Container News

Second hand containers are a cost-effective way for a business to store documents, files and equipment, or use them for shipping large amounts of items. They come in a variety of sizes and can be insulated or non-insulated, depending on the goods being stored or shipped.

Before choosing second hand containers, it is important to first ascertain the quantity of goods that will go into them and whether they have any special requirements, such as an airtight environment to preserve them for a longer time. Refrigerated containers are also available, which are ideal for storing or shipping perishable items such as food.

It is also a good idea to decide early on which items will be stored with others to make the most efficient use of the second hand containers, as well as seeing whether they can be bought singly or in bulk, which may provide an attractive discount.

Start by submitting your outline requirements in our simple enquiry form to receive free no obligation quotes from 4 leading second hand storage container suppliers.

For additional information please contact our Sales Staff at 602-723-9608 option 1 and ask about all the modifications we can offer.


The day you walk into your local building department and say: “I want to build a home from shipping containers…” What do you think will happen? For jurisdictions that have no clue what you are talking about or just aren’t open to the idea, you are facing an uphill battle. What to do?

Even if you have credentials in design like an architect or engineer, that is no guarantee that you will get even a toe in the door of getting your home plans considered; let alone, a building permit. You may really like the area for maybe picking up a few acres that you want to make your own. Common sense tells me that if you go equipped with some pictures, drawings and maybe even some professional-looking renderings of your proposed home, you could get them to look and listen to your ideas. What would be great is if you establish a good contact at the building department–this will better your odds immensely.

Of course, before you even consider buying land for the sole purpose of putting up a container home, you had better check with the building department before you lay down any money. Why get stuck with a piece of land you can’t use for your building plans, right?

Where do you turn? I would download some images of nice homes built using shipping containers.  Hire a person to draw up your design; even just an exterior rendering. It could be worth the money to get things rolling in the right direction. If you are computer savvy, you could use Sketch-up from GOOGLE to design your home. Do all the research you can and prepare yourself so that you can field any questions they throw at you without looking clueless.

Be armed with all the ammo you can get. There are a bunch of people out there who have never heard of a container home.

As the sales team at AZ Containers as a support, they're there to help you build your dream. For additional information please contact our Sales Staff at 602-723-9608 option 1 and ask about all the modifications we can offer.

How secure are the storage containers?

Storage containers are very secure and virtually vandal proof. As standard, there is provision for the fitment of padlocks to the door handles. For extra security we recommend a steel 'Lock Box' to be fitted to the storage container doors. Our 'Lock Box' is designed to accept a high security container padlock, and protect the lock from being tampered with. The padlocks we supply fit into our lock boxes with ease. They are supplied with numbered keys. We also offer a replacement key service on request.

Can you put a storage container anywhere?

We use 'Hi-ab' trucks fitted with their own crane to deliver the storage containers. The trucks require a hard ample access to the delivery site, and the on- board crane sets down the storage container from the side of the vehicle. Therefore we need at approximately 25' width to facilitate the offloading and there must be no overhead cables or overhanging trees in the way.

The delivery truck will be a maximum size of approximately either 34' or 60' long by 8'6" wide plus wing mirrors. With the storage container on the vehicle the height will be approx. 15' and when the crane is extended to its full height this will be approximately 25'.

If you are not sure about your site, then simply send us a drawing with dimensions and we will check that the delivery is feasible.

Within reason we can get a storage container almost anywhere. All our storage containers have specially designed corner castings for lifting and positioning, and the majority of 8ft, 10ft and 20ft containers also have forklift truck pockets. If you have any doubts call us and we'll arrange for an expert to visit your site and carry out a survey.

Do I need planning permission for a storage container?

Storage containers are non-permanent so in most cases not. However if the storage container is going to be in a residential area, near a road junction, or likely to cause complaints from neighbours, we recommend you check with your local planning authorities.

What should I put underneath the storage container?

Storage containers are self-supporting and do not need any special foundations, however for the doors to operate properly they should be placed on level ground. Our drivers can help with the positioning, however, it is the buyers responsibility to ensure the ground is adequately prepared and that you have the materials to make the storage container sit level. Examples of suitable materials are railways sleepers underneath the storage container, or a concrete paving block under each corner. Once level you can load up to 30 ton's in a container without problem.

For further information or other questions you may have visit out FAQ section regarding our storage containers for rental or sales or contact AZ Containers at 877-292-6937.

1. Restaurants/Cafe - I'll bet you've all seen the red UK style buses converted into quaint hamburger joints, but never a shipping container turned into ritzy New York contemporary cafe. Below is a portable contianer that transforms right before your very eyes.

