Storing Halloween Decorations and Costumes

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Storing Halloween Decorations and Costumes

halloween decorations

With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to start thinking about storage solutions for all of those spooky decorations and creepy costumes. Do you find that your Halloween decorations are taking up more and more space in your home? Instead of shoving everything into the corner of your basement or attic, only to be pulled out all wrinkly and tangled next year, why not think about other storage options you can use to keep those Halloween decorations ready and in great shape? The best part is, these tips can also be used to store all of your seasonal gear and decorations for the other upcoming holidays! Let’s take a look at some suggestions for storing your holiday decor now.

Sort Through Everything

The first step to take as you prepare to store all of those creepy decorations is to sort through every item. Go through the decorations that you put up this year, but more importantly, go through what was left behind in the boxes. Assess whether you’re really going to use each decoration in the future. If the answer is no, then you should donate or trash the item to get it out of the way. There’s no point in storing something you’re never going to use again. This just adds to the clutter instead of the creepiness.

If your storage boxes are really in disarray, it’s helpful to organize all of your seasonal items at once. Gather all of your decorations from all locations of your home (check the garage, attic, closets, basement, under the beds, etc). Once you have all decorations in the same spot, sort them out by season – spring, summer, fall, winter. You don’t want that Santa Claus to be mixed in with the Fourth of July flags when you go to unpack for Christmas! Once everything is seasonally sorted and decluttered, pack the decor into the correct bins together by season and then holiday.

Discard Broken Items and Wrap Decorations

As you go through and sort everything, take great care with all breakable items. If you find anything that’s broken beyond repair, don’t feel bad that you need to toss it. There’s no reason to store something broken beyond use, and you can form new family memories with decorations that are still in working condition.

As for the rest of your decorations, make sure you wrap the breakables up carefully and store them so that they won’t get broken while being moved around or unpacked the following year. You can use bubble wrap, crumpled up newspapers, packing tape, and other squishy materials to make sure these items are safe while being stored. This Porta-Stor blog goes over how to properly store dishes and other breakables, and contains useful information that works for Halloween decorations too.

Use a Storage Unit

There may come a time when you realize that you have more decorations than you have space to store them, and that’s okay! The holidays are a time to go all out, right? Based on how much stuff you have to store, it might be best for you to rent a portable storage container that can hold all of your decorations while keeping them organized, safe, and easily accessible.

A storage container allows you to store in sections by holiday and hang up those costumes, keeping them from wrinkling, tearing, or taking up precious space in your closet. It’s easier on your costumes if you keep them hung up on hangers rather than folded into boxes, especially if you cover them with plastic bags or even sturdier clothing sleeves.

Does your family love to dress up with lots of accessories to make the perfect, detailed costume? You can also keep those piles of Halloween accessories out of the way and protected in a portable storage container. It’s much easier to come up with a costume for everyone each year if you don’t have to toss out the accessories after a single use.

[bctt tweet=”Make storing your Halloween costumes and decorations a breeze with a little organization and some help from Porta-Stor!”]

Keep seasonal totes and bins of decorations labeled and organized together, so that they’re easy to find when you need them. This is much easier to do if you have the space to allow for proper organization. Make storing your Halloween costumes and decorations a breeze with a little organization and some help from Porta-Stor!


How to Make a Haunted House in a Shipping Container!

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How to Make a Haunted House in a Shipping Container!

haunted house

The time of year has come when the witches and goblins come out, along with the superheroes, princesses, and dinosaurs! Halloween is a great holiday for spending quality time with your family, especially if you have children. Haunted houses are a fun-filled tradition, and you can hear the screams coming from inside if you walk past one. But what if there are no haunted houses near your neighborhood? Have you considered building your own? A used shipping container could make your haunted house project idea a reality by providing a durable, convenient, portable structure to decorate. Porta-Stor will take a look at what it would take to build your very own haunted house in a shipping container!

[bctt tweet=”A used shipping container could make your haunted house project idea a reality by providing a durable, convenient, portable structure to decorate.”]

