Container News

They are warm, quiet, easily moveable and cost a fraction of a regular house to buy and Cromwell's master of small spaces, Darryl Taylor, reckons his tiny shipping container homes could help solve Central Otago's temporary accommodation woes. 

Taylor does admit it requires a mental leap in many people's thinking to see a big metal box as a desirable home but following much research and experimentation, he says his converted containers are as comfortable to live in as a regular house.

A panel beater and painter by trade, he hit on the container idea after he and his wife Bernice moved in together and needed storage space as well as a spare room. Some people wanted new, others liked the rustic look, Taylor said.  Built inside a warehouse, they are issued with a code of compliance from the Central Otago District Council before they go on site.

Considerable research and trial and error had gone into fitting the units out so some details would remain trade secrets, Taylor says.  He had consulted experts in engineering and other fields to help perfect the conversions, particularly in relation to ventilation. Bernice is in charge of painting the units and the pair continue to fine-tuning the finishings.


"We can now fit out a twenty footer in around six weeks and they go out the door fully code compliant. There is no condensation, they're all double-glazed, insulated and ventilated.  They actually exceed council requirements but you do still need a building consent for your foundations."Ship containers were already watertight, bulletproof and resistant to earthquakes and extreme weather.  Inside Taylor added sound-deadening insulation, wooden lining, tiny bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms of all specifications.  Drop-down decking using an electric winch could be added, or normal decking built on, once the container was in place.

"They are more of a temporary accommodation solution for most people and we have companies that use them for portable shops or on work sites.”

Giselle Dexter, wouldn't agree, however, having fully embraced permanent living in her lofty container home at Queensbury near Wanaka.  The spritely 70-year-old has had an adventurous life living in one room in Moscow for eight years and another eight years in a log cabin in the Australian bush.

She resides next door to her son and his wife, in a 12m container that is now her cosy home.

"I thought about earth homes and that sort of thing but I'm too old for that now. I didn't want to have a mortgage at any cost and I wanted something easy to look after. I'm on leasehold land here and this can be picked up and moved. My son thinks I'm absolutely nuts but that's okay," she laughs.

The 30sqm home has an office, mezzanine floor bedroom, mini logburner and separate bathroom. Dexter says there's room aplenty for her and her hard-of-hearing companion, Sophie the dog.

It's a far cry from her previous job, managing a high-rise apartment building in Auckland, but Dexter says she's loving the rural life, waking every day to different skyscapes over the Upper Clutha valley . th. need for curtains up here. Taylor says he sells the 6m containers for about $42,000 fully converted for small-space living.  

A 12m would cost closer to $75,000 and two this size can be bolted together to form a four bedroom home.

"I've got a lady that wants something like this with a 20 foot one as well and her budget is $400,000. I keep telling her it won't cost anywhere like that much, probably less than half."

New ones and single trip containers for re-sale and storage were few and far between but that changed a few years back and re-sale of new containers became mainstream. 

The recession has made everyone resourceful and we are finding new opportunities.  Suddenly we are finding many more containers available on sites like e-bay as people either go out of business or look to cash in on assets that are no longer needed.  We have found ourselves buying back many that we have sold previously – and thankfully most of them are still in good nick!  A credit to our painters.  We like to keep a range in stock so we are just as happy to buy back a used unit as we are to buy in new ones – depending on customer requirements.  Whatever type of unit we supply we try to make sure it meets our customers requirements at the right price.

If your interested in a container for a project, contact AZ Containers at 877-292-6937 to see how the most basic steel box to a customized, climate controlled storage or workspace with windows, they’ll have your solution on it’s way to you fast.



Depending on the item in question, buying is the mostly favored option, however, when it comes to getting storage containers, a storage container rental is favored by a lot of people. While it is common for people to acquire a lot of things and belongings over the years, a lot of people aren’t really willing or ready to donate or sell their personal belongings and would opt to hold on to it instead, despite of the limited space in their homes. And this is the reason why storage container rental has become immensely popular these days. Storage container units provide more than enough space to store just about anything that a person would need to put into storage, with structures over forty feet in length, these heavy duty storage container rental units can be used to store any items and sometimes even entire vehicles and can be stationed just outside your homes.

