Thinking Inside of The Box: Businesses That Operate From Shipping Containers

With the rising costs involved in both construction and renting a commercial space, plenty of businesses across the UK are now turning to non-traditional facilities to run their operations. One of these facilities is shipping containers, a strong and secure alternative that have proven to be considerably more affordable than brick and mortar buildings. But what does it take to successfully convert a shipping container?

How to Convert A Shipping Container

When you decide that a storage container is the best option for your business, certain considerations must be made. While there will always be problems that occur with any project of this ilk, thorough planning must be done so that these can be minimal. We recommend that businesses work alongside an architect who will know how to create an image of the proposed structure and make the necessary modifications quickly. This must be done before you proceed to the next stage.

Contacting your local authority for the relevant planning permission is the next, and an important step, to take. In some cases, this may not be necessary. After that, site preparation must be carried out, foundations laid, and windows and doors cut to your design. Once you are sure that the structural integrity of the building is solid, fixtures, fittings and insulation can be installed, and the finishing touches can be made.

Converting a shipping container is not a project that should be taken lightly, but there are plenty of businesses who have done a brilliant job in doing so.

A Drive-In Movie Theatre

The events company Park Avenue asked Mr Box to work alongside their client T-Mobile who wished to create something special for the launch of their new 3G technology. They decided on a drive-in movie theatre that would include a projection screen, bars and games rooms. A 40ft screen was erected with two cars perched on top. Surrounding that was games rooms created with 40ft storage containers, a reception and a bar. While this was only a temporary event, it proved to be incredibly successful.

A Friends Festival

The set of Friends is one of the most well known and most loved in all of television history so when a PR Agency approached us to help them recreate it for the show’s 20th anniversary we jumped at the chance. A 20ft open-sided container with bi-folding doors was supplied and modified to suit the theme. Visitors to hugely popular festivals such as Latitude Festival in Suffolk had the pleasure of posing with the show’s infamous sofa.

Click & Collect

Reputable home improvement brand Wickes wanted modified containers to act as convenient Click & Collect facilities at a number of UK locations. A 40ft ISO shipping container was provided by us to give ample storage space for the company. Modifications such as double personnel doors, electrics, and on-brand re-painting was done and provided a cost-effective solution that freed up space in-store.


A florist who wanted to attract additional footfall to their location chose to build a quirky container conversion that could be adapted for use of ease. To do this we supplied a 10ft cube container and added a powered flap that rises at the touch of a button so that it could act as a canopy in bad weather. This particular florist still stands within a shopping centre in Orpington, Kent and adds character to the local shopping experience.

Aperol Spritz Bar

The popular Italian drinks brand Aperol Spritz wanted a modified container to promote it during the summer season. Cities such as London, Manchester and Bristol played host to the pop-up bar that was accompanied by chairs, tables, potted plants and ping pong.

Internet Lounge

Students at Kingston University seeking a one-stop spot for working, charging their phones and grabbing a coffee could count on the 20ft containerised internet lounge that we helped to build. The finished product had a bright, modern and clean look that provided the perfect centre piece to the university courtyard.

Community Centre

An urban re-generation scheme called Belville Gardens in Glasgow was set up by a team of architects who wanted a container conversion to act as a community hub. This would provide a place for warmth and shelter for anyone, including the Belville army of gardeners. The team had a limited budget, but Mr Box offered the perfect solution in the form of a 20ft and a 40ft converted container that were joined together and secured. Inside you’ll find a small store, a disabled toilet, a snack bar and a meeting room. Plus, the container were repainted in pastel colours to appeal to their surroundings.

If our list proves anything, it’s that when it comes to shipping container conversions, the only thing that is limiting you is your imagination. Why not consider a container conversion from Mr Box to get your business off the ground?