Re-purposed shipping containers are already an uncommon sight for many people, but imagine if you saw one in the middle of Times Square in New York City or even in your very own neighborhood. Shipping container pop up stores, cafes and restaurants are literally “popping” up all over the world!

While this trend is gaining in popularity, it is believed to have originally started in Australia. The import industry being much stronger than exports in the country, they saw an oversupply of shipping containers on the mainland. This led to a re-purposing of the containers into mobile platforms to display product, art, food, and more.

We already know shipping containers serve many purposes, but this one is our favourite. They are secure, have a solid structure, affordable, easy to customize and are mobile. No wonder this idea has gained traction all across the world!

The possibilities are endless on how they can be transformed. Walls can be cut out and replaced with different finishes including glass, shelving and fitting rooms can be installed for apparel, and kitchens, ovens and plumbing are also available. The best part? Most modifications still preserve the local mobility of the shipping container.

Speaking of mobility, these shipping container popup stores are unstoppable! Because the initial set up and tear down are so simple, many brands benefit from a high return on their initial investment because they can benefit from using it in different locations. Multinational brands are benefitting from these units by bringing them on national or multi-national tours with them to promote services or product.

The wildly popular trend caught the interest of many large companies, including ones selling apparel, food and gaming products, many of which are now joining the movement and are building their own shipping container popup shops. Let’s take a look at some of the POP UP projects that ATS has collaborated on.



A few years ago, we worked with a production company to create a mobile gaming setup for Sony PlayStation. We started out with a 10’ new shipping container from which we cut out door openings on all sides. We installed hinged doors, roll up doors which we painted matte black, a reinforced checker plate floor with an easy to clean surface and we color matched the outside of the container to Sony’s requirements.  The final installation of the gaming systems and televisions were done by the production company. Once finished, the pop up was brought to shows across North America to showcase the gaming station.



If you love drinking beer, you’ll love this one! We were contracted by Molson Canadian to build them a mobile shipping container\ popup bar and brewery. We built the bar out of a 20’ container, painted it glossy white, installed checker plate flooring and we opened up the front wall and the side wall on the right to create hinged piano type doors. Today, the bar travels to festivals across North America.



We’re currently working with a coffee shop to help them build an espresso bar in the Toronto area. The bar will be built out of a 20ft high cube open side container which will make it easier to transport and secure all the barista equipment. Be sure to follow us on our social media for updates on the project. When it’s finished, it will be perfect for a quick caffeine fix on the go.