Tips for Creating a Haunted Atmosphere

Are you overwhelmed by the idea of creating a haunted house? Don’t worry, they don’t have to have complicated themes. If you’re not sure about the type of haunted house you want to create, you can easily get a creepy-feeling room without adhering to a theme. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Use different types of lighting. Consider using black lights, flickering lights, or even strobe lights (just make sure there’s a seizure warning at the door if you use flashing lights).
  • Get some eerie sounds going by playing spooky screams, ghoulish laughter, or other creepy recorded sounds. The Internet is full of options to choose from, or you can even record your own!
  • A fog machine goes a long way towards making an area seem more spooky.
  • A gentle fan will get the air moving through the container and add a billowing effect to your cloth and paper hangings and spiderwebs.
  • Add little details and hang them in the corners or from the ceiling, like fake rats, spiders in their webs, and hanging skeletons and bones.
  • Hang some black fabric in strands in the doorways to give the feel of entering somewhere scary. This has the added benefit of keeping it dark inside the container.
  • Section off the space. Haunted houses work best when they feel claustrophobic, not wide open. A sizable shipping container will give you enough space to form some narrow, winding corridors using fabric or another light, easy-to-hang material.
  • Hang a warning or beware sign outside the entrance. This gives a spooky flare to start the adventure but also gives a nice warning to those about to enter.

DIY Projects for a Haunted House

Short on funds? No worries, it’s easy to make spooky decorations yourself with some odds and ends. Let’s check out some props and decorations you can build on your own for your haunted house. None of these will need you to modify the shipping container, but they will definitely make for a scarier haunted house!

Grim Reaper – Start with some PVC pipe or other sturdy rod and build this guy to scale. You can use a foam wig holder or other round object to shape his head. Really make him come to life by making a simple cape with flowing dark cloth. It’s ok if it’s not in good condition – shred up the fabric for a spookier effect! Add some scary accessories to the finished product, like a lantern and hook, which can easily be made in a pinch with cardboard and paint.

Old Dolls – Check the bottom of your child’s toy box or the thrift store to get ahold of some creepy old dolls. Dirty up their clothes and hair. Detach a limb or two, and then hang the pieces from some string to make a creepy mobile for people to bump into as they walk through your haunted house. You can stick them into corners or inside other props for your guests to find.

Body Bags – This is an easy, inexpensive way to create some serious scare. Take some black trash bags and newspaper. Stuff the bags and shape it into a long tube. Now grab some duct tape and start taping and shaping. Start at the bottom with the feet and legs, then work your way up to the torso with some wide shoulders. Don’t forget a smaller part for the head. Lay a few body bags around the floor, propped up against the wall, or hanging from the ceiling to add some fear factor.

Floating Candles – This trick is more about ambiance than scare, but it looks great in a haunted house. Using toilet paper tubes and battery-powered tea lights, create a mystical vibe by hanging these fake candles from the ceiling of your shipping container haunted house with thin string. Not only does it look great, but it will also add the right amount of spooky lighting to the haunted hallways.

While there are many other things you can do to make a killer haunted house, these are a few ideas to help get your creative juices flowing. The best part is that you don’t even need to change the original structure of the shipping container to use it for this purpose. If you just want to rent one of these used containers for the month and host your haunted house, it is so easy to do. Gather some friends and family together and get those scary imaginations flowing to prepare the spookiest haunted house in the neighborhood!

If you do rent a container for this purpose, keep in mind that you should not make permanent changes to it, such as drilling holes or painting it. If you want to decorate the outside, hang some decorations instead!

Considering purchasing a shipping container instead of renting, so you can have one on hand when you need it? Check out Porta-Stor’s guide on things to consider before buying a shipping container!

The Process of Shipping Container Disposal

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The Process of Shipping Container Disposal

container disposal

Shipping containers are built to withstand a lot of pressure, from salty seawater and extreme weather to being stacked on top of each other and dragged around the world. Once the days of transporting goods are done for these steel containers, some are sold to other businesses for gentler storage use, holding items such as inventory overstock, construction materials, or office supplies. Others are repurposed into completely different structures, such as food truckshousesfarms, and more. But what about the many shipping containers that don’t get resold or sent to perform a new purpose and are just left to rot? What happens to the containers that are no longer useful, since they’re so sturdy? Let’s take a look at several methods of shipping container disposal below.

Left to Rust

Leaving a used shipping container to slowly rust is certainly one of the least efficient ways for them to end their days. Not only is a graveyard of rusting containers an ugly sight to look at, it’s also harmful to the earth around the area. Leaving these containers to sit out in the weather and rust away allows many contaminants to seep into the soil and waterways.

[bctt tweet=”We’re seeing fewer and fewer shipping containers sitting and rusting away in dumps as time goes by and we find better methods of container disposal.”]