The first of many reasons why storage container rental has become immensely popular is that the storage containers have competitive rates and terms of lease.Because these containers are rented out, you will be charged much lower monthly payments and the lease terms are more flexible, allowing the customers the freedom to keep renting the storage containers for a specified duration. Customers are asked for a deposit at the start of the rental but this amount is refunded in full at the end of the lease period, provided that the storage container is returned undamaged; and customers can choose to purchase the storage container, as well.The fact that storage container rental units would be delivered to your home  or business and would sit outside on your property appeals to a lot of people, rather than signing up for a storage facility that would have you  store your personal belongings in their site. This is appealing to a lot of people because they can be sure that their personal belongings are kept safe and they can easily have access to the storage container rental units instead of driving to a specific site.It is also very convenient for customers because the storage container rental units are delivered at the start of the lease period and picked up after lease has expired.

Storage Container rental units also offer flexibility and variety to their customers as opposed to being stuck with a purchase. Customers have the option of requesting to change the type and size of their storage containers depending on their needs. Storage container rental units are also covered by insurance which aims to protect customers should anything happen to the storage container rental unit that human intervention couldn’t prevent.


A former carpenter says he intends to live "off the grid completely" in a house he's constructing out of shipping containers on land in Canada.

The builder says, "It's just going to look like a regular home."


The owner said the inspiration behind his intended 5,000 square-foot, four-story, four bedroom, five bathroom home -- complete with garage, workshop and media room -- came from his wife, who spotted a new article about someone else's shipping container home years ago. The owner and his wife, in their 50's, were looking for a retirement home and, making the rounds of home and design shows, didn't see anything they liked for under $1 million.

So, the owner put his construction skills to the test and began drawing plans for his dream home to be built out of 30 shipping containers, each costing about $3,000 and weighing more than 11,000 pounds.

They began excavating with help from their 19-year-old daughter, and other family members who've helped with welding, the roof, painting, tile and lighting, the newspaper said.

The owner says he wants to live "off the grid completely" and has put in a wind generator, a solar panel system and energy efficient windows with a solar hot water heater to come later. The whole project should be finished next spring with a total cost ending up at about $125 per square foot.

"Right now, we're trying to insulate the outside, and we're still waiting for the concrete to be poured on the roof, backfill the garage, and get some plumbing in,"  "We've got a long ways to go!"

Shipping container architecture is a form of architecture using steel intermodal containers  (shipping containers) as structural element, because of their inherent strength, wide availability and relatively low cost.


Strength and durability

Shipping containers are in many ways an ideal building material. They are designed to carry heavy loads and to be stacked in high columns. They are also designed to resist harsh environments - such as on ocean-going vessels or sprayed with road salt while transported on roads.


All shipping containers are made to standard measurements and as such they provide modular elements that can be combined into larger structures. This simplifies design, planning and transport. As they are already designed to interlock for ease of mobility during transportation, structural construction is completed by simply emplacing them. Due to the containers' modular design additional construction is as easy as stacking more containers. They can be stacked up to 12 high when empty.


Pre-fabricated modules can also be easily transported by ship, truck or rail, because they already conform to standard shipping sizes.


Used shipping containers are available across the globe.


Many used containers are available at a cost that is low compared to a finished structure built by other labor-intensive means such as bricks and mortar — which also require larger more expensive foundations. Construction involves very little labor and used shipping containers requiring only simple modification.Contact AZ Containers for more information at Toll Free: 877 292 6937



Many structures based on shipping containers have already been constructed, and their uses, sizes, locations and appearances vary widely.

When futurist Stewart Brand needed a place to assemble all the material he needed to write How Buildings Lean, he converted a shipping container into office space, and wrote up the conversion process in the same book.

