construction container

Uses of Shipping Containers for the Construction Industry

Did you know that you can buy shipping containers online for all of your construction needs? When most people think of shipping and construction containers, they assume they’ll have to go to a shipping yard or retailer.

Having to travel to find a shipping container is far from a reality. It can be easier to buy or rent a construction container online. Depending on what size and type of container you need, you can easily find the right one from the comfort of your office or home.

There are more than 17 million shipping containers in the world in operation. Less than half of these are in use at any given time. So, what do you need to know about the right container for you?


Shipping Containers 101

Shipping containers can range in size from 6 feet to 45 feet. Almost all types of containers are airtight and have a diverse range of uses. Whether you’re looking for shipping or storage, there is a container that is perfect for you.

Construction containers are essentially just big metal boxes. However, some come without roofs. Some have refrigeration and insulation capabilities.

Cargo Shipping Containers

Shipping, storage, and construction containers are even being turned into homes all over the world. Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a preexisting property, people are choosing to design their own. They don’t have to be tiny homes either, as you can buy multiple containers and fashion your own design!

Most construction companies or jobs use steel shipping containers. On average, a steel container lease is around $23 per square foot. Prices can vary depending on availability in your area, so it’s important to know what you want before you start your search.

Who Makes Steel Containers?

A majority of the world’s shipping containers are made in China. These containers are shipped all over the world. Many have ended up here in the United States and may never return to China once they arrive.

Domestically produced steel containers come from places like California. In Europe, most containers come from Denmark-based manufacturers. There are even teams in the UK and India who build containers.

What Type of Steel Is Used for Construction Containers?

Almost all construction containers are made out of weathering steel. Weathering steel is a robust material, designed to withstand all potential sources of corrosion.

The tensile strength of weathering steel allows your container to survive even in the harshest conditions. Surface rust of weather steel means your container will survive, even if the paint is chipped.

Weathering steel is pretty much bulletproof for the average ammunition. Various television and YouTube shows have tested everything from a .22 caliber to a 9mm hollow point and 12 gauge.

Renting Shipping Containers

Most companies choose to rent shipping containers for short-term jobs. Unless you have a consistent need for a shipping container, it’s easier to rent what you need. Most rental companies will provide the initial delivery, so you don’t have to find somewhere to store your container while it’s out of use.

Renting is a safe option financially. Short-term rentals are highly cost-effective. However, if you’re working on a long-term job, it might be worth buying a container.

Buying Shipping Containers

Some companies choose to buy containers when they have an ongoing need. If you’re working a long-term construction job, buying is likely a financially savvy decision.

Due to the wealth of uses for a shipping container in the construction industry, some companies will buy and transport containers from job to job. You can always sell a shipping container when your job is completed!

Uses of a Construction Container

If you’re working a long construction project, you probably need more than one container. Bulk ordering containers offers you a range of uses.

construction container

Because containers are made of steel, they’re difficult to damage on busy construction sites. It also makes them easier to transport! Throughout the process of a construction job, you might be worried of damaging your container if you buy it.

To put it simply: don’t worry. The chances of you damaging a container on a construction site are minimum. So, what can you use your container for on your construction project?

Material Storage

Thanks to the weatherproofing of construction containers, they make excellent storage facilities. No matter the size of your construction job, you’ll likely fit everything you need into a container.

One concern for contractors is accessibility within the container. You don’t want to fill your container to the brim. What if you need something right in the middle of the container?

Do you want to spend all that time packing and removing materials? No. Time is money, after all. Thankfully, larger containers make it easier to build walkways within the center or side of the container.

Think of your construction container as a storage room like you might have inside your home. Depending on the size of your project, you may need more than a few containers.

Most containers are easy to lock, so you don’t need to worry about someone breaking in and stealing your materials. This is particularly important if you’re working with expensive items.


WARNING: Materials Storage Best Practice

Be sure that you store any potentially hazardous materials in a safe container. If you’re working with a range of different tools, materials, and fluids, having separate containers for each is best practice.

Trade Shows

Trade shows are part of the average year for contractors and construction companies. Do you want to risk damaging your vehicle by bringing your goods in the bed of your truck or van? Probably not.


Buying a construction container serves a dual purpose at trade shows. Firstly, you can easily transport everything you need in one average option of storage container. Secondly, your container can double as your booth!

Many contractors buy a construction container for exclusively the purpose of trade shows. You can easily customize the interior with your company branding, really making a mark on your event!

Containers as Office Space

Shipping containers for construction sites are frequently used as office space. Thanks to the portability and size of storage containers, you can easily wire multiple desks for your whole team.

In cold winter months, you can use a heater to create a warm escape from elements. During the summer, hooking up fans is an easy way to keep things cool.

Debris and Dirt

There’s nothing worse than being surrounded by debris and dirt on construction sites. The least your team can do is limit the debris lying around. A lot of contractors and their teams will do a daily cleanup, where all useless material is thrown into one large container.

The best type of container for dirt and debris are the roofless ones. As often as once a week or once a day, you can transport your container to the dump.



Not all parts of the country are blessed with consistent weather all year round. The last thing you want is to be working with dangerous machinery out in the elements.

Some construction sites require a heavily sheltered area to undertake various styles of steel-cutting, welding, and other processes to complete your job. Larger construction, storage, and shipping containers can be converted into mobile workshops for all your needs and protection.


No one is happy in a porta-potty, that’s just a fact. Thankfully, shipping containers offer a happy alternative for everyone in the construction industry.


Porta-potties are notoriously smelly and dirty, leaving a lingering chemical smell in the air. Renting a converted construction container for an on-site bathroom is usually a better, more affordable option.

Mobile First Aid

Accidents happen almost every week on construction sites. Most accidents don’t require hospitalization or any form of strict medical intervention. However, you should strive to do any minor first aid in a dedicated environment.

While some contractors rent a custom container converted into a mobile first aid site, others do the conversion themselves. Having all of your medical equipment in one place is best practice for construction sites.

In your first aid container, you should aim to keep plenty of clean water, an examination bed, as well as a range of medical supplies. Larger sites will often have a defibrillator, hot and cold water, and HVAC.

Of course, it’s much better to go to a hospital or urgent care if you’re in a serious situation. If you’re just removing a splinter or something, a mobile first aid container will suffice!

Learn More About the Right Construction Container for Your Business

If you’re looking for a construction container for your job, get in touch with us today to find out what we can do for you. There are so many uses for construction containers, that you’ll likely need multiple options.

Here at TUFF, we have everything you need to make the best decision for your business. We serve customers all across America with their container needs. No matter what you’re looking for, TUFF has you covered!


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