

TowerofcontainersRentalsThe cost of shipping containers varies depending on the geographical location, the condition of the container, modifications, size, and the cost of delivery. Used shipping container prices vary and are usually in the range of $1000-$5000. New or one trip shipping containers are usually more expensive and are usually in the range of $2000-$5000. For example, a basic bare-bones used container is much cheaper than a modified, custom-designed new container. If you hire a contractor to complete all the technical work, you are looking to spend $50-$150 an hour. The total cost of completing your project through a contractor could be up to $15,000 or more. If you are handy and have experience with construction then you could probably do it for $10,000 or less. Containers are made out of corrugated steel, commonly known as COR-TEN. Depending on the cost of steel prices, availability of containers fluctuates, along with pricing. Right now, steel is widely available at a relatively low cost so there are more new shipping containers being made. The high demand of shipping containers makes the price drop, creating an affordable building alternative.

Price Factors

Condition – At Container Alliance, a used container that needs some TLC or needs to be fixed can be as low as $1300 for a 20ft container. A 20ft one-trip container which is in new condition will usually go for around $2200.

Size – Shipping container prices increase with size and vary state-to-state.  The 40ft container is about 20%-30% more than a standard 20ft container. At Container Alliance, a used 40ft shipping container is about $1400 and a new or one trip 40ft container is about $3500. For only about $50-$100 more you can get a 40ft or 45ft High Cube. That is double the size for about a 70% price increase.

Modifications and Customization – Adding additional options such as a skylight, windows, a locking system, doors, ventilation, insulation, etc. are all going to cost you more. The more modifications you are looking for, the higher the price tag will be. 

Quantity – If you are buying more than one container, many shipping container companies will often offer a bulk discount rate so the cost per unit will be less.

Delivery – The prices vary depending on how many containers are being delivered and how far they have to travel. The further you are from a port location, the container will cost more.

Overall, the cost of shipping containers for your residential or business needs is drastically less than a finished structure such as brick and mortar buildings or building a home from scratch.  These buildings need larger and more expensive foundation, along with more intensive labor. Building with a shipping container will save you on the cost of human labor. If aesthetics are not of importance, buying a new container may not be necessary, a used container can save you money. However, a new container may be desired, especially if you are building a home and want to save money on refurbishing a used container.

Contact Us

At Container Alliance, we can help answer any questions about your container needs. We understand that every customer needs are different and our knowledgeable representatives can help figure out which container works best for your specific needs. Fluctuations in the container market can be confusing, give Container Alliance a call at (800) 386-2345 or fill out a quick quote form and let’s get the process started!

Shipping Container Paint Guide

DSC_0156Shipping containers are being virtually used for everything such as restaurants, shops, art pieces, storage, and even homes. You might have bought a used shipping container that was considered “cargo-worthy,” “as is” or “wind and watertight.” These are usually the cheapest container options on the market. “AS IS” containers are used units that have been retired by shipping companies. Most of these containers have light to heavy surface rust, scratches, dents, and come in various colors. Used containers are a great option because they are the most cost effective and there is an abundant supply of these containers. A single shipping container has traveled throughout the world and has been exposed to the marine environment. When the container is moved, the areas where the steel panels are joined together become weakened under stress and the original paint can crack or chip away. Due to the heavy use, water has an opportunity to collect in the corners and underneath the doors and remains stagnant. Painting shipping containers makes the cargo box more attractive in appearance and provides durability, ensuring the strength and integrity of the metal by keeping it free from rust. When you choose the right paint type, painting shipping containers also protects it from various elements. Ensure you find the best paint for your individual container, as there are various container paint options available. The first step is to determine how you will use the shipping container, the intended use will help you decide the best container paint type to use.