In 2006, Southern California an Architect designed the first two story shipping container home in the U.S. as an approved structural system under the strict guidelines of the nationally recognized Uniform Building Code (UBC). This home was the Redondo Beach House and it inspired the creation of Logical Homes, a cargo container based pre-fabricated home company. In 2007, Logical Homes created their flagship project - the Aegean, for the Computer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Several architects, have built original homes, using discarded shipping containers for their parts or using them in their original form, or doing a mix of both

In 2000, the firm Urban Space Management completed the project called Container City in the Trinity Buoy Wharf area of London. The firm has gone on to complete additional container-based building projects, with more underway. In 2006, the Dutch company finished in Amsterdam the biggest container village in the world: 1,000 student homes from modified shipping containers from China.

An MBA student, saw many poor neighborhoods in Cliudad Juarez, Mexico during an MBA field trip in the 2000s. Since then he developed prototypes of shipping container housing for typical maquilador workers in Mexico.


Empty shipping containers are commonly used as market stalls and warehouses in the countries of the former USSR.

The biggest shopping mall or organized market in Europe is made up of alleys formed by stacked containers, on 170 acres (69 ha) of land, between the airport and the central part of Odessa, Ukrain. Informally named "Tolchok" and officially known as the Seventh-Kilometer Market it has 16,000 vendors and employs 1,200 security guards and maintenance workers.

In Central Asia, the Dordoy Bazaar in Bishkek, Kyrgystan,  almost entirely composed of double-stacked containers, is of comparable size. It is popular with travelers coming from Kazakhstan and Russia to take advantage of the cheap prices and plethora of knock-off designers.

For housing and other architecture

Shipping container cottage.

Containers are in many ways an ideal building material because they are strong, durable, stackable, cuttable, movable, modular, plentiful and relatively cheap. Architects as well as laypeople have used them to build many types of buildings such as homes, offices, apartments, schools, dormitories, artists' studios and emergency shelters. They are also used to provide temporary secure spaces on construction sites and other venues on an "as is" basis instead of building shelters.

Phillip C. Clark filed for a United States patent on November 23, 1987 described as "Method for converting one or more steel shipping containers into a habitable building at a building site and the product thereof". This patent was granted August 8, 1989 as patent 4854094. The diagrams and information contained within the documentation of this patent appear to lay the groundwork for many current shipping container architectural ideas. Even so, this patent does not appear to have represented a novel invention at its time of filing (Paul Sawyers described extensive shipping container buildings that were used on the set of the 1985 movie Space Rage Breakout on Prison Planet).

During the 1991 Gulf war, containers saw considerable nonstandard uses not only as makeshift shelters but also for the transportation of Iraqi prisoners of war. Holes were cut in the containers to allow for ventilation and there were no reported ill effects from this method. Containers continue to be used for military shelters, often additionally fortified by adding sandbags to the side walls to protect against weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades ("RPGs").

The abundance and relative cheapness of these containers during the last decade comes from the deficit in manufactured goods coming from North America in the last two decades. These manufactured goods come to North America from Asia and, to a lesser extent, Europe, in containers that often have to be shipped back empty, or "deadhead", at considerable expense. It is often cheaper to buy new containers in Asia than to ship old ones back. Therefore, new applications are sought for the used containers that have reached their North American destination.


All our storage containers at AZ Containers go through a detailed inspection ensuring all storage containers are wind and water tight. 

We provide a variety of services, including container surveying, custom storage container modifications and container delivery. AZ Containers can provide storage containers to any site throughout Arizona from Flagstaff south to Tuscon and the greater Phoenix and Scottsdale area  with full door-to-door service.

