Building with Refrigerated Shipping Containers

Building with Refrigerated Shipping Containers

Refrigerated shipping containers offer people a chance to create something wonderful from something that is no longer used for its original purpose. Repurposing a refrigerated container for your project is cost effective and there is so much opportunity for creativity. Some of the ways you can use a shipping container include:

art studio built from a shipping container

Create An Art Studio

Refrigerated shipping containers are designed to protect its contents from temperature changes. Even if you decide not to use the refrigeration unit, the insulated walls will be perfect for protecting artwork from temperature fluctuations. Create a private studio for yourself to enjoy or have the container set up so that you can display and sell artwork. The fact that the gallery is located in a container is sure to attract many people out of curiosity alone!

Start A Specialty Garden

The insulated walls in a refrigerated container are perfect for managing specialty gardens. If you need to have complete temperature control to grow your plants, you will love how well containers work for this purpose. You can set up shelving, watering systems, and grow lights in the containers with ease. This is great for specialty flowers and plants that require extensive care to grow.  Finding interesting ways of arranging your garden will come with ease if using hooks or stands to add interest.  You can make a private oasis!

portable flower shop from a shipping container

Design A Pop-Up Flower Shop

Refrigerated containers are perfect for storing flowers. You can get a little creative with the container.  Add wheels to it so it is mobile and easily create a pop-up flower shop!  You can travel to different locations and events and spread the joy that only beautiful flowers can bring.  Maybe this can be your fun second job?

Create A Cold Spa For Beauty Routines

You have heard of Hot Yoga or thermal spas, why not create a cold spa? Cold has been shown to improve fat burning and many people find being cold for a period of time refreshing and rejuvenating. You can create a beautiful spa area where you can provide various services all while being perfectly chilled.

Take Your Office With You

Travelling hair salons is becoming a viable profession.  Many people like the convenience of not going to town for a haircut.  Others can’t drive for a beauty appointment.  With a mobile salon, you can take the beauty to your customers.  Of course, you’ll want a smaller shipping container for this purpose!

portable hair salon from a shipping container

There are many things that you can do with a refrigerated shipping container. These items are great for food storage, restaurant storage and are perfect for emergency situations and in disaster areas.

Containers are available in 10, 20, and 40-foot sizes.  One of these sizes can easily accommodate any project that you have in mind. Containers are sturdy, insulated, and able to be mounted to wheels if necessary. The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can create from a shipping container.

Preparing for a Natural Disaster

Preparing for a Natural Disaster

Power outage occurs.  Are you prepared?  As northerners count down the days until the winter storm season ends, southern and coastal communities are bracing for hurricane season.  The season begins on June 1. Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project is calling for 13 named storms this year.  Five are likely to become hurricanes.  Two may strengthen into major storms (Category 3 or higher).

Reliable cold storage is imperative for families, medical centers, restaurants, and grocery stores during and after a storm.  It could be a matter of life and death. That is why it is crucial to prepare your home and business for a power outage.  We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you preserve perishable items during and after a storm.

using a candle in a power outage

Preserving Personal and Retail Products During a Power Outage

With some simple preventative measures in place, you can easily safeguard your family’s food and your business’ inventory:

  • Place appliance thermometers in all of your freezers and refrigerators so that you can ensure your perishables are at a safe temperature for consumption during a power outage. 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less in a refrigerator and 0 degrees Fahrenheit or less in a freezer is considered safe.
  • Before the storm hits, fill plastic storage bags or small containers with water and freeze them. If the power goes out, use them to fit around food in the refrigerator and freezer to keep food cold.
  • Freeze leftovers, milk and meat that you do not need immediately to keep them at a safe temperature longer.
  • Figure out where you may be able to purchase dry or block ice to put in coolers with your perishables in case the power is out for more than four hours.
  • Limit the number of times you open the refrigerator and freezer. A refrigerator will stay cold for roughly four hours and a full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours with minimal opening.
  • Fill your washing machine with ice and place perishable items inside to keep them colder longer. Once the ice has melted, the water will drain just like it would if you had run a load of laundry.
  • Purchase a generator or to keep necessities like AC/heat, cell phone chargers and refrigerators running or alternate cold storage to preserve perishables.
  • Many vaccines will retain their properties despite slight changes in temperature, however, more sensitive vaccines like MMR or Varivax may be compromised, so it is important to monitor the temperature of the cold storage they are in.
  • The CDC recommends that vaccine providers establish agreements with other facilities, such as hospitals, to serve as emergency storage facilities during power outages.

Transformer on power lines

Recovering from a Power Outage

Once the storm has passed and power has returned, it’s important to evaluate all perishable items and throw away anything that may have been compromised:

  • Check the thermometers you placed inside your refrigerator and freezer and throw out any items that have been above the minimum temperature for two hours or more.
  • Throw out any items that have an unusual odor, color or texture.
  • Do not taste test a food to determine if it is safe. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • If your home or business flooded, do not eat anything that may have come into contact with the water.

Other Cold Storage Solutions

Refrigerated containers are the ultimate solution to preserving food and pharmaceuticals during and after natural disasters. These containers provide customers with a consistent temperature-controlled space that runs on a generator, so you can keep temperatures low even when power is lost.

