Apart from the benefit of reduced purchasing costs of repurposed and recycled containers, buying used containers also helps reduce the number of surplus shipping containers in ports in the United States. In 2005, the number of surplus shipping containers in U.S. ports was at 700,000. By 2007, the number went down by 25 percent due to the rising interest in recycling and repurposing shipping containers, notes ISBU-info.org.
ISBU-info.org attributes the popularity of repurposing shipping containers to their inherent structural strength, ease of usage and versatility. The most popular uses of recycled shipping containers include storage boxes, prefabricated construction projects and modular construction boxes, notes ISBU-info.org.
As storage boxes, shipping containers can be stacked together to create an instant warehouse for products and farm equipment or use as home storage sheds. Building projects such as construction offices, workshops at the home or office, restrooms, shower rooms, business kiosks and even recreational vehicles can be fashioned out of containers. Residential homes, apartments, condominiums and mountain homes can benefit from using shipping containers as modular construction blocks.
Shipping containers may also be rented, especially if the container is only used for storage for a short period. This saves the owner the trouble of needing to sell the container after it has served its purpose. However, if the shipping container is going to be used for more than two years, it is wiser to purchase a unit instead to save on costs, advises ContainerAuction.com.