Sea cans, most commonly called a shipping container, is a metal rectangular box designed to transport goods by ship, truck or freight train. There’s often a surplus of these buildings in North America since they’ve been used to carry a shipment of goods from Asia and it’s not worth the cost of shipping them back empty for a return trip. Because of the great value they offer, recently people have been finding other uses for them as well, such as:
- Storage sheds
- Retail pop-up
- Container Homes
- Equipment Storage
- & More
These containers have revolutionized how the global economy works since their introduction in 1956. They’re ubiquitous and so effective that it’s hard to imagine a world without them.
What are some other Names for Sea Cans?
Sea Cans are also referred to as C Cans, but more commonly they’re called storage containers or shipping containers. They can also be referred to as freight containers, cargo containers and ISO boxes. The name ‘cargo container’ is technically inaccurate as a shipping container is designed to transport goods rather than people. In the United States, shipping containers are commonly referred to as “containers” or “shipping boxes.” Since most shipping companies charge based on – and quote their shipping prices on – a per container basis, the term “container” became very popular to use when referring to shipping containers.
How Big are They?
There are Four main sizes of standard sea can shipping containers – 12 foot (less common than the other three), 20 foot (or TEU); 40 foot (or FEU) and 45 foot (or HC). The standard 20 foot shipping container is 8 feet wide, 8½ feet high and has a length of 20′ 0″. It weighs about 1,400 lbs. empty and 5,300 lbs. when fully loaded with cargo. The 40 foot shipping container is 8¼ feet wide by 8¾ feet high by 40′ long (13,420 lbs. empty/31,180 lbs. when fully loaded) and the 45-foot shipping container is 8¾ feet wide by 9′ 6″ high by 45′ long (17,600 lbs. empty/32,700 lbs. full).
What are Sea Cans Used for?
Sea cans are used primarily in the transport of goods around the globe, shipping containers are found in every corner of our planet. They can be purchased from factories as new, used or retrofitted with new alterations. These days they’re becoming a replacement for steel buildings in some instances and are commonly used for as storage, portable homes, restaurants and retail shops.
What are Sea Cans Made Of?
It’s impossible to talk about sea cans without mentioning steel. Steel is the material of choice for shipping containers. It is used as a building material in the majority of buildings and is widely-used as an engineering material because it’s strong, durable and cheap to mass produce. The standard steel thickness for shipping containers varies between 16 gauge (¼ inch) on the bottom to 24 gauge (⅛ inch
Where did the Idea for Sea Can Homes Come From?
In the 1960s, architect Simon Rodilla who worked for Pablo S. Torre & Partners Inc. made a fiberglass house inspired by shipping containers on boats and ships. He used it as an experimental prototype in Baclaran, Paranaque City in 1968 called the Philippine Experimental House or PH-1 (the Philippines’ first pre-fab house) and the term “Sea Can” was born. Now people use shipping containers themselves to make the homes.
What do the Homes Cost?
Here’s a full breakdown of the costs of building a 40ft sea can home as inexpensively as possible. It will run through the basic steps you need to take, some of the tools or experience you may need and what the final price tag is.