The Small Business Times

8 Shipping Container Business Ideas To Try This Year

A shipping container provides ample storage for businesses that need to transport products miles away. Apart from that, shipping containers can be repurposed.

Yes, businesses are now using shipping containers as their physical store—among other things. It helps them save money and lets their business be unique. 

Turning a shipping container into a business helps you be smarter with money. It prevents you from renting an expensive space.

Hence, you can use the extra cash to invest in other aspects, like new business equipment or in hiring more talent. 

You can check here for a list of large shipping containers you can use for business. If you don’t have one yet, listed below are some shipping container business ideas to try this 2023:

1.) Mobile Restaurant

A restaurant has high operating costs. You must pay the chef and spend on the necessary supplies, equipment, and ingredients. 

On top of that, you also have to worry about renting a commercial space. A great alternative, however, is to run a mobile restaurant using a shipping container. With that, you can save on rental fees and enjoy a portable food business.

You can also offer al fresco dining. All you have to do is set up some dining space in front of your shipping container and add shade.

It can allow your guests to have a new experience. Since your restaurant can be moved around, you can join food fairs and expos or even test out new areas from time to time to attract more customers.

2.) Coffee Shop

There are already plenty of coffee shops on every corner of the street. To make yours unique, setting it up in a shipping container would be a great idea.

A shipping container coffee shop gives your customers a new unique coffee experience. You can lease a commercial coffee machine to brew good coffee and serve them from your mobile container.

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If you have enough space, you can offer some seats for customers. You can also provide pastries or other food they can enjoy, like pasta or bread.

A mobile coffee shop is a great business idea, especially if you can set it up in a commercial area where people need to grab a cup of coffee on their way to work.

3.) Office Space 

Renting office space is expensive, especially for small businesses. A way to help startups have their office space is by renting a shipping container.

You can invest in shipping containers and repurpose them to be rented as office spaces.  You can even prepare some built-in desks and ergonomic chairs.

You can also build windows and doors to make the room feel more comfortable. Windows and doors should help add natural light inside the shipping container.

4.) Art Gallery

Renting a traditional art gallery is expensive. Aspiring artists might be unable to rent an art gallery to showcase their masterpieces.

To help them out, you can offer your shipping containers. A shipping container art gallery lets them display their work in a unique setup.

This might also work perfectly if their theme aligns with shipping containers. It’ll help bring their art to a different level.

5.) Dog Grooming Service

A dog grooming service would perfectly fit inside a shipping container. Dog grooming doesn’t demand a massive space; it only needs enough for the dog to stand and the groomer to move around.

A shipping container can accommodate one or two dogs at the same time. A dog grooming service will be excellent if your neighborhood does not have a similar business nearby.

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6.) Pop-Up Store

Most small businesses dream of having their physical store. However, it might not be the most practical choice, especially if they’re still new.

Renting a physical store can be expensive and unnecessary, especially when the brand is still relatively unknown.  

For a fee, you can gather small businesses around your area and let them display products in a repurposed shipping container.

Alternatively, you can run your very own pop-up store if you want to sell a product. You can display any products you want, like clothing or handmade crafts.

7.) Yoga Studio

You can use a shipping container to build a yoga studio and hold classes inside. It can give you the necessary privacy while also keeping everyone distraction-free.

8.) Gym

Running a gym business is also possible with a shipping container. However, expect to hold fewer clients as you might not have enough space to accommodate more.

In most cases, your shipping container gym might only house a maximum of five persons simultaneously.

You also must consider the gym equipment you need to install and how you can space them evenly inside the gym.

Since the gym can be intense, you should promote proper ventilation. You could prepare large windows and keep them open during the day.

Alternatively, you can join two or more containers to make your gym larger.


There are plenty of ways to use shipping containers in new businesses this 2023. It could be using it for your own or letting other businesses rent the space.

Either way, it can help you generate income. Just choose which venture you’d like to go with and start working your way up to success.