Fortunately, people have become more aware of the issue and are taking steps to protect the earth. We’re seeing fewer and fewer shipping containers sitting and rusting away in dumps as time goes by and we find better methods of container disposal. This is still the fate for a handful on the millions of containers that are put out of use each year, but it’s a work in progress.


Recycling used shipping containers is a new trend seen around the globe. People are buying them up and using them to build sustainable homes, apartment complexes, offices, small businesses, and other structures. Using a recycled storage container for another purpose is a great way to use something that still has a lot of life left in it.

Shipping containers are also disposed of with more traditional recycling methods. They can be crushed, torn apart, and melted down, and the metals are turned into other metallic objects, leaving fewer containers to rust away in the dump.

Art Containers

A fairly new way to recycle shipping containers is to use them for artistic purposes. At city art fairs, you can see more artists converting these containers into moving art galleries to display their works. The containers also sometimes become a work of art themselves as a metallic canvass or in sculpture!

Schools, Offices, and Homes

As mentioned above, many businesses are buying up these containers to give them new purposes. School districts buy them to convert into extra learning space (or storage space) as the school population grows. Small, sustainable shipping container homes are popping up, and oftentimes you can see added container space to an office building that’s growing fast and in need of more workspace. The possibilities are endless when it comes to recycling and converting these shipping containers.

A big benefit to using these containers as added space is the fact that they’re mobile. You can move your business, school, or office storage where you need it, when you need it. It’s also more convenient, cheaper, and easier to add storage for your business with a container than to move to a larger building.

Marine Debris

Marine debris is a growing problem, and sometimes used shipping containers add to it. In May of 2009, an international standard for dismantling and recycling ships and their shipping containers was set into place to help curb the debris of these vessels going into the ocean and other waterways. With other organizations in place to monitor the water and keep the marine debris from ships and other land-based contaminants, this standard can help make sure all shipping containers are disposed of or repurposed in a better way.

Shipping container disposal methods have improved over time. We’re no longer content with simply leaving them to rust in a heap on the land or in the ocean. They’re being recycled in several ways, from more traditional disassembling to reusing them in unique and creative ways!

Home Remodeling and Renovation Storage

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Home Remodeling and Renovation Storage

home remodeling

Starting a home remodeling or renovation project can be very exciting, but that excitement quickly turns into stress once the realities start to set in. How long will the remodel take? Which areas of the house will be available and which will be unusable throughout the process? And just where are you going to put all of your stuff? It’s helpful to set up a storage solution to use before starting a home remodeling or renovation, so that you can get your family’s belongings and furniture out of the way of the workers. You’ll feel better knowing that your stuff is safe and secure, far away from the potentially damaging construction area. If you get organized from the start, the process can stay exciting! Below, Porta-Stor will look at a few options you have when it comes to storage solutions and organization of your belongings while your home gets a facelift.

Organize as you Go

In the rush to get a renovation project started, it can be tempting to just empty those closets and cabinets hastily into boxes. But then what happens when you go to look for that one important thing that was in that closet ? Do you know which box it’s in? Where is that box?

While emptying the contents of your rooms is the best time to go through your belongings one by one. Pack similar things together and label your boxes clearly. Organize those labeled boxes so you can easily see and access what you need, when you need it. Even if you don’t need access during the project, some proper labeling and organization will make it easier to place your belongings back into the right location when the remodel is done.

Use this time to really assess what you use. It’s likely that you have many belongings that are in bad shape and/or never used. Not everything needs to go back into those spaces when your renovation is complete. Organize your belongings into piles to donate, trash, or keep, and remove what you no longer need. There’s no point in packing away items that aren’t useful to you any longer!

Movable Storage Solutions

Having a storage system that moves easily adds extra convenience as you move your belongings around. Not only is this a good idea with portable shipping containers that can move a lot of belongings from one building to another, but it also works on a smaller scale. Think of your bedroom closet. If your bedroom is getting remodeled, you will need to move all of those clothes and boxes out of the closet. Rolling clothing racks help you easily transfer the clothes from one location to another. You can put them in the other room or wheel them into a portable storage container. This keeps your clothing more accessible without having to stuff them into boxes to dig through later. You can also use rolling plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes. These can easily be rolled to their new location and are easier to see inside.

Rent a Storage Container

You have your boxes organized and labeled, some clothing racks ready to roll, and those rolling storage totes good to go. Now where do you store all of it? If you have a large renovation job or your home just does not have enough extra storage space for remodeling, you should look into portable storage options.

