The notion of turning single-unit containers or several conjoined units into useful buildings has been around for a while and will only gain more steam, as more people get drawn into the recycling and upcycling movement. As a result, several new trends in container repurposing will emerge while others that are older become more entrenched.

Container upcycling forecast for 2019

Here are some trends you’re likely to encounter in the coming year in the shipping-container-repurposing space; they could give you the inspiration to start your own container upcycling project.

1. More “cool” for the box.

While reusing/upcycling stuff that would have otherwise gone to waste is generally considered cool by most people’s standards, it’s only until recently that building with shipping containers joined the cool club. Over the past couple of years, containers have continued to pique the interest of many people looking to create spaces that set themselves apart from the “traditional”. The coolness of shipping container conversions will in 2019 continue to increase as it has been in the past decade or so worldwide.

2. More bang for your buck.

As global trade continues to thrive (in spite of the current trade embargos), containerisation will continue to dominate the shipping industry. This will see more shipping containers available at more locations all over the world which will not only increase the quality of the containers available for conversion but will reduce the cost of purchase as well.

Improvements in container conversion technologies will also bring down the cost of converting cargo containers ensuring you get the best value for your money.

3. Tiny spaces taking over.

Tiny-home-living is a phenomenon that has been with us for a while now. This trend will naturally mate with the container repurposing wave as containers are available in compact sizes of 20ft and 10ft. The 10 -12 ft size will be especially popular with people who would like to tow their living/working space on a trailer instead of having to rely on a flatbed for transportation.

4. More “out of the box” designs.

As more architects set aside dedicated resources for cargotecture and more dedicated fabricators come on board, you can expect to see more out of the box designs in the coming year. In 2019, shipping-container-conversion designs will be bigger and bolder and will continue to differentiate themselves to what we have been traditionally accustomed to.

5. Increased mainstream acceptance.

Although shipping container upcycling is already quite popular globally, it’s still generally catering to a niche market. This has made acquiring construction permits for this kind of buildings a bit challenging, more so in residential zones. In 2019, similar to the previous year, shipping container conversions will continue to enjoy more mainstream acceptance as more people discover the benefits of this new construction solution. More local authorities will also be updating their building codes to reflect the times making it easier for people to acquire permits for residential container construction.

Despite cargotecture still being largely a developing phenomenon, it has been picking up steam globally and with time the trend will soon become a tradition. The shipping container will continue to make waves in 2019 and well into the future.

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