The Environmental Benefits of Using Steel Shipping Containers

The Environmental Benefits of Using Steel Shipping Containers

We live in times when the subject of environmental sustainability is taken more seriously than ever before. This has led to several questions; one such being whether or not steel shipping containers are eco-friendly solutions.

Some argue in favor, while some argue otherwise that it is very eco-friendly. So, this article intends to address whether steel shipping containers are eco-friendly or otherwise. Read on to stay informed, as you can be certain of a very objective take on the subject.

Steel Shipping Containers – Are They Eco-friend or not?

Those who argue for and against the eco-friendly status of steel shipping containers have valid points. For this reason, it is important to be well-informed before jumping to conclusions. Against this backdrop, let us see how both parties are right.

Firstly, some of the processes involved in the manufacturing of steel shipping containers are not eco-friendly. For starters, these containers are an end product of mined iron ore. The process of extracting the iron ore can leave environmentally unfriendly impacts such as:

  • Land Degradation
  • Pollution
  • Habitat Destruction

A significant amount of power is also used during the manufacturing process. This is given the very energy-intensive nature of the manufacturing process. In some situations or locations, utilized power is obtained from fossil fuel, which is neither eco-friendly as significant greenhouse gas is emitted.

All of these and more go to show how the processes are not environmentally flawless. However, does that rule out their ability to offer environmentally friendly benefits?

The answer is a big NO, and this is why you need to understand the eco-friendly benefits in question. Afterward, it would be left to you to decide whether or not they are worth it in the grand scheme of things.

How Steel Shipping Containers Benefit the Environment

Despite the environmentally questionable manner of their production, steel shipping containers have tons of environmental benefits. Some of the very common ones include:

  • Durability & Longevity – Leading to Resource Conservation
  • Energy Sustainability – Leading to Reduced Power Consumption
  • Minimal Construction Waste
  • Possibility of Being Reused & Recycled

It is worth mentioning that these are very vital benefits and worthy reasons for considering steel shipping containers. However, there are way more benefits, some of which are usually undermined. Some of them include the following:

Sustainable Building Approaches

Its impressive sustainability status is down to several things. The fact that it offers a great deal of space efficiency is high on the list. This implies that there would be reduced land usage, which is a huge part of environmental sustainability.

But as mentioned above, sustainability is not only about space efficiency. It is also about reducing the need for conventional construction materials like cement, wood, bricks, and the like.

Although its production process leaves a carbon footprint, it leaves less carbon footprint when compared to constructions with the use of bricks, wood, and cement. So, its use for construction purposes is not just environmentally sustainable from a minimalist point of view. It is also about directly reducing carbon footprint. You can read this post for more information on this.

Transport Efficiency

They have intermodal capacity. What this simply means is that they can be transported and used to transport goods via various means. They are ideal for marine transportation through ships, as their name suggests.

Furthermore, they are also great for trucks and even trains. For example, some interstate car shipping companies use them to transport vehicles. This is especially the case with enclosed trailer auto transport services, which offer discreet car transportation services.

Its ability to be transported or even transport goods via various transportation means offers an eco-friendly edge. This is especially true as the adverse environmental impact of transporting goods via various means is reduced.

Water Conservation

This is undoubtedly one of the least emphasized eco-friendly benefits that it could offer. Ironically, it is one of the crucial ones, especially for locations where this is especially needed.

Firstly, this has to do with the possibility of harvesting rainwater because of its peculiar roofing feature. The harvested water can then play a huge role in the effective management of stormwater runoff and the reduction of water consumption from conventional sources.

Furthermore, it is possible to make a green roof out of the container’s roof. This ensures that stormwater is made the most of. However, there are other benefits of doing this. Optimal insulation and reduction in heat effects are just to mention a few.

Rapid Setup During Disasters

Nature is not always friendly as natural disasters such as hurricanes & tropical storms, earthquakes, tornados, wildfires, floods, and winter storms can happen, especially in places prone to them.  Rapid construction of temporary setups is required during such moments and steel shipping containers can offer a lot.

This is considering how they can be easily and quickly constructed. By the way, they can be used to set up medical facilities and emergency housing in such locations.

Off-Grid Living

They are suitable as living solutions in off-grid settings. This is especially true given how it is possible to incorporate many things that make life easier in such environments.

For example, composting toilets, solar panels, and even wind turbines can be incorporated. By the way, some people in urban locations still make the most of the off-grid possibilities that steel shipping containers can offer.

Such practices lead to significantly reduced reliance on conventional utilities. Ultimately, this helps to minimize environmental impact.

Improved and Energy-Efficient Production Techniques

Many people who argue against the eco-friendly status of steel shipping containers highlight its production processes, as mentioned earlier. While they have a point, it is worth mentioning that the production processes are often visited for environmental sustainability reasons.

This has led to improved and a more energy-efficient way of manufacturing these containers. While this does not rule out the fact that there are still adverse environmental impacts as a result of its production processes, things are a lot better than they were.

Furthermore, it keeps getting better. For instance, it was not too long ago that a company in the Scandinavian territory discovered a new way of producing steel without carbon emissions. To find out about this, you can visit:

Wrap Up

Six less-talked-about eco-friendly benefits of using steel shipping containers have been discussed here. However, steel shipping containers must be purchased or rented from the right source. This ensures that quality options are obtained. Furthermore, it is about purchasing or renting from a source that is committed to environmental sustainability, which is in everyone’s best interest.


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BDC 318 : Jul 2024