[bctt tweet=”If you have a large renovation job or your home just does not have enough extra storage space for remodeling, you should look into portable storage options.”]

Using a storage container that’s portable will allow you to have the container delivered directly to your driveway. Once parked there, you can place all of your belongings into the container, organized and stored just the way you want them. Once you have it filled, it can stay on location for as long as necessary for the job to be complete.

Or, if you prefer, it can also be picked up and moved to a secured location where your belongings will be stored until your renovation is complete and you’re ready for the container to be dropped back into your driveway. This solution is ideal for the belongings you don’t need to access as often, like furniture and seasonal items. Often these containers are used if the renovation job is larger than one room.

If you know that the home renovation plans are going to take several months, then you may want to look into renting a storage container. This is a good option to hold larger items and/or organize a lot of smaller boxes. Porta-Stor offers free delivery and pickup for all of our containers. Ease your mind that your belongings are in a safe, secured container, while still having access to get anything you might need.

Based on the type of renovation your home is undergoing and the length of time it will take, you have several options. You could try to cram all of your belongings into the garage or spare room, but a storage container will give you much more space to organize and store everything. It would also provide an easy to way either store them on-site or transport them out of the way to a secure facility. When it comes time to clear out space for a remodeling project, find a storage solution that will work for you!

What to Know Before Buying a Shipping Container

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What to Know Before Buying a Shipping Container

buying a shipping container

Are you in the market to purchase a shipping container? If so, there are several questions that you should ask yourself first. Do you want a new, used, or already modified container? Where will you put it? How will you move it from place to place? Will it need ventilation? You may already know some of these answers, but some factors can easily be overlooked in your haste to make that purchase and get started with your project. Below, Porta-Stor will take a look at some of the other things you need to know before buying a shipping container.

Location Matters

Not only do you need to know where you’re going to place your shipping container, but you also need to know where you’re purchasing it and how you’ll transport it. If you live near a port, it should be fairly easy for you to get your shipping container from that location to yours, no matter the distance. If you need to get your container from a location far away, you will need to take into account how it will be sent. Will you have it shipped, or does it make more sense to rent a truck to pick it up? Shop around to see what’s cheapest in your situation.

Need to Save Money?

If you’re on a tight budget, there are a few ways to cut costs when buying a shipping container. Unless you find a great deal, avoid buying a “prefab” container. This means a container that has been modified with roll-up doors and is ready-made to be used by contractors on location at a work site. These can be costly to purchase and are also pricey to renovate. Unless you have some money to spend, go with a simpler container.

As you’re looking at your options, consider checking on sales websites like eBay or craigslist. The average cost of a shipping container on those sites is $2,200 for a 40’, $1,800 for a 20’, and $1,500 for a 10’ container. In many cases, the seller will offer free delivery within a 50-mile radius, and some may even provide a warranty.

You can also call around to warehouses in your area and see if they have any old shipping containers that they’re willing to sell. You might be able to find one as inexpensive as $500. This type of research and shopping will take time and effort, but could end up saving you thousands of dollars on your purchase.

Know the Container Material

Not all shipping containers are created equally. There are different materials used to build these containers, and you need to know what material the container is made out of before you buy it. Look for COR-TEN steel. This material lasts the longest and can withstand most weather and other conditions. Bear in mind that these containers are built to sit on ships surrounded by salt water for years, so they can withstand years of inclement weather.

Negotiate with the Seller

For any large purchase, it’s a good policy to never accept the initial asking price. This offer is often the maximum at which the company or person wants to sell. Due to a large trade deficit around the world, many of these empty shipping containers are piling up on companies faster than they can get rid of them. In many cases, these companies just want the container out of the way and will sell it to you at a discounted rate. You should also try and get the shipping costs reduced or for free.

Know the Ownership

Before you buy a container, ensure that the company listed on the container itself doesn’t still actually own it if it’s being sold by someone else. The best way to get the correct information is to call the phone number of the company that’s on the side of the container. Give them the container number, and they should be able to give you detailed background information as well as let you know that they no longer own it.

After researching your options and determining how you will finance your container, these extra steps might seem like a daunting task. But they’re important things to do so that you can be sure you made the best purchase possible. These steps will take time, but if you’re thorough and look into what you’re purchasing, you will be better off in the long run. Start shopping for your container locally, and branch out from there.

