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Modifying Shipping Containers

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

One of the world’s ‘strongest boxes’, ticks all the right boxes. Shipping containers are ideal for modifying to almost a limitless number of alternative uses. In keeping with New Zealand’s ‘clean, green’ initiatives, these steel structures transformed into top quality, eco-friendly accommodation, storage, workspace, bach, etc. is well worth considering.

We at SEA Containers collaborate with our devoted team of specialists in combining our expertise by means of:

  • Expert knowledge of containers and extensive engineering experience
  • Experience and specialists in structural safety and modification of containers.
  • Rigorous examination to fortify the project as per required specifications.
  • Excellent customer service and top-notch craftsmanship.

Whether you need to convert a modified container into a DG storage unit, a kiosk/retail outlet, accommodation units, we have the know-how and facilities to cater to your every whim, well almost. The possibilities are endless.

We take pride in working alongside you and being involved every step of the way. Ensuring that your project is of a high standard, practical and environmentally friendly. Here are a few examples:

Mobile Workshop

Shipping containers are the perfect solution for those requiring a transportable workshop. They are particularly effective when you need to service clients in remote areas. You can transform the interior, retrofitting it so that is fully operational. Additional shelving, tool cabinets specially designed to keep tools secure and in place while moving from location to location.

It is a no brainer converting a shipping container into a mobile workshop; it is movable, it can endure harsh weather and is adaptable to your surroundings. It does not require the laborious task of setting up. Instead, it can be used immediately upon your arrival. Therefore, ideal for mobile entrepreneurs.

Dangerous/Hazardous Goods Storage Unit

Are you looking for solutions to control hazardous substances? Look no further. SEA Containers offers ultrasecure, DG container options to manage agrichemicals, hazardous and toxic substances. We will endeavour to design and construct a storage container that not only meets your needs but complies and upholds HSNO regulations.

A few specifications for converted DG storage units:

  • Bunded floors for containment of substances.
  • Ventilation both top and bottom, minimising toxic fumes.
  • Pre-fitted with internal shelving/cabinets for DG goods.
  • Side-opening door (optional).

Kiosks/Retail Outlets

The versatility, robust nature, as well as cost-effectiveness of a container makes it a sought after solution to the retail industry. Pop-up stores, cafes, kiosks have become a global trend. The potential of these steel boxes is far reaching; a typical example is the Pop-up Mall in Christchurch following the devastating earthquake. Below are a couple more reasons:

  • Cost – Shipping containers are less costly to set-up and construct.
  • Event Kiosks – they are transportable and ideal for sporting events, concerts, etc.

On-Site Offices

Shipping Containers are perfect for site offices. They are easily hauled to your construction site or workplace. They are robust, secure and durable to withstand the elements. It is worth considering these steel boxes;

  • It is inexpensive.
  • It is easily transportable
  • It is easy to set-up and construct

Do you need a container for a project? Contact our friendly team or fill out our quick quote form.








Kia Ora Magazine - August 2016 article

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Following on from the success of the company in being awarded a top-10 finish in Deloitte's Fast 50 awards, the BNZ has showcased SEA Containers NZ in a article destined for Kia Ora Magazine which is distributed on all Air New Zealand flights.  This last 12 months we have felt very honoured to have the support of both the likes of the BNZ and Deloitte's, and proves that we are the shakers and the movers of the Shipping Container industry


The Rise of Shipping Container Data Centres

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Can shipping container data centres become the answer to the the lowering of operational costs, and limited space in addition to being more energy efficient for many of the larger corporations?  The interest in containerised data centres was sparked by approval of high-profile exposure from Microsoft and Google.  You’re cordially invited to this viable option when designing a data centre.

shipping container data centres

Traditional data centres present a number of challenges in not being portable and not being easy to customise.  It might seem incredible that a shipping container can house racks and cabling in order to plug in to hundreds and sometimes thousands of servers. There are those who are of the opinion that containerised data centres are the best option, whilst others believe that is only suited to some organisations.

 What are the benefits of  shipping container data centres?

There are many benefits in using a modularised data centre. While considerable cost is involved in designing a traditional data centre in the event of a crisis, modularised designs can be designed for the most effective ecosystem, with the use of the exact amount of power, cooling and capacity required, due to conformity in its systems design. There are many other advantages too.

1.     A container module is portable and can be used many times as it is pre-wired and can be examined and set up more efficiently since all the tests, construction and design are done at the factory.

2.     These containerised data centres can be used when they require more space to expand existing data locations or can be shipped swiftly and set up in a faraway locations for use in

an emergency or where compute power is required but no local data centres are accessible.

3.     Power and material can be preserved as no boxes are required or any other packing material for individual servers. Servers are installed when delivered, and ready to operate.