Now that you have purchased a used container that fits your needs. The size is right, the condition is strong and secure, and the price was right. Now it is time to paint your container. But why paint a container? Obviously, it is going to look better especially if it blends well with the rest of your home, business, or surroundings. If you are using it for marketing purposes, consider painting shipping containers for a fresh-looking exterior. But there is another reason you should paint your container. Painting your container adds an extra layer between the steel and the elements. Painting shipping containers will drastically slow down the spread of rust and will make your container last longer. When a container is chipped, dented, or damaged in a number of ways, these scars can speed up the process of rotting. Along with rotting, many people are concerned with the chemicals used in making the wood floor. If you are simply using a container for storage purposes, there is not much concern over the health risks. However, it is not a bad idea to seal off the floor with a thick coat of paint to prevent water damage and toxic fumes from creeping out. Any outdoor paint that is designed to be walked on and withstand the weather of all four seasons would work, for example, Behr Porch and Patio paint is a great choice.

Best Paint Option:
Water-based direct to metal paint (DTM) – Sherwin Williams and Valspar makes a good marine grade DTM paint

Rust Converter
Spot Priming any rust spots with a “rust converter” which transforms surface rust into a hard substance and then your container is ready to be painted. It also prevents the rust from spreading and secures the spot that is already rusted. I have heard good things about POR-15 rust treatment and rust prevention paint. Its high performance rust-preventive coating is designed for application directly on rusted or seasoned metal surfaces. The POR-15 dries extremely hard so it doesn’t chip, crack, or peel like ordinary paints and the hardness will resist the wear and tear of everyday life. POR-15 is ideal because it chemically bonds to rusted metal and forms a rock hard coating. It keeps moisture away from metal with a coating that is strengthened by continued exposure to moisture. This protective layer can then be painted over with your color of choice.

Ceramic Paint Insulation
What about ceramic paint insulation? Many people are wondering if ceramic insulation paint actually works and if so, how does it work? The dimensions of a container are not very big, if you insulate the inside of a container, you are not left with very much room to work with. On the other hand, If you insulate the outside of a container, the container loses the look and feel of a container. The “ceramic insulation” claimed to be developed by NASA and the supplier claims addresses “all three modes of heat transfer- Radiated, convected and conducted.” However, there have been no studies done to verify their insulating qualities. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not suggest using paints or coatings as a primary source for insulation. Their government has recognized roofing paint for its energy efficiency but only the capability to reflect heat off the roof, not insulating the container to keep it cooler. In a study, they found that insulating paints can accomplish a “reduction in heat gain” of about 20% on freshly painted sun-exposed walls, but notes that such direct sunlight is limited, and the “reflectivity of the painted surface generally declines considerably with time.
Source: Freelibrary

Extending the Life of Your Container

Extending the life of your shipping container can be done with little a bit effort and at an affordable cost. Over the course of time, a shipping container that is on a farm, ranch, or on a residential or commercial property will eventually succumb to the forces of nature and start to rust. The floors may even begin to rot inside your container. Take preventive actions and slow down the aging process with paint, a wire brush, and some vinegar.

The only way to completely get rid of rust is by getting the surface down to bare metal and then painting it with a two part paint. It is probably not necessary to chip the paint off the entire container because most of the rust that is visible is probably running down from rusty spots where the coating was damaged. Those spots are probably worst than the rest of the container because of their exposure to the marine environment. It is a good idea to wash and scrub the complete surface and then clean the stains with a diluted ospho.

Steps To Paint Your Container
The most effective way to clean up the rust to repaint a shipping container would be to sandblast the entire container, remove the paint, then remove the rusted areas, prime, and repaint the container. This would result in a completely refurbished container. However, the cost of this process could be more than the container itself.

If you want to cut the cost down and just remove rust and repaint the affected areas, get a wire brush, sandpaper, vinegar, and direct to metal (DTM) paint. A 20ft container needs about 3-4 gallons of paint. Try to remove as much of the rust as possible with the wire brush and sandpaper. Rub vinegar on those areas you cleaned and leave it on for a bit. This will stall the corrosion process. Now it is time to apply the DTM paint, ideally, you should apply more than one coat.

Clean your container – Preferably with a pressure washer – Remove dirt, debris, and loose paint chips. Pay close attention to the areas that need special attention. Don’t forget to clean the top of your container!