Consider Renting

[bctt tweet=”Renting is a cheaper option in the short-run and is a great way to see if you’re happy with the space and convenience that a shipping container provides.”]

Before buying a shipping container, have you already fully considered renting one? Renting is a cheaper option in the short-run and is a great way to see if you’re happy with the space and convenience that a shipping container provides. By renting, you have much less to worry about. Porta-Stor even provides free delivery and pick-up, to make it even easier for you! Here’s some more info comparing the options when it comes to renting or buying a shipping container to help you decide!

Making a Green Shipping Industry

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Making a Green Shipping Industry

green shipping

The modern shipping industry has been around for decades, and the way we move large containers from one location to another hasn’t changed much. This means that there are still a lot of gas emissions and other pollutants going up into the air and down into the water from the large shipping vessels cruising the ocean and the diesel fueled trucks driving down the highway. So how can the shipping industry pave a new path to a greener way of moving cargo? There are a few things that the industry can do to keep itself competitive and attractive to those needing to transport goods while also changing to green shipping practices. Let’s take a look at some of these potential changes, which have already started being implemented in some locations.

The Problem with Shipping

People and businesses are becoming more environmentally aware every year, and the current shipping industry needs to make some large changes to stay up-to-date. The low grade marine fuel used to move large shipping vessels across the sea has more than 3,500 times the sulfur in it than road diesel. Particulates emitted from these ships, whether sitting at ports or out on the open water, are estimated to cause more than 60,000 cardiopulmonary and lung cancer deaths worldwide each year.

Along with adding to air pollution, there’s a problem with expanding the ports and harbors to house even larger cargo ships. This destroys local coastal ecosystems, causing problems not only for the local wildlife, but also the people who depend on fishing to survive. This means that the local areas these vessels help support by adding jobs will also destroy the very place these workers call home.

So how can the shipping industry go green with these large numbers of pollutants hanging around them?

Cleaning Up Ship Scrapping

Taking large ships apart causes a lot of extra pollution during the process, and any parts that aren’t recycled create huge amounts of landfill debris. In 2009, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. The countries so far that have adhered to these cleaner standards include Norway, the Congo, and France. As more countries adopt these greener standards, the more we will see cleaner ways of scrapping ships. The principal scrappers in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan need to be monitored by the IMO going forward, to make sure they too are adhering to these guidelines.

It would be best if countries around the world set up a list of standards to follow, in addition to collecting data for each location. Doing this would ensure that scrapping is being done to greener standards and that guidelines are being followed. International loan and other aid programs could demand clean ship-scrapping practices as incentive to qualify for their aid. A watch list could also be created to monitor the countries that practice unsafe ship scrapping with a list that’s constantly updated. If countries know their unsafe practices are being monitored, they will be more likely to make the changes for the betterment of the water, the air, and their people.

Controlling Emissions

There needs to be stricter IMO emission regulations in place. This includes a cleaner worldwide standard for the sulfur that’s released by combustion of marine fuel. How can this be done? When oil prices are low, it creates a great opportunity for these stricter standards to be established.

Marine fuel accounts for only 2 to 4% of the oil industry’s market. Putting stricter emissions standards in place will help drive the demand for higher quality fuel. There would need to be some incentive programs put into place for less developed countries that will help them offset the initial high cost of investment, especially in locations where there is little capacity for this change.

An alternative to higher quality fuel would be to install scrubbers in the fuel tanks of the ships. These scrubbers combine the fuel with water or caustic soda to help remove up to 99% of particulate matter from the high sulfur fuel. These scrubbers are expensive, costing around 2 million dollars per ship. However, if the shipping companies were offered subsidies for up to 50% of the cost, they would likely recoup the other 50% in savings on fuel alone.

Improving Port Management

One more step that the industry could take to improve green shipping is to get a better handle on the management of the ports. To accomplish this, the port authorities should review the overall environmental impact of their previous constructions. Once this is done, they should then disclose their future development plans to demonstrate a responsible management of public assets. To even further the advancement of going green, the port authorities should coordinate with transport-planning bureaus to help find the most economical and environmentally friendly way to transport goods. Keeping the port authorities working with local industries to build more eco-friendly harbors would greatly improve relations with locals and keep management more accountable.

With the world turning towards greener practices overall, the shipping industry has some changes to make in the near future. By focusing on cleaning up emissions, improving port design, and turning to cleaner scrapping methods, great strides can be taken over the coming years. If these changes are put into place, it will be a huge benefit to the environment. Green shipping can help provide a cleaner future for all of us!