4.     Installation is uncomplicated. All that needs to be done is to connect the power, the water(cooling) and the data.

5.     According Les Pelio, a real estate developer, customers are reluctant to pay exorbitant amounts of money for a facility to merely switch on two or three racks of servers, storage and networking gear. By opting for a shipping containter data centre module, customers only pay as per their requirements, and obtain immediate access to the new IT resources, he said.

 Are  shipping container data centres the best solution and what requirements do they fulfil?

If we look at Chicago, the decision to use containerisation was essentially based on the idea that it was the most effective way to utilise a large capacity for servers efficiently for the sake of reducing carbon wastes as well as for expanding ROI. The containerisation approach is not necessarily suitable for everybody as companies have different needs. They are ideal for a stand-alone data centre, or huge organisations transporting servers, as is the case with Military divisions entering foreign countries.

Patrick Yantz, senior director of modular data engineering, said; “We have to have a way to deliver more computing more efficiently and more easily.”

Should you be interested in purchasing a shipping container for your company, organisation or school, please contact our friendly team at SEA Containers. We deliver nationwide.

Interesting and Unknown Facts about Shipping Containers

Monday, January 11, 2016
Mankind has shipped goods across the oceans for many thousands of years. However, shipping remains an invisible industry to many of us. It is remarkable that our livelihood depends on it. About 90% of trade conducted globally is carried out by the international shipping industry.  It enables goods to be imported and exported at competitive and reasonable price rates.  Listed below are interesting but not widely known facts about shipping containers.

1. Shipping is the ‘greenest’ method of transportation, as mentioned in the Maersk stories; “a container on our Maersk Triple-E line” since it releases only 3g of Co2 per container versus an airplane which emits around 560g of Co2 per ton.

2. Shipping was re-invented by Malcolm Mclean in the early 1950’s. The construction of the shipping containers by use of metal was to replace the break-bulk method formerly used for transportation of the goods. He later founded the ‘Sea-Land Service’, which further augmented his business.

3. At present, there are over 17 million shipping containers globally, and five or six million are currently transported worldwide, on shipping vessels, trucks and trains. It is estimated that they make around 200 million trips a year in total.

4. New shipping containers are exported from China, it being the largest exporter of new shipping containers.

5. The lifespan of a container is over 20 years plus, on average, if it is well maintained.

6. The concept of Re-purposing or Re-deploying shipping containers as workspaces and homes is believed to conserve a lot of energy, which may otherwise have been expended on melting them for reuse as scrap.

7. Many cities, such as, London, Mumbai, to name a couple, use shipping containers as an easy and cost effective way of providing pre-fab housing. Re-purposed containers have also been effectively used in Berlin, for housing students, and, more recently for housing the asylum seekers. 

8. The process of containerisation has enabled, to bring down the cost of transportation (from Asia to Europe) of electronic goods such as a DVD player to just about 0.8%, and that of a typical TV set to about 1.4% of their final prices to the customer.

9. The biggest container ship in the world today is five times bigger than an Airbus A380. It can transport more than 16,000 containers on each journey.

10. Each container is allocated with its own unique unit number, which is referred to as a box number which can be used by the ships- captains, the crews, the cost guards, the dock supervisors, the customs officers and the warehouse- managers. The box number tells them about the owner of the container, and also about details of the client using the container for shipping their goods. It also helps them to keep a track of the whereabouts of the container during the course of its journey in the world.

If you have any queries, or if you happen to require any assistance when it comes to buying or hiring our shipping containers, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts will always be glad to assist you round the clock. 

The Benefits of a Shipping Container Home

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

According to a recent article, New Zealand property prices are set to increase yet again! Even though it has been said that the housing bubble in Auckland (for example) could burst, this still has not happened.  Sadly due to an influx of foreign investors purchasing properties over the last few years, many prospective first-time home buyers can no longer afford the exorbitant real estate prices on offer.

Many of these prospective buyers are now looking at alternative housing solutions which include purchasing shipping containers and converting them into homes.

Using shipping containers to build homes has become a global phenomenon in fact. Just Google “shipping container homes” – select “images”, and you’ll immediately be wowed by the breathtaking container homes which have been built globally.

In Amsterdam for example, the Keetwonen complex built solely out of containers, now houses 1000 students. Each unit within this amazing complex has separate sleeping and studying rooms, a kitchen, bathroom, balcony, and large windows.

A well designed shipping container home is bound to make heads turn, so let’s look at a few benefits which make this alternative housing option so appealing.

1. It’s Cost Effective

The affordability and cost effectiveness of a container home is definitely the number one factor that people take into consideration when exploring this option. Containers are reasonably cheap in comparison to the cost of building materials required to build a basic home.

