Top 7 Shipping Container Business Ideas for 2018


Coffee Shop: With business opportunities from roasting all the way through serving drinks, the coffee and tea industry is an ideal environment for entrepreneurs to get their start. Containers are particularly useful to house coffee shops for their easy-customization and speed to market. However, we find that our clients are most enamored by their easy mobility. With the power to move location, owners are inspired to introduce their new business to many markets, and cultivate a breadth of customers around the area.   

Specialty Retail: If you’re unfamiliar with the term, “specialty retail,” it refers to shops that focus on a specific product category. The employees are passionate, knowledgeable and focused on providing a more personalized, in-depth experience than many of the big-box stores. Occasionally, these shops will be free-standing, but usually they appear as part of a larger shopping center as a kiosk, booth, or pop-up. Shipping containers have only recently been appearing in this arena, so there’s plenty of opportunity to position your specialty shop as an innovator in your space! 

Mobile Bar/ Tap house: Chances are, you’ve been to a produced event. These include concerts, festivals, carnivals, parades… the list goes on. While these events are all very different, they usually have one element in common; a bar. Have you seen them before? These temporary structures offer a much-needed service. Event venues, particularly those that focus on temporary activations, don’t keep bars open year-round. They need short-term solutions that can be set-up and broken down easily, in a few hours. Shipping containers provide that simple activation/ strike that bars and tap houses need to service events.   

Quick Serve Restaurant: Every week a restaurant isn’t open, it is losing 2% gross profit. Shipping containers allow you to open your new business in less than half the time it takes to build typical stick-and-brick structures. If planned correctly and built with consideration for safety and codes, everything from a line-service QSR to a full-service kitchen, complete with hood, can fit into a compact, mobile restaurant.

Convenience Store: Ease and accessibility are implied in the name, but are C-stores really that convenient? With the introduction of shipping containers, these quick-stop-shops can add an entirely new line of benefits. Light-weight and easily moveable, containers can help c-store proprietors meet customers where they are.  

Pop-Up Shop: It’s hard to make a pop-up shop stand out. We see the same old aesthetic, accompanied by the same decrepit tent. Seriously, did they get them all in the same place? Shipping container customization options are limitless, and they’re built to stand the test of time. The pop-up game will completely change with the main-streaming of mobile container shops.  

Mobile Showroom: The retail industry in general is taking on some major changes this year. One of the really cool results of the industry’s evolution is the birth of a ‘show room’ concept, for brands that can no longer see the value in maintaining a large inventory for immediate purchase. Instead, brands are developing interactive, concept stores that allow customer to handle popular merchandise. Instead of bagging up the item and taking it home right there, their order is boxed up and mailed, sometimes delivered that same day!