It’s never too early to start preparing for the next storm season and putting measures in place to ensure that your personal and business inventory will be protected during a power outage.

Spring Cleaning Portable Storage Containers

Spring Cleaning Portable Storage Containers

Pollen is in the air!  It’s time to share some cold storage maintenance tips.  Yesterday we received several postcards from HVAC service companies selling their air conditioner seasonal tune-up services.  In order for an HVAC system to work efficiently, the unit requires a little attention.  Your cold storage container needs attention also.

Cold Storage Maintenance Tips

Similar to your home air conditioner, it’s time to tune-up your cold storage unit.  A simple review of your cold storage system will guarantee your unit is operating as efficiently as possible and, ultimately, maintaining the quality of your product.  As we change seasons, pollen and dust are the biggest culprits that negatively impact the operation of our machinery.

As the April showers bring May flowers, consider the following Spring maintenance:

Clean your condenser fans and coils

Debris (i.e. dirt, pollen, leaves, etc.) accumulates on the fan and in between the condenser coil fins of your cooling equipment.  Prolonged buildup of dirt will force the unit to work harder and longer.  This will ultimately hinder the machine’s performance.  Turn your unit off and give the coils a simple rinse with a garden hose.

cleaning condenser coils on storage trailersCheck your evaporator coils

On our machines the evaporator coils are not exposed to the outside elements. However, they can still build up with dirt and excess ice.  For maximum cooling, you must make sure the evaporator coils are clean and free of ice and dirt that impede the airflow.  Moreover, excess ice on the evaporator coils may also impact the micro’s sensors.  The best way to clean the coils is to empty the cargo and run the unit at 70 degrees.  When any/all ice has melted, just rinse the coils clean.

Visually examine the portable storage container – inside and out

When we do a visual “360” of the unit, we are looking for the following, but not limited to:

  • Worn or cut gaskets;
  • Fully operational and properly seated doors;
  • Holes on the interior or exterior;
  • Height and location of the cargo inside the unit;
  • Position of the Fresh Air Vent on the outside/back panel of the unit;
  • Vinyl curtains installed and fitted properly;
  • Clean drains of dirt/debris.

Choose the correct lighting

Do you still have incandescent lighting inside your portable storage container?  You might consider changing to LEDs.  Aside from energy savings from using lower wattage lighting, consider the amount of heat produced when the 3 x 100 watt bulbs are left on.  An incandescent bulb is an extremely inefficient light source. According to the Wikipedia online encyclopedia, a 100-watt bulb is 2.1% efficient. In other words, it produces about 2 watts of light and 98 watts of heat.

Interior LED lights for storage containersIt doesn’t require a special technician to maintain your portable storage container.  Instead, following these basic tips will guarantee you are operating the cold storage unit efficiently.

Cold Storage Redundancy Is Your Insurance Policy

Cold Storage Redundancy Is Your Insurance Policy

Whether you are operating a hospital, manufacturing pharmaceuticals, distributing food, or managing food service, one of your priorities is safe cold storage of your product.  We ask our customers two questions:

  • What do you plan to do if your walk-in cooler or freezer crashes?
  • Are you prepared for the warmer weather?

Without any redundancy, you wait for the repair technician to arrive.  Unfortunately, as you wait for the technician to arrive, temperatures begin to rise.  You begin to experience costly product loss.  Suppose that product was for a hospital or grocery store?  Imagine the possible bacteria or contamination that occurs while you wait for the technician.  Worse still:  imagine the liabilities of distributing affected product[s].

Time to consider your backup cold storage redundancy!

Having a backup cold storage unit on site offers you the insurance policy necessary to safely continue conducting your business.  The backup unit can immediately preserve your product.  Moreover, the backup unit creates peace of mind for both you and your customers.  Is there anything more valuable than:

  • Customer satisfaction;
  • Lowering your costs; and/or
  • Reducing waste?

In an ideal scenario, businesses can simultaneously operate a primary and backup walk-in cooler.  Of course, this requires considerable capital investment.  You will also need building certificates/approvals.  Additionally, you may need to purchase real estate and/or production space to accommodate the structures.

A more commercially viable alternative to consider is portable cold storage.  Portable cold storage offers businesses all the benefits of refrigeration/freezer redundancy.  Additionally, portable cold storage does not require any major capital investment or building certificates.  Adding a portable cold storage container does not typically impact a business’s production space.  They can be domiciled outside in a parking lot. Portables360 offers refrigerated or freezer containers that come in two standard sizes (20′ x 8′ x 8’6″ or 40′ x 8′ 9’6).  Similar to a walk-in, these units are fully-programmable.  They have the capability of maintaining temperatures ranging from -20°F to +70°F (-28C – 21C).  Since the units are portable, they can be used for either short-term or long-term refrigeration/freezer solutions.  Moreover, they are electric.  Plus they can be positioned inside a building, at a loading dock, or grounded in a parking lot.  These units operate similar to your walk-in coolers.

For more information, contact Portables360 at (844) 767-8360 or email us at info@portables360.com

mobile storage container