2. Durable

The structural strength of containers enable them to withstand harsh conditions due to the fact that they are made out of Corten Steel. ( often referred to as weathering steel.) They are also able to withstand wind speeds of up to 281 km/h when anchored with pylons. Utilising these shipping containers as homes make them the perfect candidate to be used in many of the earthquake regions found in New Zealand.

 3. Modular

Yes you’ve read correctly, these shipping container units are modular and thus can be used in the same manner as Lego blocks! Containers can be added or taken away easily, allowing flexibility like never before.

 4. Short Construction Time

Once you have your design and all your building consents have been passed, the construction time is way shorter than building a home in the traditional manner.

 5. Environmentally Friendly

 If you decide on utilising second-hand containers instead of purchasing brand new ones, you’ll actually be making a valuable contribution to our environment.

Recycling the steel from a second-hand container in order to use it elsewhere requires a lot of energy.

 6. Personal Style Statement

Your container home is bound to raise eyebrows as you will not only be making a personal style statement, but you’ll also be perceived as an innovator when it comes to new home designs.


So if you’re considering buying or hiring new or used shipping containers, feel free to either fill out our online quotation form or call SEA Containers NZ at 0508 732266 and speak to one of our friendly team members.

From Tauranga to the Trenches - Mobile Exhibition part deuce

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The mobile exhibition continues its tour of The Bay of Plenty, with the next leg featuring A Marquette Angel which tells the story of Jeanne Sinclair who was aboard the Marquette when it was struck by a torpedo from a German submarine.

The exhibition is open to the public from October 20th until November 7th and will be initially sited at the Historic Village on 17th Avenue in Tauranga before moving on to other sites.

These containers are proving perfect examples of how SEA Containers can help maximise the impact of mobile exhibitions and retail outlets, and how they are very portable even with temporarily joining two containers together. 

Check out the article in the Bay of Plenty Times below


From Tauranga to the Trenches - Mobile Container Exhibition

Monday, September 07, 2015

SEA Containers NZ converted two 20' shipping containers into a secure mobile exhibition to help support the World War 1 Centenary Commemorations.  We were tasked to maximise the impact these would have when on show to the public, plus to ensure they had complete portability due to the schedule of events around the Bay of Plenty.

The exhibition has been received very well, both young and old, with its interactive technology and visual displays.'from-tauranga-to-the-trenches'-mobile-exhibition

You can view our other container modifications here


Bikes in Schools Program - Shipping Container Storage

Sunday, May 17, 2015

SEA Containers NZ was approached by the teachers at Tamaki Primary to help protect the new bikes they were acquiring as part of the Bikes in Schools program ( 

The team at SEA Containers had to consider a number of factors ensuring this container met a number of requirements

  1. Security was paramount - lockable roller doors and the shipping container doors were welded together to minimise entry into the container
  2. 100% wind and water tight shipping container was required to protect the bikes whilst stored
  3. The kids needed to be able to easily access the bikes, so roller doors provided the perfect solution
  4. To protect the bikes from damage whilst being stored, bike racks were installed inside the shipping container to prevent the bikes from falling over
  5. Shelving and hooks on the walls were installed to keep the inside of the container as clear as possible so the kids aren't tripping over hazards
  6. Container was to be painted to suit the school colours, so it blended in with the surroundings

SEA Containers NZ are proud to have supplied this shipping container to help the kids of Tamaki Primary enjoy their new bike track and to learn bike safety. 

Engineering workshop shipping container

Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Sea Containers NZ was tasked to design, build and commission an engineering workshop inside a 40’ shipping container to support a super yacht travelling the high seas. The container was designed to work off the grid, and included luxuries such as refrigeration; mammoth amounts of dry storage for sails, tools, ropes and various arrays of sailing equipment; twin-voltage to work in any country, and most importantly for the crew – a separate bar fridge, WIFI capable and air-conditioning.

One challenge was to design and engineer a gantry inside the container that was able to slide out 2.5 metres to collect the tender boat and store the tender whilst being shipped around the world. The gantry itself was engineered to lift 1 tonne of dead weight.

It is needless to say, the team in the SEA Containers workshop are proud of what was achieved. A lot of research and development went into this container, and the quality of the finish has only boosted our confidence in meeting the requirements of any client no matter the complexity of the design.   

The comments from the yachts chief engineer was particularly welcomed:

"From initial contact right through to design, construction (and change of orders!), and delivery of our container, SEA Containers NZ did an excellent job of supplying us with an amazing product, finished to an extremely high standard and most importantly on time and on budget! We are extremely happy with the service we received and the level of quality in their product, I would use them again for future projects without hesitation." - Daz Neale, Chief Engineer

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