Shipping containers have changed the world since its inception. It has reshaped the shipping industry and its influence on logistics is unquestionable. The standard shipping container is widely used, but nowadays they also come with different shipping containers sizes (for example the 20ft container dimensions or 40 ft container dimensions) and different types. Overall, shipping containers have helped make transport cheaper and easier than ever, to the benefit of consumers to a large extend.

Photo: Teng Yuhong (@live_for_photo) on Unsplash

Digitalisation of container shipping

The influence and necessity of shipping containers are unlikely to waver, with millions of containers continuing to be transported around the world. However, in light of the devastating hit in global trade due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, experts have expected that the complete digitalisation of container shipping will no doubt, come to fruition in the near future.

Photo: Jacob Meissner (@jme1007) on Unsplash

For instance, utilising online booking tools, shippers can now go into digital platforms to confirm space on ships and equipment. To address overbooking and no-show issues, a platform called NYSHEX is also founded to facilitate mutually enforceable transactions. Last but not least, advanced container tracking and security will likely be the norm as it facilitates faster and more efficient movement and accountability of the containers.

These digital tools all help to improve efficiency which in turn, contributes positively in terms of profitability. Hariesh Manaadiar, the owner of Shipping and Freight Resource, have also shared that customers are now looking more into how processes are managed, and how time and cost are reduced, which is what digitalisation can achieve.


Transforming the material of shipping containers

Since shipping containers were first introduced, the material that shipping containers are made of has largely remained steel. However, technology today has produced composites that are more resilient and lightweight as compared to steel.

20 ft Composite Shipping Container developed by Giesbers Holding B.V. Photo: Giesbers Holding B.V.

Shipping containers made of carbon fiber composites contain many benefits. These benefits includes strength, lightness of weight, resistance to corrosion, and durability. Composites contain the same amount of strength and durability as steel. However, it is roughly up to half or less than the weight of a steel container. Moreover, it doesn’t corrode. The only drawback thus far is the price as it is significantly higher than a normal shipping container.

Innovative uses of a shipping container

There are more extensive uses of shipping containers aside for shipping purposes. Some of the popular uses for shipping containers are office containers, toilet containers, container pop up store, and many more customisation.

All these creative uses of a shipping container are popular mainly because of its customisability, strength, versatility, and durability. By upcycling a shipping container, it has also proved to be environmentally friendly. As we move forward into the future, we can expect to see more containers being reused for more different purposes.

IBM Modular Data Center Container. Photo: Wikipedia

Among those purposes, one of the more exciting usages of shipping container is modular data centers. As compared to traditional data centers (where you have to build the facility from the ground up), modular data centers can be deployed and implemented quickly. Hence, it can also be placed anywhere data capacity is needed. Modular data centers will become more common as more enterprises look for cost-effective storage and data management solutions.

If you would like to buy/rent shipping containers, or explore the feasibility of using repurposed shipping containers for your premises, feel free to speak to us today.

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