[bctt tweet=”Green shipping can help provide a cleaner future for all of us!”]

Want to learn about a different kind of green shipping container? Check out these shipping container farms!

Expand Your Retail Business with Shipping Containers

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Expand Your Retail Business with Shipping Containers

retail business

If you have a retail business, you know how much storage space it requires. Especially if you have a smaller shop, using a shipping container can be a smarter, cheaper, and more convenient way to get some extra storage space, rather than expanding your building. Finding a larger space or adding more room can be extremely costly. A shipping container provides more storage space without the hassle.

Portable storage containers can provide other services for a retail business as well. Need to transfer goods to an area temporarily? Want to open a pop-up store? Modified shipping containers can also provide a great portable salesroom for almost any type of business. Below, Porta-Stor will go over a few types of retail business that can benefit from using shipping containers as temporary storage or sales locations.

Extra Storage Space

You might be surprised at what a shipping container can offer you and your retail business. These storage spaces are easy to manage, with a convenient monthly rental or the option to buy it outright. You can have the container shipped to a location and filled with inventory. After it’s full, there are several convenient options to choose from, depending on your situation. Leave it on-site as an extra room. Send it between several business locations. Or you can send it off for short- or long-term storage at a facility, where it can be kept safe, secure, and temporarily out of the way.

Beach Side Kiosk

The best part of a shipping container is that they’re easy to move and set up at just about any location. This makes them great for the beach side retail business. They allow you to rent a location close to a beach and then pack up and move the container to another location when the busy season is over. You won’t have to pay rent for a location that’s only open for part of the year. An open side container allows you to fold the side down during the day, making a kiosk to sell things like beach towels, beach bags, sunglasses, sunscreen, or a host of other items beach goers may need.

Holiday Store

There are times when people go looking to buy certain holiday items that they don’t think about for the rest of the year. Around the holidays, you may find that your retail business would do well in a certain off-site location. This is a great reason to set up shop in a portable shipping container. Set it down where you’ll get more traffic and sell off your inventory. Sell some ugly Christmas sweaters, Halloween decorations, or New Year’s memorabilia during the months leading up to the holidays. You can even get your container well-insulated and heated, if you need to set up at an outside mall or town square in the cold weather.

Art Gallery

If you’re an artist and want to set up a pop-up gallery, you may find that it’s most convenient to use a shipping container. Not only is it a hip and trendy building material, but it also allows you to set up near festivals, art events, and shops during the holidays. Using a shipping container allows you to take your art wherever it would be noticed and appreciated in that moment. Reusing an old shipping container is seen as an eco-friendly material as well, and this is something that most art lovers appreciate.

Brewery Tasting Room

A container set up for a brewery has several benefits. One, it goes right with the industrial theme that most microbreweries adopt. It creates a low-key ambiance that makes people want to come hang out. Also, it’s easy to expand your brewery with more shipping containers, unlike with a brick and mortar building. If you need even more retail space or storage for your brewing equipment, just purchase a portable storage container, modify it to your needs, and attach it to the existing one. Your business can grow physically at the same rate that it grows in popularity!

While these are just a few of the small retail business ideas that could benefit from using a shipping container, there are endless possibilities for using such a versatile vessel. A shipping container could be used to set up a small cafe, a little florist shop, a custom t-shirt business, or even a mobile bookstore. It can expand the inventory storage for any type of business. The opportunities and ideas are endless when it comes to using a repurposed shipping container for your retail business. As you’re planning to set up shop, think outside the box and step into a shipping container. Renting or purchasing a solid, secure shipping container could be the best idea for your expanding retail business!

Is your business in hospitality, not retail? Check out Porta-Stor’s guide for using shipping containers to help with that area as well!

Does a Shipping Container Need Ventilation?

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Does a Shipping Container Need Ventilation?


Shipping containers are extremely versatile structures, and depending on what you’re storing, you might need a different setup. One factor to consider is that certain chemicals can leave a strong odor where they’re stored, affecting the other items within the container or even in the surrounding area. Some chemical fumes can even be dangerous to the person who opens the container if they’re left to build up without air flow. If this is the case for your storage requirements, you need to have a good ventilation system installed onto your container. Below, Porta-Stor will take a closer look at ventilated storage containers and the circumstances in which you might need one.

