Why So Many Businesses Love Their Container Offices

DECEMBER 16, 2023

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Shipping container offices or ground level office containers are often associated with the modular construction industry and modular building suppliers. Even we, at Mobile Modular Portable Storage, have an inventory of shipping container offices that our customers love.

Now technically they’re not a modular unit, or you wouldn’t refer to them as “modular shipping containers,” at least. Regardless, they match the sentiment, the convenience, and the portability offered by many modular building designs, and we thought we’d talk about why they’re so beloved across the U.S. and much of the globe.

What’s the Difference Between a Modular Office and Shipping Container Offices?

The difference between your standard, modular office trailer and your, “on the ground,” shipping container office has to do with the structure itself and the foundation.

Most portable or modular offices are built onto a foundation that keeps your office above ground level. Oftentimes you’ll see small steps or ramps leading to their doors and entryways. In contrast, a shipping container office can be set right at ground level as long as the foundation is properly compacted and leveled.

Additionally, a modular office is completely assembled in a warehouse or offsite factory and built out into modules with floors, walls, and roofs built from the foundation up.

A shipping container office has often lived its life, even if only for a short while as a standard shipping container. Only later will it be retrofitted with amenities such as windows, framed walls and insulation, desks, and even bathrooms.

The Big Benefits of Container Offices

  • Affordable purchase and lease options
  • Portability
  • Customizable floor plans
  • Multi-use office and storage space

Affordable Purchase and Lease Options

Depending on your budget and general handiness, there are a couple of options for purchasing a container office. These mobile structures can be leased, and optimized for your specific needs if you don’t have the funds to purchase one outright or you simply don’t need one for the foreseeable future. Or, if you know your company is going to regularly need them for many years or decades, you can purchase them and tote them around from job site to job site.

*Always check with your office supplier for leasing lengths and pricing as these will vary depending on the number of containers, distance to be transported, and available inventory options.

Option #1: The Easy Way (Recommended)

Buy or lease a pre-assembled shipping container office from an office container supplier. Companies that sell and lease containers will have a large selection of containers available to you, most likely at the best price for the high-quality condition that they will be in.

Additionally, a company, like ourselves, is used to customizing office modules for many of our clients. Some companies should be able to help you with floor plans, adding bathrooms, and any other materials you’d like your container to be assembled with.

Many companies will also help you with the logistics of delivery and pickup when you’re done using your shipping container.

Option #2: The Office Container Kit (Intermediate)

If you’re a generalist when it comes to constructing and carpentry and you have a decent set of tools around, then there are container office kits that you can use to assemble and build your own office.

You’ll need to purchase your own container and any additional supplies outside the kit that you want your container to have.

Option #3: “Bob the Builder” Level Skillset (Pro Status)

This way requires you to do the full purchase of each custom part of the container as well as design and install all the parts yourselves. This will allow you to potentially purchase “As-Is” or Wind and Watertight condition containers for less money but will require you to have a high level of expertise in proper wall and building assembly, the time to build the container and a way of transporting your container once it is completed.

Sourcing an Office Shipping Container

If you look around the web, you’ll find plenty of outlets for shipping containers for sale and lease. While you’re sure to find them from crowd-favorite sites like Craigslist or Ebay – from a random person on the internet – we recommend sourcing your shipping container offices from commercial providers for one major reason:

Modular building suppliers and shipping container distributors are professional businesses with reputations on the line, and they owe you answers to questions and concerns. It is in the interest of your commercial container supplier to resolve any issues with the quality or condition of the shipping container office you receive, the delivery process, and the pickup of the container.

Who is Purchasing These Container Offices?

Container offices, as mentioned above, are designed for businesses in industries that frequently need to change the location of their office space. Traditionally they’ve been associated with:

  • Construction Companies – private builders, general contractors, government roadwork and facility construction companies, school construction
  • Trade Companies – electricians, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, plumbers, drywall, etc.
  • Farmers and Agriculture Researchers
  • Commercial and Retail Office Spaces
  • Healthcare Offices and Hospitals
  • Emergency Response and Disaster Response Teams

Common Specs and Dimensions of On-Ground Office Containers

The standard dimensions of office shipping containers are 20-foot and 40-foot sizes. We also offer specialty sizes such as 10-foot and 14-foot containers. Their dimensions are typically as follows:

10 Foot Shipping Container Offices


  • 8 Feet Wide
  • 10 Feet Long
  • 8.6 Feet Tall Height (Standard shipping containers)
  • 9.5 Feet Tall Height (High cube shipping containers)

14 Foot Shipping Containers Offices


  • 8 Feet Wide
  • 14 Feet Long
  • 8.6 Feet Tall Height (Standard shipping containers)
  • 9.6 Feet Tall Height (High cube shipping containers) 

20 Foot Shipping Container Offices



  • 8 Feet Wide
  • 20 Feet Long
  • 8.6 Feet Tall Height (Standard shipping containers)
  • 9.6 Feet Tall Height (High cube shipping containers)

40 Foot Shipping Container Offices




  • 8 Feet Wide
  • 40 Feet Long
  • 8.6 Feet Tall Height (Standard shipping containers)
  • 9.6 Feet Tall Height (High cube shipping containers)

Standard Office Container Specs and Materials:

  • Painted Steel Exteriors
  • Windows
  • Air Conditioning and Climate Control (Thru Wall HVAC Unit)
  • Durable Flooring
  • Windows
  • Paneled and Insulated Walls
  • Standard Side Door Entrance
  • Easy Access Double Door for Storage Entrance
  • Secure, Lockable Access Points
  • Fluorescent Lighting

Customizable Floor Plans

A major perk of these spaces is that despite their simplicity, the spaces themselves are highly versatile. This means that you can choose to have your office container for only one single office space or lay it out for multiple workspaces. Walls can be installed or removed to give privacy and segment your spaces. This includes the installation of bathrooms as well.

The Container Office and Combo Unit

A shipping container office isn't just limited to serving as a workspace. With our adaptable floor plans, you can design an office area for desk tasks and also allocate a substantial portion for storage. This space is ideal for safeguarding tools, construction equipment, and essential work materials. The dual-door storage section is perfect for securely storing items like metal pipes, drills, saws, fittings, and other equipment you'd rather not transport frequently.

Moreover, the storage space enables your company to stock up on materials, shielding them from adverse weather conditions. This not only ensures their longevity but also provides an opportunity to purchase in bulk and benefit from discount rates. If you're looking for an upgrade, consider our combo unit that seamlessly integrates office and storage functionalities.

Mobile Office Space is Invaluable

The mobility of these office containers is invaluable. If you are completing a section of a large construction project, simply move your container to the next part of the campus where you’ll be doing work. This works for companies that will regularly be changing job sites throughout the year.

It’s also what allows them to function in the temporary building space. The fact that a company can drop this off to you and pick it back up once you’re done, makes leasing these possible for any type of company. You don’t have to be in the construction or trades to benefit. We see plenty of people in the medical and retail spaces taking advantage of external offices for organization purposes, social distancing, and to expand their back storage rooms and inventory areas.

Mobile Modular Portable Storage Has Your Office Shipping Containers

If you’re ready to make the leap to using container offices, give us a call or click the button below that says “Request a Quote”. One of our experts would be happy to answer any questions you might have and find you the right shipping container space for your next workspace.

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