2. Datacenters - Technology is my first love. Sun Microsystem's "Project Blckbox" is a prototype of the world’s first datacenter built into a shipping container and optimized to deliver extreme energy, space, and performance efficiencies to locations as diverse as deserts, disaster zones or even Mars. A complete datacenter ready to ship anywhere, just drop it on site and add power and connectivity and you’re up and running! How easy can it get.

3. Art & Oragami - The newly completed Nestle Chocolate Museum in Mexico City, designed by Rojkind Arquitectos, resembles an origami shipping container of sorts and serves as a public space where visitors can learn about and witness the production of Nestle chocolate. The most incredible fun fact about this structure is that it was completed in 2.5 months from start to finish, including design and construction. Transformed art.

4. Museums- The Nomadic Museum is the name given to a temporary structure composed of 156 shipping containers, housing the Ashes and Snow photography exhibit of Gregory Colbert. Gregory Colbert originally conceived of the idea for a sustainable traveling museum in 1999. He envisioned a structure that could easily be assembled in ports of call around the world, providing a transitory environment for his work on its global journey. 

Contact AZ Containers at Toll Free: 877 292 6937 for more information.

This incredibly cool shipping container/Illy cafe titled the “Push Button House” on  The Cool Hunter  ~ and it brought back a flood of memories, of all the other fascinating uses of shipping containers that have come up on NOTCOT in the past from instant server black boxes to bars to art galleries and more. But check out how this Illy one opens! And how much they pack in there? This might be the way to have the perfect mobile studio, and you can drop down in random locations all over the  United States or the world! 

For additional information please contact our Sales Staff at 602-723-9608 option 1 and ask about all the modifications we can offer. 
As you can see, the sky is the limit.

Shipping Container Architecture has gained a lot of ground over the past few years for its simplicity, affordability and flexibility.  Yes the very same containers that make transatlantic voyages and are carted around hitched to trucks have become a tool for architects to design restaurants, to serve as retail or pavilions and even homes.  According to an article in the New York Observer, NYC plans to prepare for the next disaster with apartments built out of shipping containers to be used as disaster relief shelters.

The modular and utilitarian form of the shipping container has a remarkable amount of flexibility.  They can outfitted to provide comfortable shelters, either permanent or temporary, and can easily be taken apart or stacked together to build complex structures.  For many, the reality of long term disaster housing can’t come soon enough. The New York Times reported that an estimated 400 homes need to be demolished with 500 still awaiting evaluation. Chaban also reports that approximately 20,000 people are estimated to become homeless in NYC alone as a result of natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy.

The idea is to be able to deploy these shelters in parking lots of playgrounds and stack them to create apartment blocks, even communities by incorporating retail and community spaces. The prototype is a 480 square foot one bedroom apartment that includes all the amenities that people may be missing or have lost in a disaster. A living room, kitchen and bathroom all fit within the quaint space and are provided with adequate light and ventilation, independent septic systems and the option of dependent or independent power generation.

The balance of cost and comfort are also mediated by the need to make this housing option a temporary convenience but not a permanent solution. Though NYC is pushing this concept, the hope is that FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers get on board to help cover the costs and make this amenity deployable through the country.

A 160-unit prototype is in the works to test the structural and community aspects of the project. NYC’s Office of Emergency Management has been planning this since before Sandy and hopes to have the prototype ready by late 2013. The value of this program, is that it strives to rebuild community as it provides emergency relief. It keeps people in their communities among their neighbors and inspires the rebuilding process to begin. For additional information please contact our Sales Staff at 602-723-9608 option 1 and ask about all the modifications we can offer.




The city of Long Beach, California recently asked two design firms WE-designs and XP& Architecture to design a landmark project to revitalize its downtown area using a low budget. The initial ideas are represented here as a series of re-configured old shipping containers, truncated and placed upright.  The futuristic cluster of low rise buildings, called (RE) Configured-Ecologies, may eventually become multi-use space with an open playground feel.  It will comprise of an education center, a café, retail space and 13 work/live loft spaces as well as an open roof terrace.  Through proposing three types of innovatively reconstructed modular shipping containers, the overall construct leads to open courtyards, interlocking units, and playfully generated programs that introduce a new innovative topological creation that regenerates and reconnects the community.

For additional information please contact our Sales Staff at 602-723-9608 option 1 and ask about all the modifications we can offer.