Types of Ventilation Systems Available

There are three main types of ventilation systems that can be installed in your shipping container:

  • Rooftop turbine vents. Having a fan set up on the rooftop is a great option for getting the fumes up into the air but only works if you don’t need to stack containers.
  • Fixed louver vent. These openings have angled slats like blinds, and can be added to the container where needed. They don’t have a fan built in, instead relying on regular airflow.
  • Exhaust fan. These are similar to the rooftop turbine vents, but can be placed elsewhere on the container. They also tend to be smaller than the rooftop vents.

Each of these systems works well, so you should decide which to use based on how much ventilation you will need. You will also need to know how the items stored within the container will affect airflow and how much space there will be around where the unit will be placed. Do you need floor-level ventilation or rooftop ventilation?

Household Items

Another reason why you might need ventilation is for materials that would be damaged by the extra heat and moisture that can accumulate without proper airflow. If you’re storing any type of household item, you should consider ventilation for your container. Whether you’re preparing for a house remodel, a move, or a donation drive, you want to make sure no extra moisture gets into the container. Moisture and excess heat can ruin furniture, clothes, and paper goods. Ventilation will also reduce any odors that can build up over time from these belongings. It’s important to have constant fresh air flowing in and out of the container, and a ventilation system will help keep that air fresh.

Heavy Machinery and Vehicles

Most machinery and vehicles are built to hold up to a lot of wear and tear, but if they’re not stored properly, they will start to deteriorate. If you want to keep your machinery in top performing condition, you need to keep it in relatively mild temperatures with good air circulation. Having a ventilation system installed in the shipping container is the best way to make sure this equipment is safe from extremes.

If moisture is able to get into your shipping container and there’s no proper ventilation, this could lead to damages beyond repair to your machinery or automobiles. Problems like rust and mold love these conditions, leaving you with far more in expenses than it would have cost to outfit your container with a ventilation system.

Dry Goods

If you’re storing any type of dry goods, it’s crucial to have good ventilation in your shipping container. If there’s no airflow or ventilation, these goods will quickly be ruined by gathering condensation, which can cause rot that makes them nothing more than garbage. Not having the proper ventilation for these types of goods could lead to money lost. By ensuring that you have the proper ventilation, you’re keeping your goods safe and preserved in a dry and cool container. Keep in mind that some facilities don’t want any foodstuff stored in their containers, so check the guidelines before storing such items.

Chemicals/Pressurized Gases

Certain chemicals must have proper ventilation for storage. Some are okay in a regular storage unit, but many need a ventilated container. You will also need to check whether or not you’re allowed to store your chemicals in a shipping container, as there are some that cannot legally be stored in an enclosed space.

Pressurized gases also need to be properly stored in a ventilated storage container, and there are similar restrictions that go into storing pressurized gases of any kind. To comply with the law, these gases need to be stored in containers that are well ventilated and ones that maintain a safe temperature. Check the laws and your storage container to ensure that it complies with all the regulations for chemical and gas storage.

While there are many other reasons why you may need a ventilated storage container, these are just a few of the most common situations. If you’re putting your belongings into storage, make sure they’ll be as protected as possible and come out in the same great condition. Choose the right shipping container and ventilation system for your situation for the best outcome. For more information on shipping container storage safety, check out Porta-Stor’s blog here!

Should You Rent or Buy a Shipping Container?

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Should You Rent or Buy a Shipping Container?

rent or buy

If you’re looking for some extra storage space and need it fast, then you should look into using a shipping container. These make a great convenient storage solution. They can be brought to you, left to sit nearby, and taken away to another location or a long-term storage facility. Also, there are many sizes to choose from. One question that may come to mind when you’re looking into one of these containers is whether you want to spend the money to buy one outright or if you’d benefit more from renting or leasing one out. There are pros and cons when you rent or buy a shipping container, and it really depends on your situation. How long will you need the storage space? Where are you going to keep it? How often will you need a container? Let’s take a look at both options to try and help you make the right decision for both your storage space needs and your finances.

Renting a Shipping Container

In most cases, if you need extra storage space for your home or business, it’s a temporary problem. If this is the case for your situation, then your best option would probably be to rent the storage container for the length of time you’ll need it. If any of the following apply to you and your needs, then you should consider renting your container:

  • Storage need is not permanent.
  • No idea how long you will need the container.
  • Do not want to spend a few thousand dollars to own a container.
  • Do not want the responsibility of a steel container sitting on your property.
  • Want someone else responsible for delivery and removal of the container.

