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The history of the shipping container is an interesting one. While shipping containers pioneered early global trading, their inventors did not anticipate the wasted containers left after trade imbalances. For example, location X ships 100 containers to location Y, but location Y only trades goods back to location X in 80 of these. The leftovers pile up quickly.

Eventually, these abandoned shipping containers made their way into architecture and design. With a practical plan for reusing containers, engineers began imagining unique ways of creating buildings from these hollow, forgotten steel boxes. Today, containers are good for everything from a custom tiny home to a modern mega-mansion. Let’s look at the three major benefits you get when you build a custom shipping container home.


Shipping container homes are sustainable in many ways. First, you’re reusing something that would otherwise just be taking up space. Using a standard 40-foot container is the same as recycling approximately 3500kg of steel. Repurposing a container uses 1/20th of the energy it would take to melt it down and reshape the steel into something else.

Using a pre-existing steel structure also eliminates the need for other building materials such as wood framing which is not as environmentally friendly. Finishing the interior and exterior of a shipping container custom home can also be made sustainable if you choose to use recycled materials. Overall, construction for a shipping container home is quicker, uses fewer materials, and is sustainable for the environment.


These unassuming little rectangles pack a mean punch when it comes to standing up to the forces of nature. Designed to hold up in strong seas and high winds, shipping containers can handle the heat or snow of wherever you build your custom shipping container home. Joints and seams are sealed so pests have no way of entering. Even fire is no match for a shipping container. While it can still affect the interior or exterior of the home, the container itself will remain structurally sound, keeping you safer as you exit.

Containers were also designed to be structurally strong when stacked. Their standardized sizing makes them easy to stack and balance while maintaining safety and adding interesting architectural elements. 


At first glance, it may seem like there is very little you can do creatively with a bunch of steel rectangles. But no matter what type of custom shipping container home you want, it is sure to be unique with the help of an experienced engineer! That’s because there are infinite possibilities and combinations for shipping containers. From a single-container tiny house to a full-sized, multi-storied family home, you can pick and choose every aspect of your new abode.

A single standard container gives you about 100 square feet of interior space. However, combine eight or more of these into a two-story home and you can top 1400 square feet of living space. Engineers have even stacked hundreds of containers together to create modern apartment buildings. 

Despite both being made of shipping containers, two cargo container custom homes may look completely different. In fact, you may not even be able to tell that a house is built of shipping containers depending on the finishes chosen. From raw industrial to country chic, a shipping container home can be anything you want it to be.

If you want to build a shipping container house, cabin, tiny-home, or anything else you can imagine, call up the team at PSE Consulting Engineers. Our knowledgeable engineers and designers know how to create beautiful structures tailored to your needs that meet all local building and safety codes. We understand your needs and wants because we have years of experience helping new, hopeful homeowners realize their dream of building a custom shipping container house. Don’t delay. Call PSE Consulting Engineers today to get started.