Grind down rust – Use Low grit sandpaper, steel wool, or a wire brush – Sand areas to remove the corrosion or loose paint. If those areas are not treated, they will compromise the paint later on. Spray wash the container again and rub vinegar on the areas you cleaned and that need special attention. Let your container completely dry.

Apply a “rust converter”– Apply over rusty areas with a paint brush and/or roller. A rust converter is similar to a steel primer and converts the rust into a hard, paintable surface. It also seals the formerly rusty surface from oxygen, which is part of the rust degradation process. Let dry.

Paint your container – Once the rust converter has completely dried, using a paint sprayer or a heavy paint roller is ideal when applying your paint.

DSC_0179 copy

Have questions about painting your container? Container Alliance is able to paint your container for you, rather your are looking for a color that matches your home or business or a color that blends into your surroundings, one of our knowledgeable sales reps can help you make the decision and guide you in the right direction. Our years of experience in the container industry will save you time and money, we want to help you! We are also able to paint your container for you as a branding or marketing opportunity. Give us a call today at (800) 386-2345 or fill out a quick quote form now!

Back to School: Shipping Container Schools


Photo: Inhabitat

This bright and innovative gym/sports hall was created out of shipping containers. This eye-catching structure is used as a four court sports hall, viewing gallery, changing rooms, and an office. This stacked shipping container building radiates and inspires fun with its bright colors, zigzag cutouts, and abundance of natural light.


Photo: Inhabitat

This unique mobile library was conceived to help support local Dutch schools that lack funds or space for a library. The lower level of this shipping container building is a small library that packs 100 meters of book shelves and above is a reading room. There are also four computer terminals. The innovative structure almost feels like a fun house with its transparent floor that magnifies and makes kids look huge.


Photo: Inhabitat



Photo: DesignBoom

Samsung has begun an effort to provide children with access to modern technology. Electricity is received via photovoltaic panels installed on the roof. This solar powered mobile lab can generate nine hours of electricity a day. The shipping container school classroom that hold 21 students is equipped with a 50 inch electronic board, internet-enabled powered notebooks, galaxy tablet computers as well as wi-fi cameras.


Photo: Inhabitat

Overcrowding in schools has become a trend lately and schools are constantly struggling with space shortages. Due to budget cuts or tight budgets, there is little that these school can do. Slovenian architect Jure Kotnik understood the importance of a comfortable learning environment that sparks imagination in young children. Kotnik came up with a temporary fix to remedy the overcrowding at a local kindergarten. He transformed shipping containers into a kid-friendly temporary container classroom.


Photo: Inhabitat

REALM Charter School in Berkeley, California had its students design new classrooms using 40ft used shipping containers and named it Project H. The teacher leaders gave the students control to plan their classroom, source materials, and also build the container classroom themselves. This gave students practical experience in planning and construction. Students got to use angle grinders, blow torches, welders, and many other tools. Through the program, students gained valuable experience thinking critically and creatively with a group. These kids got the hands-on experience to help them succeed later in life.

Contact Us

Container Alliance provides shipping containers, storage containers, and custom container modifications in California and is part of a network of shipping container providers throughout the United States. We have been in business for 8 years and work with every client to find the perfect storage solution to meet their unique needs. Give us a call at 800-386-2345 today or get an online quote now.

Shipping Container Dimensions

The two industry standard sizes of shipping containers are the 20ft and 40ft containers. Importers and exporters are at an advantage when it comes to packing up their container because their products are boxed and shipped from the manufacture. This makes it easy to access the amount boxes that fit on a pallet. If you are using a container to move, it is difficult to know how much of your stuff is going to fit into the container. Do you need a 20ft container or a 40ft container? Finding the perfect shipping container dimensions that will fit your entire home seems like an impossible task. Packing your items in a container can feel like a game of Tetris. Going through each room of your house or apartment and taking inventory of what is in each room will help give you a better idea of what standard container dimension you will need. Taking inventory of your home will also help with the organizational process when it comes time to load your container. At this time, you can discard any unwanted items or make a trip to Goodwill. Hopefully this guide provides a clear understanding of the shipping container dimensions as you embark on your journey to a new place!