All Sizes of New & Used Containers: 20′, 40′, 45′, 48’

Specialized Equipment: Refrigerated Containers, Flat Racks, Open Tops, Chassis

Buy or Rent

Lockable * Secure * Wind/Water Tight

Delivered to Your Home or Business

AZ Containers  solutions is your #1 choice for new and used steel storage containers. With a huge inventory of new and used metal shipping containers located throughout our service area, we are a leader in providing affordable new and used metal shipping containers of all sizes and quantities for sale or rent throughout the state of Arizona.

If your interested in a container for a project or something similar to what you've read in our blog, contact AZ Containers at 877-292-6937 to see how the most basic steel box to a customized, climate controlled storage or workspace with windows, they’ll have your solution on it’s way to you fast.


This shipping container home was built out of two containers for $40,000 with enough room (1,000 square feet) for the family that commissioned Ben Garcia Saxe to design and build for them. The architect hopes to expand his affordable container living project to other parts of the world.


For additional information regarding our storage containers for rental or sales, contact Rolando @AZ Containers at 602-723-9608.

Disused grain silos long considered an eyesore in Johannesburg, South Africa are now topped with four layers of reclaimed storage containers and ready to house hundreds of eager students. Mill Junction is an innovative housing project offering secure, comfortable, reasonably priced housing that could help raise the number of students who actually earn a degree.

The 11-story grain silos make up the bulk of the complex, with many apartments contained within. Windows have been cut into the silos and a paint job will help unify them with the colorful containers stacked on top. Mill Junction will contain 375 individual apartments as well as libraries, lounges, computer rooms and study facilities.

The height of the complex will give students some of the best views in the city, especially those lucky enough to get the storage container units with balcony space. About half of South African undergraduate students drop out of school, partially due to the high cost of living. This project offers energy-efficient, low-cost accommodation with details like motion-sensor lighting and common green space on the roof.

Construction was completed in January 2014 and students are now in residence.

For additional information regarding our storage containers for rental or sales, contact Rolando @AZ Containers at 602-723-9608.

In Mexico, a group of developers has taken the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) to a new level. The innovative designers have created a “city” with buildings made strictly with recycled shipping containers and topped them off with a plethora of reused materials.

“Los containers,” as it’s called by the locals, prides itself on principles of sustainability and style, maintaining a vibrantly cohesive design throughout its connected art galleries, restaurants, bars, boutiques, bakeries, dry cleaner and bus depot—all inside of shipping containers.

This 50,000-square-foot strip mall has all the makings of a hip hangout spot for anyone looking to spend a leisurely yet unconventional afternoon or evening.

Can’t make it down to Mexico? Take a few cues from this groundbreaking ideas in container renovation to learn how salvaged shipping containers are more of a solution than a compromise. Their out-of-the-box thinking reverberates and keeps customers coming—the idea is a hit. No matter the scale of your retail needs, containers make perfect structures for the aspiring restaurateur or pop-up shopper.

Please call Rolando at 602-723-9608 opt 1 to help with a project like this.

ISO (International Standards Organization) shipping containers are designed for ocean freight shipping. Ocean freight containers are engineered to withstand heavy loads and vigorous marine environment. Shipping containers are excellent for storage purpose because they are over engineered for ocean freight shipping. Storage / shipping containers are also available with a plentiful supply at a fraction of the price that is typically associated with engineering and building something as strong and dependable as a typical ISO shipping / storage container.

Storage containers are constructed with 12- or 14-gauge corrugated steel sides. Container frames are made of minimal 6-8-gauge steel. Containers have approximately 1" hard wood floors that are treated. Standard containers come equipped with a cargo door. Cargo doors are excellent because they seal tight from rodents and the elements. They also give you the ability to open the entire end of the container and load very large items. Roll up doors are convenient because they are light weight and easy to open. This confidence comes with obvious downsides. Roll up doors are not as secure and are not 100% water tight. As a typical garage door water tends to sep below the door. They are typically also not rodent proof. Ask the AZ Container Representative about door options and specifications.

The more information you can provide, the better we can help you! Please call Rolando at 602-723-9608 opt 1.