What is a Shipping Container Home?

Learn the basics!Learn the basics!

Shipping Container Home Builders

Building a shipping container home is a unique, durable, customizable and eco-friendly alternative to purchasing a traditional home. Working with an experienced shipping container builder allows you to invest in a long-lasting home designed to your specific preferences and vision.

Shipping container homes combine the reward of custom home design with the uniqueness of tiny houses. Individuals and families can use shipping containers to create a unique structure to fit all their needs. They can design a custom, luxury interior and install it quickly without sacrificing quality or durability.

If you're interested in custom container living, you'll want to learn the basics of shipping container homes to get your dream space just right.

What Is a Shipping Container Home?

Shipping container homes are gorgeous, modern houses built with shipping container components, making them a sustainable alternative to traditional housing. A shipping container architect takes a shipping container and uses it as the home's structure. From there, they build the interior like a standard residential home. 

You probably see shipping containers all the time. Manufacturers and corporations use them globally to store and transport cargo worldwide. Their steel composition and rectangular shape make shipping containers ideal for durable stacking. Once the shipping container is no longer used for cargo, companies transform them into sustainable home structures for homeowners around the world.

Why Choose a Shipping Container Home?

Shipping container homes are highly durable, customizable and sustainable. They offer homeowners an environmentally-friendly solution to housing that lets them live comfortably without requiring as much new material use as building a traditional home. Additionally, shipping containers' stackability makes them ideal for anyone looking to build their dream home. Builders can transform multiple shipping containers into unique configurations for the ultimate dream home. 

Advantages of Custom Container Living

Investing in any home requires research. You'll need to examine the benefits and disadvantages of each home style before fully investing in one. Thorough research is essential for finding the right housing for your needs.

Many people can benefit from investing in a shipping container home. Considering the benefits of this sustainable option can help you decide if it's right for you. 

Let's take a look at the advantages of a shipping container home: 

Positive Environmental Impact

Shipping container homes are eco-friendly and sustainable. By using shipping containers, you reduce the amount of steel in landfills and minimize your home's environmental impact. Using shipping containers to construct homes is an excellent way to up-cycle pre-existing materials.

Reduced Community Impact

Shipping container homes also reduce the impact you have on the surrounding community during construction. While traditional home construction produces excessive noise, dust and pollution, shipping container home installation has a lower impact. This installation process is quieter and cleaner than traditional home construction.

Rapid Design, Construction and Installation

Another benefit of installing a shipping container home is the fast process. You can move into a shipping container home faster than you can a traditional home, making the entire process easier.

Builders use subtractive design instead of additive design to design and build a shipping container home, making it a much faster process than traditional home architecture.

The exact construction time depends on a home's scale, but installing a shipping container home usually takes ½ or ⅓ of the time it takes to construct a traditional home structure. Builders can typically install a 960-square-foot shipping container home in approximately one day, and a 32,000-square-foot build takes approximately three weeks to install.


Constructing your home with shipping containers increases your customization possibilities. You can create a modern aesthetic and cultivate your favorite style with a shipping container home. Builders can arrange and stack shipping containers to create various layouts, and you can pull from endless ideas and possibilities to customize the home's interior.

Less Expensive Building Foundations

Shipping containers are less expensive building foundations than other home foundations, allowing homeowners and builders to allocate more money toward the home's modern layout, design and aesthetic.

Shipping containers are also stackable, so you can add rooms and space without increasing a home's square footage.

Durability and Longevity

Since shipping containers are made of steel, they make incredibly durable home structures that can withstand heavy wind and rain. Shipping container homes are hurricane, tornado and flood-proof, providing safety and security in the harshest conditions.

Steel is a fire-resistant material, so a shipping container home is less likely to take on damage from an outside fire. Shipping container homes also have excellent longevity and can remain in excellent condition for decades with adequate maintenance.

Easy Relocation

Investing in a shipping container home gives you more location options. You can easily relocate a shipping container structure whenever you decide to move or use it for a different purpose. If you need to relocate, you can request shipping container transport.

Easy Replication

Shipping container homes are also easy to replicate on multiple sites. If you need to install the same structure in various locations, builders can easily replicate the layout. All they need to do is re-engineer the foundation.

How You Can Use a Shipping Container Home

Since shipping container homes are versatile, they can fulfill various purposes. You can use a shipping container home for the following uses:


Shipping container structures make beautiful residential homes. With the right company, you can design and build a modern, multi-family home.

Remote Housing

Shipping container homes are also excellent remote housing options. Since shipping containers are easy to transport, you can easily install a shipping container home in a beautiful remote location such as a Caribbean island.

Luxury Housing

You can also construct luxury housing with shipping containers. Since they are versatile, they are easy to design and style for a gorgeous, modern aesthetic. 

Condo Sales Center

Condo sales centers can use shipping containers to construct model interiors. Builders and designers can replicate a condo's interior, allowing customers to experience the condo's benefits in person.

Types of Shipping Containers

There are many shipping container options available. Shipping container homes are typically built from standard containers with multiple size options depending on your budget and needs. Standard containers generally are 20 or 40 feet, but this can change based on your needs. The best container home builders will combine various sizes to fit the home to your needs. 

There are more shipping container types than just residential. Since shipping containers are so versatile, they have several use categories, including:

  • Residential: Residential shipping containers are used as homes. Residential use includes standalone containers and affordable living constructions built from dozens of stacked shipping containers.
  • Commercial: Commercial use includes innovation hubs, offices and container markets. These spaces are made from shipping containers but used to house businesses for commercial purposes. 
  • Industrial: Shipping containers work well as industrial facilities. These containers will accommodate utility buildings, generator enclosures, mining containers, fire training facilities and more. Shipping containers' durability and affordability make them ideal for industrial use. 
  • Experiential: Experiential use covers exciting, creative shipping container uses. Whether for marketing, pop-up stores and beyond, shipping containers are eye-catching, stand-out pieces for companies to use.

Build Your Dream Home With Giant Containers

Giant Containers is a global business that offers modified, used and new shipping containers for experiential, residential, industrial and commercial use. Our commitment to quality is unparalleled — letting us produce high-quality, sustainable shipping container spaces. Since 2008 our industry-leading modular buildings and customer service have brought affordable, creative space solutions to a variety of industries and people.

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