Shipping containers are big steel structures designed to store or transport a large quantity of goods.

But if we told you that shipping containers can actually benefit the environment, would you believe us?

Many people wouldn’t! Despite their large physical size, shipping containers actually have a very small environmental footprint. Because they were originally designed to transport cargo in harsh ocean conditions, they are built with weather resistant materials to prolong their usable life. As a result, shipping containers can be used multiple times and can travel not just on water, but also on land and rail.

Consider for a second our entire fleet of rental containers.

These container units are rented to different customers to meet their temporary shipping and storage needs. Once they are no longer needed by the client, they make their way back to our yards where they are cleaned and thoroughly inspected to ensure they meet our criteria to go back in circulation. This process reuses shipping containers in a way that spans decades, something that plastic bags and cardboard boxes can’t achieve. Neat, huh?

It is true that sometimes these rental units, like any other product, become damaged and need repairs. If this happens, the repairs are generally simple and do not cause harm to the environment. Scrap metal and other pieces can be recycled from other containers so there is no need for more metal fabrication. A fresh coat of paint also helps prolong the containers’ lives by preventing rust from forming. In rare cases, the containers can become so severely damaged that they cannot be repaired. In this case, usable pieces are saved for future repairs and the rest of the metal is melted down and recycled.

Because of simple repairs and material availabiity, there is no need to produce more new shipping containers. There are millions of used containers available in the world and they can be used for many different purposes.

If, however, there is a need for a new container, technology helped advance today’s manufacturing processes to make them significantly less damaging on the environment than in the past. Factories now use water-soluble paint to avoid spraying harmful chemicals into the atmosphere and bamboo, a readily available wood, for flooring instead of rarer woods.

Here, at ATS Containers, we take our environmental footprint very seriously. We strive to reduce the amount of waste produced and whenever possible, we upcycle container parts. We frequently use scrap metal from old containers to repair others or to build window shutters or parts for container modifications. Any scrap metal we don’t use, we outsource to a local company to pick up on a weekly basis and melt it down to be recycled.

Consider one more thing. Shipping containers can easily be converted into safe, hospitable enclosures. Our clients often ask us to turn their shipping containers into mobile offices, job sites and even garages or swimming pools. With these kinds of conversions, there is less damage on the environment than conventional building practices that use concrete, brick and mortar. The added benefit? These job sites are mobile so they can be used in multiple locations.

Now the question is, are you going to build something with shipping containers? If you are, give us a call and come visit one of our yards today to see how we can help.