Was it a good idea?
Nah, it was brilliant, it revolutionized the transport industry it led to a significant reduction in the cost of freight transportation by eliminating the need for repeated handling of individual pieces of cargo, and also improved reliability, reduced cargo theft, and cut inventory costs by shortening transit time, but I believe that McLean never thought that one day he will also revolutionize the building industry as well and that shipping container will also become an element of urban architecture.
Do you know why they are taken out of service after 10 to 15 years, yes, I am sure you know, but I am almost sure you are mistaken.
After 10 to 15 years of use, they are taken out of duty, there is not too many explanations why, I first thought that it was an insurance problem, but later, digging more deeply I found out that it’s only an economic problem, and that is why there is a gap of time of around 5 years, because each shipping company, owner of the shipping containers, calculate it’s obsolescence according to the depreciation formula they use. So as almost every obsolete artifact goes to the garbage, this one is not the exception, but this 3+ tons Titans are difficult to hide, so they become an Urban Empty Space Contained, but thanks to Philip C. Clark, who in 1987 filed for the US patent for his “method for converting one or more steel shipping containers into a habitable building.” Clark and others who saw the potential in these massive containers were “green” ahead of their time! Even Though it is not known who did first build with them. Without knowing all of these in the mid 80′ I built my first shipping container office and workshop, to manage a gated community development, in the city of Tigre, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Offices still in use after relocating them on another piece of land a few miles away.
Bad decisions are the best way to learn, and I will tell you why it turned that way.
Was it a good idea? yes! but not the way I did it. First of all, the old office stood on top of dirt for almost 30 years, absorbing its fatal humidity that left irreversible consequences under this 2 Tons monster, the restoration cost more than a new container, but I decided to go ahead nevertheless; did I lose money, yes, of course!! did I learned my lesson yes, of course!! would I repeat it NO! and I hope you neither, without calculating before which are the risk you are assuming. Experiences are very personal, they can be told, but not transmitted, to be effective they need to be suffered. Are they painful, uhh kind off, but it’s only money and you will get over it, and start to hope that you won’t encounter more “experience” like that, but hopefully you will! that means that you are alive and still moving forward.
Confusion of names. Is it?
With so many names out there, what am I supposed to buy?
Shipping containers come in a variety of shapes, sizes use and why not NAMES, even for the same shape size and use, people call them incredibly different names.
For example what we use to call just Shipping container, yes the rectangular box we usually see at the ports, or on top cargo ships, they are named differently.
• Shipping Container
• ISO Container
• Cargo Container
• Conex Box (Container Express)
• Maritime Container
Are they all the same, yes! if they are used solely for shipping hey can have up to seven main names.
But if they will be used solely for building construction or storage they are then referred to as an ISBU module-or:
• ISBU module
• Intermodal Steel Building Unit
• ISO Container
Standardized container, does it mean they are all equal?
Of course not! all the contrary. it means they can be used across different modes of transport, including ship, rail, and truck (without unloading and reloading cargo), and are used primarily to store and ship materials. Intermodal container dimensions vary, and there are several different standardized sizes. Intermodal containers are extremely popular, nobody knows exactly how many are there, but there is a rough estimation of about 17 million of them rotating around the world.
How many sizes you believe there are?
There are many different sizes, depending on the products, the shipping class, and the shipment size overall. Though they’re commonly just referred to as containers or cargo containers, they may also be called a sea or ocean container, or an ISO container.
Also known as intermodal containers, are a large, standardized container for intermodal freight transport. Want to know more, and have a full description of them?