Why use a steel container?

In a nutshell... they last!

What are the benefits?

At Pod Tech, we are often asked why use a steel container instead of say, something like wood? Well there are actually a number of ways to answer this question but in simple terms, they are built to last.

We can trace the beginnings of industrial use containers back to the 1830's where wooden style containers were used by railways on several continents to easily transport goods. They could then be easily transferred using cranes to other modes of transport, from rail, to horse drawn carts to ships without the need to unload and re-load their cargo. Our very own Liverpool to Manchester railway line was pivotal in the development of such units with the necessity to convey coal from the Lancashire collieries to Liverpool.


For the next 100 years a myriad of shapes and sizes were developed made of a variety of materials. With a dramatic increase in international trade, it soon became apparent that a 'standard' should be developed in order to maximise on space and to simplify the issues faced when loading and unloading cargo from one form of transport to the next. In 1933 the Bureau International des Containers established the first standardised shipping container primarily for transport between European countries. American containers were not yet standardised and at this time, these early containers were not yet stackable.

By late 1940's to early 1950's, the use of standardised steel shipping containers began when commercial shipping operators and the US military began to develop such units. In 1948, the US Army Transportation Corps developed the 'Transporter', the first rigid corrugated steel shipping container with double doors at one end, mounted on skids with lifting rings mounted on each of the four corners.

Further developments were made over the following 20 years and ISO standards for containers were published between 1968 and 1970 by the International Maritime Organization. These standards allow for more consistent loading, transporting, and unloading of goods in ports throughout the world, thus saving time and resources.

Not just for shipping

Traditional shipping containers are built to last and built to withstand heavy abuse during transportation, not to mention adverse weather conditions at sea, or otherwise. It was soon recognised that such containers could be converted for use in other industries such as the construction industry or for long term storage of personal belongings due to much higher security than other available options.

The construction industry being the second largest user of industrial style steel containers lead to the development of specialised steel containers for a number of uses such as storage of materials, office facilities, toilet facilities, rest rooms and changing areas for workers. At Pod Tech we specialise in the design and fabrication of site facilities for a number of different uses within the construction industry. Check out our construction page to see what we can do.


With durability and security in mind, shipping style steel containers are used around the world to store belongings, materials and many other valuable or sentimental items. With a zero maintenance shelf life in excess of 25 years, steel containers are an attractive option for a number of storage solutions and are often a much cheaper alternative to brick built structures.

Traditionally, the use of steel container structures for storage has been limited to commercial enterprises due to high transportation costs and inaccessibility to domestic properties. This has lead many homeowners, who don't have the luxury of a brick built garage, to store valuable items in a traditional wooden shed. There is not only a risk of storing such items in a shed due to minimal security, your typical wooden shed requires a fair amount of maintenance to achieve a life span of only 10 - 15 years. To overcome these problems, we at Pod Tech have developed a flat pack steel container shed to overcome these issues, and at a price range comparable to a typical garden shed with units starting as little as £750.

The next big revolution

The latest trend to hit the steel container industry is what we like to call the 'pop-up' revolution. In the twenty first century, many people are turning to ex shipping containers or new build steel containers for a variety of projects such as 'pop-up' street vending units, glamping units, 'pop-up' art galleries, and shipping container homes.

As a cheaper alternative to traditional building structures, steel containers give you more space for your money. Some people are specifically going for an industrial look to their units while others simply require steel containers for their structural integrity and ease of installation. They will then clad the exterior with other materials such as wood.

As a bespoke, steel container, design and fabrication company, at Pod Tech, we can literally build anything you like out of steel. Based in the North West of England, we are also ideally situated to service the UK in it's entirety meaning your transportation costs can be kept to a minimum.

Contact us

Whatever it is you require, we are able to build it for you. For a quote you can email or call us on 07486486746 and we will be happy to help.


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