20 ft container rental20ft Containers – The standard container dimensions of a 20ft container is 20ft long, 8ft 6in tall, and 8ft wide. It can hold about 850 to 1,050 cubic feet, and are usually big enough to fit a 1 to 2 bedroom household, or one vehicle with a few small household goods. The container filled to the maximum capacity is 1170 cubic feet but filled up to 90% capacity would be about 1,050 cubic feet. This is only an estimate and only work if everything fits like a puzzle piece – which rarely happens – so be sure to leave some extra space.

Cubic FeetQuantityTotal
Twin Bed
King Size Bed30
3 - Seater Couch45145
Washing Machine 15115
Refrigerator 10110
TV (Small)5210
Medium Boxes (18" x 18" x 18")4520
Large Boxes 8540
Dinner Table 50150
Suitcases 5420
BMW 3 SERIES 325i M Sport 2dr Step Auto Convertible 3.0670
Grand Total 1050

Resource: Movehub

CIMG037540ft Containers – The standard container dimensions of a 40ft container is 40ft long, 8ft 6in, and 8ft wide. It can hold about 1,850 to 2,200 cubic feet, and are typically appropriate for moving a 3 to 5 bedroom household, or 1 vehicle and a 2 bedroom household. The overall capacity of a 40ft container is 2,390 cubic feet. It is highly unlikely that you will fill your 40ft container to full capacity because of awkward shaped items. Make sure you have some extra room so you do not fall short. The 40ft shipping container dimensions are best for families and larger homes or large items such as vehicles.

Item Cubic Feet
Living Room / Kitchen / Dining Room / Laundry Room
Couch 3 Seater50
Sofa Bed50
Sofa Sectional30
Arm Chair10
Occasional Chair15
Lazy Boy25
Book Case20
Coffee Tables5
Wall Unit Small15
Wall Unit Large20
Cupboard small10
Cupboard Large15
Floor Lamp3
Upright Piano60
Baby Grand Piano70
Grand Piano80
Carpet and Rug10
Grandfather Clock20
Breakfast Chair5
Breakfast Table10
Kitchen Cabinet30
Utility Cabinet10
Refrigerator (Small)40
Refrigerator (Medium)45
Refrigerator (Large)55
Freezer (Small)45
Freezer (Medium)50
Freezer (Large)60
Washing Machine 35
Dishwasher 35
King Size Bed70
Full Size Bed 55
Twin Size Bed 40
Bunk Beds70
Dresser, Chest of Drawers
Ironing Board10
Side Tables10
Wardrobe Boxes
Small Dining Table20
Medium Dining Table 25
Large Dining Table 30
Dining Chairs5
China Cabinet25
Corner Cabinet 20
Outdoor Area
Barbecue 10
Lawn Chair5
Porch Chair10
Lawn Mower35
Outdoor Swings 30
Picnic Table20
Large Bookcase 15
Arm Chair10
Computer Desk 20
Conference Table 50
Drawing Table 20

Resource: Movehub 

Estimating the volume of your container
Generally speaking, a two-bedroom apartment will fill into a 20ft container. For example, if you take a typical 1,200 square foot apartment and pack it very well using boxes and bubble wrap, it should easily fit all your possessions in a 20ft container. This would be similar to a 2-3 bedroom house of about 2,000 square feet in a 40ft shipping container.

How many cars will fit in one shipping container? 
Varies with the size of the cars, but typically:

20ft Container
A large sedan, van, or small SUV when loaded flat without supporting frames
2 very low sports cars when loaded with supporting frames

40ft Container
2 large sedan, vans, or small SUV when loaded flat without supporting frames
3 or 4 sedans when angled and secured by frames

Container Alliance can help you find the right shipping container dimensions for your moving needs. Give us a call at (800) 386-2345 to speak with one of our knowledgeable sales representatives or fill out a quick quote form today!