Fashion, design and architecture collide in Zaha Hadid’s recent completed design plaza, one South Korea’s most popular tourist destinations. Commissioned by the Design Plaza's Supervisor of the latest development for the plaza is a series of compact kiosks designed to activate the expansive public space surrounding the new building. One of ten teams invited to submit ideas for these new kiosks,  Amsterdam-based NL Architects developed a series of impermanent but practical solutions for the plaza. Using new methods for reuse of standard shipping containers, the team proposed a host of kiosks, with two of their designs - an information booth and a miniature exhibition space - being accepted for construction.

"In the presence of Zaha all matter seems to become fluid...even the most rigid of forms turns malleable, pliable, soft," reads the project description. Inspired by Hadid’s surrounding curvilinear structure, the team chose to challenge the standard rectilinear use of shipping containers, inventing a series of multi-functional kiosks that accommodate uses through gently curved, twisted, bent and inflated distortions to their rectangular structure.

The "family of booths" all utilize a flowing aesthetic echoing Hadid's centre, providing a sense of harmony in the public square. Each kiosk will serve a unique purpose intended to active the public space at Dongdaemun Plaza, and will provide much-needed space for local vendors and restaurants to operate. Interior spaces will be adaptable to a variety of specific uses, particularly in the exhibition kiosk which will feature eight ground-level doors that can be configured depending on spatial requirements. An exterior bench is carved into the roofline of the information kiosk, further activating the public square and serving as an example for design of the yet-unfinished kiosks. 


Ultimately, the project aims to realize 30 kiosks across the Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Young Joon Kim has invited 10 architecture firms to design 3 kiosks each within a specific program: commercial activities, exhibitions, exchange of information, surveillance, and interaction. Each kiosk will feature a transparent roof and multiple doors for optimal flexibility, along with exterior space for public interaction.

For additional information please contact our Sales Staff at 602-723-9608 option 1 and ask about all the modifications we can offer.



A Spanish architecture firm has proposed a solution to overcrowding in Mumbai's Dharavi slums, one of the largest and most crowded  ghettos in the world.  

The building materials may be familiar;  we've seen shipping house containers before, so the natural progression would be a whole skyscraper of the boxes.

The 'Contain-scraper' is two shipping container towers designed by Spanish architecture firm CRG. They say "The irregular shape of the site gives us total freedom to design."If built, one structure would tower 400 meters over Mumbai and the adjacent tower would be 200 meters high.

Together they would comprise 2,500 recycled shipping containers and provide affordable accommodation for more than 1500 families. project was by far the tallest proposal at the SuperSkyScrapers competition for container skyscrapers in Mumbai where it took third prize. 

The brief of the competition was to create affordable housing solutions from shipping containers for Dharavi, an area with a lack of infrastructure and adequate sanitation. The twisting shape of the towers is functional as well as aesthetic, as it distributes the weight of the containers evenly.The shape also allows wind to flow through and cool down the structures and by pivoting the containers the windows face away from prying neighbors. A single unit could be subdivided to provide a studio flat, while up to three containers could be joined for a three-bedroom family residence.

For additional information please contact our Sales Staff at 602-723-9608 option 1 and ask about all the modifications we can offer.




With the green premise growing in popularity across the globe, more and more people are turning to cargo container structures for green alternatives. There are countless numbers of empty, unused shipping containers around the world just sitting on shipping docks taking up space. The reason for this is that it’s too expensive for a country to ship empty containers back to their origin. In most cases, it’s just cheaper to buy new containers from Asia. The result is an extremely high surplus of empty shipping containers that are just waiting to become a home, office, apartment, school, dormitory, studio, emergency shelter, and everything else. 

There are copious benefits to the so-called shipping container architecture model. A few of these advantages include: strength, durability, availability, and cost. The abundance and relative cheapness (some sell for as little as $900) of these containers during the last decade comes from the deficit in manufactured goods coming from North America. These manufactured goods come to North America, from Asia and Europe, in containers that often have to be shipped back empty at a considerable expense. Therefore, new applications are sought for the used containers that have reached their final destination.

Shipping container architecture gets a lot of encouraging coverage in the design world as a trendy green alternative to traditional building materials, and seems like a smart choice for people looking for eco-consciousness. However, there are a lot of downsides to building with cargo containers. For instance, the coatings used to make the containers durable for ocean transport also happen to contain a number of harmful chemicals, such as chromate, phosphorous, and lead-based paints. Moreover, wood floors that line the majority of shipping container buildings are infused with hazardous chemical pesticides like arsenic and chromium to keep pests away.

For additional information please contact our Sales Staff at 602-723-9608 option 1 and ask about all the modifications we can offer.