Skip to content

Unusual Uses for Shipping Containers

23 October 2018



Shipping containers are not just becoming popular – they ARE popular. You’ll have no doubt seen them around, perhaps without even noticing that that’s exactly what they are. Some might look like they did in their previous life – that is fit to transport cargo across the sea – whereas others have been drastically converted to not only be more functional, but to be a whole lot more aesthetically pleasing too!

Shipping containers have fast become the first solution for many people as a space-saving or storage solution, and this isn’t just limited to the commercial world. No, as much as businesses are choosing shipping containers for a variety of different purposes, repurposed shipping containers are rapidly appearing in the domestic world in the form of garden rooms, garden sheds, and much more.

Since we began offering shipping container conversions, we’ve had so many different enquiries and some we certainly didn’t expect. There are people all over the globe choosing to convert shipping containers and some of them are pretty unusual! Just take a look at these ones we’ve found… we’d love to hear your thoughts!


You’ll have certainly seen this concept before! The humble shipping container is rapidly being transformed across the globe into urban farm units – essentially, greenhouses. Contrary to popular belief, a recycled shipping container can be fabricated in such a way to incorporate different features, such as an aquaponic system.


Now THAT is am impressive piece of fabrication isn’t it? This is The Salam Cardiac Surgery Centre in Sudan, and it’s constructed entirely from repurposes shipping containers. To form the centre, which encompasses a hospital block, staff accommodations and a cafeteria, they have used seven 40ft containers and ninety 20ft containers. What an impressive project!


The overwhelmingly versatile nature of a converted shipping container of any size means that garden rooms can be not only multipurpose but fit for both commercial and domestic use too. So it’s no surprise that people are designing their own home hideaways in the form of man caves and she-sheds, completed with heating, electricity, and other useful fixtures and fittings. A perfect escape home from home!


A lot of schools require temporary educational facilities to accommodate for an increased number of students or refurbishment to the current buildings, and shipping containers are a great solution for it! They’re safe and portable, meaning that equipment can be stored securely and once they’re no longer required, they can be efficiently transported off the school site with minimal disruption.


The pop-up shop trend is booming, not only in the UK, but across the world too. Retailers are quickly realising the potential of a converted container for a shop, bar, café and the likes thanks to their portability, durability and security. Not to mention they can be totally customisable so no two repurposes containers will ever look the same or do the same thing for that matter!


Shipping container swimming pools can be a great alternative to a traditional outdoor or indoor swimming pool, and they come at a much lower cost too. Popular for both domestic and commercial use, the shipping container swimming pool is a perfect example of how upcycling a shipping container can save you money.

SHIPPING CONTAINER… Underground Bunkers

Take a look at this home-made underground bunker, which was built using a 20ft shipping container behind a brick wall. Shipping containers are highly suited to this purpose as they are incredibly strong, durable, water-tight and weather proof.

Had you heard of all those uses? Probably not! Sometimes, it can be hard to think outside the box when you’re considering a space saving solution and the likes, however don’t worry, we’re always available to talk over the phone to offer friendly support and advice!

If you would like a friendly, honest chat about creating your own bespoke unusual shipping container to suit your needs, please call the Universal team today on 0845 050 0330 or feel free to email

Share this article

Article categories

Related Articles

From Cargo to Comfort: A Comprehensive Guide to Converting a Shipping Container Into a Home

Date: September 6, 2023

Container home conversions are becoming a new trend in the UK, providing a cost-effective way of creating unique and quirky houses.  Not only are shipping containers inexpensive to renovate, they can be converted quickly, they’re eco-friendly, and they deliver stunning results. Plus, with so many unused units taking up valuable space these days, they’re more

Read Article

Shipping Container Sheds: Why Use a Shipping Container As a Shed

Date: February 29, 2024

In recent years, shipping containers have gained popularity as an alternative to traditional garden sheds for outdoor storage solutions. Many people are turning to buying shipping containers to use as sheds because of the issues they face with traditional sheds, such as weather damage and lack of space.  With a noticeable rise in interest and

Read Article

Why You Should Use A Pop Up Shipping Container For Your Next Event

Date: September 7, 2023

Pop-up events are becoming more and more popular and with the continual introduction of new brands creating a sea of competition, it’s important to stand out. Brands are quickly realising that in order to make an impact on their target market and create a long-lasting impression, a different approach must be taken.  Whether it be

Read Article