If your timeframe for needing the storage container is more than 12 months, then you should ask if your rental company offers an extended lease option. Some companies will offer a discounted rate if the renter opts in to a longer period of rental time.

Buying a Shipping Container

If your plans for a shipping container extend for more than two years, you may want to consider buying one. When you look at the cost of rental around the two-year mark, you’re likely to save money by buying and owning the container rather than continuing to rent by month.

If you start looking at the options to rent or buy a shipping container, then there are a couple of things you will want to consider before you make the purchase. First, look at the monthly rates of the supplier. Factor in the condition of the container, the size, how it will be shipped to your property, and any other modifications you may require. You’ll also want to think about its overall value, based on the factors mentioned above. The better shape the container is in, the more expensive it’s likely to be and the longer it will take you to break even on the cost of renting vs. buying.

If any of the factors mentioned below apply to you, then you will likely want to consider buying your shipping container outright, as it will end up being better for you in the end:

  • Need the container for more than 24 months.
  • Have a long-term or repeating storage requirement.
  • Willing to handle the sale and moving of the container yourself.
  • Want to refurbish a container for your specific needs.
  • Willing to sell or recycle the container in the future.
  • Plan on using the container permanently at a business or home location.

[bctt tweet=”Whether you plan to rent or buy a shipping container, there are many factors you’ll want to consider, but the biggest one is almost always the budget.”]

Whether you plan to rent or buy a shipping container, there are many factors you’ll want to consider, but the biggest one is almost always the budget. Be aware of all costs connected to monthly rental, long-term lease, and purchase. There are many options out there to choose from when it comes to acquiring a shipping container, and there’s sure to be an ideal solution out there for your storage needs. If you have more questions when it comes to portable storage rental, check out Porta-Stor’s blog on that topic here!

Styles of Shipping Container Design

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Styles of Shipping Container Design

shipping container design

When you purchase goods these days, they usually need to be shipped from a faraway location. Because of the modern globalization of trade, the international shipping industry is an integral part of getting what we need, when we need it. The shipping containers themselves are also important imports and exports, as it’s their job to get the good from point A to point B safely and securely. Although you might have a specific design in mind when you think of a shipping container, there are actually several different types of shipping containers that can be found on cargo ships and trucks, based on the type of product they’re moving. Below, Porta-Stor will take a look at the major types of shipping container design and how they tend to be used.

Dry Storage Container

This type of storage container is usually available in three different lengths – 10, 20, or 40 feet. They’re used mostly in the general transport of goods and are the most common type of shipping containers. These can easily be used on cargo ships, trains, and semi trucks.

Tunnel Containers

These are similar to the dry goods containers in what they store and transport. The difference is that both ends of the container can open. The major benefit of this system is that the container can be loaded and unloaded from either side, making it more efficient, adaptable, and accessible.

Flat Rack Containers

These containers have sides that are able to fold down. This flattens the container and allows it to transport a variety of oddly shaped goods. They’re mostly used to transport heavy and/or oversized loads. They often transport heavy machinery, building supplies, and construction equipment.

Open Top Containers

Containers like these have the ability to open from the top. The tops are completely removable and convertible, making the goods accessible from above. They’re mostly used for over-height cargo.

Refrigerated ISO Containers

Refrigerated ISO containers regulate the temperature inside. These are usually used for the preservation of temperature-sensitive foods like produce or seafood. You should be aware that if you use this type of container and experience some food spoilage, the container company often only covers the problem if there was a mechanical failure for a long period of time.

Insulated Containers

Much like the refrigerated containers, these have a regulated internal temperature that you can control for the transport of temperature-sensitive goods. The insulated or thermal container is typically used for longer distance transport. The insulation makes temperature regulation easier but adds some weight.


The tank container is used to transport liquid materials. A large portion of the shipping industry uses these containers. The tanks are usually made from a strong anti-corrosive material such as steel. This makes them last for a long period of time and helps them withstand the various liquids that are transported. It also reduces the chance for rust or other contaminants to get into the liquid.

There are many other types of containers that can be used for the transportation of goods. The ones listed above are the types you’ll most commonly see, as they can transport just about anything. Based on your shipping requirements, there are many options available for you to use when it comes to selecting the right shipping container for the job.

Do you have questions about renting a portable storage container? Check out Porta-Stor’s blog here!