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The life of a shipping container - from conception to Jennings Containers

Shipping Container - Container sales Oxford

You may be considering purchasing or hiring a shipping container as a solution to your space or storage challenges whether it’s at work or at home. But have your ever wondered where a shipping container comes from, how its made and the life it has before it ends up on your site or in your garden? In this article we will take you through all of these questions and more! We hope that by reading our post you can gain some insight into what makes shipping containers so great for both commercial and residential use.

What is a Shipping Container?

A shipping container is an industrial sized box, primarily used to transport goods around the world. A study in 2013 showed that 90% of global trade is seaborne, thanks to the existence of shipping containers and their ability to store, transport and protect goods from country to country.

There are a variety of sizes of an ISO standardised shipping container. Those that are used to transport goods around the world can be anywhere from 20-40ft long, however more recently, smaller shipping containers have become popular for domestic and static commercial use, in gardens, as alternative housing and for construction sites. 9ft containers and 6ft containers are perfect for domestic use, whether thats as a storage facility or garden studio whereas a 20ft container is perfect for extended office space.

Shipping containers are generally made of corrugated steel sheets to give them strength and longevity. The material containers are made from ensure they are waterproof when travelling across the sea as well as protecting the internal goods from external elements, be that storms or theft!

History of Shipping Containers

The invention of a shipping container originally came from American born road haulage trucker, Malcolm McLean. After purchasing a steam shipping company, McLean wanted to make the method of transporting goods easier and designed the first shipping container. On 26th April 1956, the first shipping container was transported on the Ideal-X and soon after, the idea was patented by McLean. 

In 1968, the ISO standard of manufacturing shipping containers was introduced to ensure that container construction was regulated. The ISO 668 includes internal and external dimensions, door height and opening size. 

1978 saw the first container home come to fruition. Patented by Phillip Clark in 1989, repurposing shipping containers as a home was practical as well as alternative to a standard living. Container homes provided practical stacking as well as a unique look. 

Before containers were brought to the market, cargo ships were loaded by hand, often taking weeks to finish loading the ship. Now, when you look around your home, consider that most items you own from your phone to your ornaments may have arrived by shipping container. As of 2019, 11 billion tonnes of goods are transported every year and the annual world shipping trade values in at just under £95 trillion. 

You may also be interested in: 

Why are shipping containers the best solution for your office space 

Jennings Containers 2021 guide to why you need a shipping container 

What can you expect from your container haulage services 

Key benefits of a shipping container both then and now 

Space saving – both as a container home and at the shipping docks and on the ship, containers save space due to their ability to stack on top of one another. 

Increased transportation of goods – utilising shipping containers has meant that transportation of goods has increased dramatically, as it’s much easier to send goods from owner to user with the use of a container. 

Reduction in labour costs – the introduction of shipping containers in the 1950’s meant that labour at the docks was significantly reduced, resulting in tremendous cost saving. This is still true today. 

Theft reduction – Due to the construction and material of the shipping container, a dramatic reduction in theft from ships was seen after their introduction. This is why shipping containers make a brilliant addition to homes, offices and construction sites. Storing items in a shipping container gives you peace of mind that your items will be safe. 

Jennings Containers source the best quality containers for their clients

At Jennings Containers, we believe that only the best quality shipping containers are suitable to support our clients with their requirements. Whether you are looking to build an alternative home that is both practical and beautiful, or you need extra storage space for your offices, Jennings Containers have the ability to source and secure the perfect containers for you. 

Not only do Jennings Containers procure the best quality containers, we ensure that all our container stock for sale comes with eco-friendly bamboo floors. Not only are you choosing a secure and safe container, you are also doing your bit for the environment. 

Choose your shipping container with Jennings today

Conveniently based in Oxfordshire with great links to the surrounding areas, Jennings Containers have been supporting a variety of industries for the past 30 years. Our team has the expert knowledge and know how to support you in choosing the best shipping container for your needs, whether you need an 8ft container to store your seasonal items, a variety of 20ft office containers to support your new team or 10ft container hire services, Jennings Containers have the containers, the haulage services and the customer service to support you from sourcing your container to placing it in its final destination. Contact Jennings Containers today. 


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Jennings Containers & Storage Ltd
Unit 50
Monument Business Park
OX44 7RW
United Kingdom

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