The History of Container Conversions

The History of Container Conversions

Converted containers can be seen everywhere these days. If you’re a resident of Soweto you most likely drive past a few converted containers being used as Spaza shops on your way to work or home. Your kids probably have classes inside a converted container at their school since the use of converted containers is quite popular at schools. If you ever drive through Newtown you’ll notice the new Mill Junction student accommodation flats converted out of the cities old grain silos and used shipping containers, painted with a colorful motif and a beautiful addition to the Johannesburg skyline. Construction of this interesting apartment building was completed on January of 2014 and doors opened on February sporting a total of 375 individual apartments, a library and studying facilities and panoramic views of the city. An interesting development is happening in the northern suburb of Winsor, where contractors are building a new upmarket apartment complex entirely out of shipping containers. Completion of this apartment complex should happen around July and flats will be available for purchase or leasing. Containers are converted into spazas, classrooms, walk-in freezers, mobile art galleries, even restaurants. The famous Mexican eatery, Wahaca in the trendy suburb of Soho in London, was constructed entirely out of used shipping containers.


Converted containers are a relatively new idea. The modern shipping container has been around since the 1950’s. The famous American transport entrepreneur Malcolm McLean was the first person to envision the sealed shipping container as we know it and made a fortune off its retail profits. Since then the use of shipping containers to haul goods of all types has become fundamentally universal, used by all major shipping companies for transporting goods all over the world. If you’re a resident of Durban, PE or Cape Town you can attest to this, seeing container ships arriving and departing SA’s various seaports daily. Converted containers only started in the late 80’s and early 90’s. A British company called Bell Containers came up with the concept of outfitting used containers into livable accommodation used on construction sites. Their tagline was the site accommodation specialists and, out of their original concept, a myriad of ideas where born. Soon afterwards other companies started converting containers into a variety of applications and converted containers could be seen everywhere. Luxurious homes are constructed out of used containers, even million dollar mansions, town houses and holiday homes can be built out of this versatile medium. Shipping containers, already outfitted with a roof and four sides, can be easily converted into any usable space and eliminates the need for lengthy construction times and cost. It’s also a perfectly viable option for green or environmentally minded contractors and consumers.


In South Africa the concept of converted shipping containers is relatively new. Few companies exist in SA that converts shipping containers into usable space but one of the most reliable companies is Absolute Containers, specializing in the construction of a wide variety of container applications. Absolute Containers are one of the first companies in SA to convert shipping containers into a variety of structures like prefab homes, mobile classrooms, walk-in freezers, shops, construction site offices and more. They’re also one of the few companies that can deliver and construct a container on any specified site, fulfilling a customer’s requirements. Their conversion prices and competitive rates rival most companies and their customer service are unbeatable. So, considering all you have read about container conversions, isn’t it about time that you call Absolute Containers for your prefab solutions If you want the best, most customized service and on-time deliveries, the answer would be yes, right now!

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