If you’re looking for a fast, easy, portable, cost-effective, stackable, multi-purpose jobsite trailer/equipment storage solution…try a surplus cargo container. They’re kind of like Legos for big kids.
A new community is emerging to come up with creative ways to turn these simple, sturdy metal boxes into homes, condos, dormitories, studios, retail stores, hotels and emergency shelters.
A few years back I noticed some of our more inventive Contractor of the Year finalists were using surplus containers. Roger Greenwalt of Sweet Meadow Farm Drainage used his as a permanent office. He cut in a few doors, windows and skylights, put in paneling and insulation and ran wiring to power office equipment. John and Jim McCaughey of Haverton, Pennsylvania, used a row of surplus containers to store all their small landscaping tools, machines and materials, keeping them out of the rain and securely locked up in an otherwise very unsecure West Philly neighborhood.
Because of the volume of trade we do with China, cargo containers have been piling up at U.S. ports. That means you can get a used container as low as $900, and the average price works out to between $2,000 and $3,000. The standard sizes come 8-feet wide by 8-feet tall and 20-, 40-, 45-, 48-, or 53-feet long.