If you’re in the shipping container modifications business and are looking for containers to transform into functional spaces, you’re in the right place. In this blog, find out about the current container modification market, get top customization tips, and learn how to buy containers at the best prices.

If you’re struggling to find shipping containers at budget-friendly prices for modification purposes, rest assured that you’re not alone. On top of this, there’s the concern of sourcing units safely and avoiding scams.  

At Container xChange, your container needs are covered. As a neutral online marketplace, we offer access to over 100,000 new and used units from 1,700+ vetted members.

Whether you’re looking for a specific size, type, or condition, our extensive network ensures you’ll find quality options in 2,500+ locations. What’s more, on our platform you can buy containers at wholesale prices in your region. 

Want to buy and then modify? Take our container trading marketplace for a test drive to find the units you need. Simply input the container type and condition, plus your location, then press search to browse and compare wholesale offers that fit your budget and requirements today.

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            What are shipping container modifications?

            Container modifications involve altering used shipping containers to suit a specific purpose. This usually includes structural changes such as removing walls, replacing flooring, or fitting custom doors and windows. Shipping containers are most commonly modified to be used as:

            • Storage containers
            • Shipping container homes
            • Container pools
            • Portable office spaces
            • Retail stores
            • Emergency shelters and command centers

            Before we deep dive into the different types of modified shipping containers, let’s take a look at the global shipping container modification market.

            The shipping container modification market: Overview and projections

            In 2022, the container modification market was valued at USD 85.3 billion. It’s predicted to grow to USD 147.6 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 7.1% expected between 2023 and 2030.  

            The building and construction segment is expected to capture the largest market share during this period. North America is predicted to dominate the market for the foreseeable future, and the 40ft standard container will be the most popular size for modification over the next few years. 

            So what are the factors driving growth in this market? 

            • Technological advances: Innovations in design, materials, fabrication techniques, and construction methods have made customizing shipping units easier and more cost-efficient than in the past. Improvements in the accuracy of construction machinery have also made more precise cutting, welding, and fitting possible, leading to higher-quality modifications. 
            • Increasing demand for modular structures: Rapid urbanization demands quick, cost-effective building solutions. Shipping units are convenient to transport via road or rail, as well as to set up. They’re also easily stackable, so they’re suitable for locations with limited space.
            • Rise in popularity of container architecture: Container architecture has become increasingly popular in recent years, coveted for its stylish and sustainable qualities. With container homes, offices, and pools appearing in decor magazines and TV shows around the globe, container architecture is a trend that’s here to stay.
            • Growing awareness of environmental sustainability: As environmental concerns continue to rise, container structures have proven to be a sustainable, low-cost solution in a variety of industries. Shipping container customization means reusing an already existing structure, reducing the need for new building materials and resources.

            Now let’s see which industries are modifying shipping containers.

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            Industries where container modification is popular

            • Energy and mining: In this sector, containers are popular due to their durability and portability. Generally, they’re used as storage units for construction materials, on-site offices, and temporary housing for workers in remote locations.
            • Construction: In the construction world, shipping containers are used the same way as in the energy and mining sectors. This includes use as on-site storage units for equipment and machinery, break rooms, offices, and shelters for workers.
            • Retail and commercial: In the retail and commercial sectors, shipping containers are often modified into mobile shops, pop-up cafes, marketing installations, and mobile showrooms.
            • Disaster relief: In emergencies and disaster relief, old shipping containers are used as shelters, mobile offices, medical facilities, and command and coordination centers.
            • Home and office construction: Shipping containers are repurposed into modular homes and office spaces in the construction sector. This offers a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to traditional building methods

            How to modify a shipping container

            If you’re new to the modification world and are looking for ideas, here are the main ways in which used containers can be modified or repurposed:

            Container homes

            Container homes are a versatile and cost-effective alternative to a ‘bricks and mortar’ home. Here, one or more containers are used to create stylish, secure, and comfortable modular living spaces.

            Modified container home

            Shipping container offices

            Shipping container offices are compact and convenient, especially if space is limited. These offices can be fitted with windows to add extra light, and due to their steel structures, also safeguard against theft. 

            Retail shops

            Containers of various sizes are perfect for repurposing as portable retail stores. They’re easy to move between locations and quick to modify, so retailers can get stores up and running in no time at all—and start making money!

            Storage containers

            Old shipping units are ideal for storage, whether for construction materials, machinery, inventory, or household goods. Shipping containers are designed to be completely wind and water-tight, so they’ll protect the content from harsh weather. 

            Shipping container pools

            Another interesting application of old containers is container pools. Container pools can be installed quickly and efficiently, acting as a cost-effective alternative to a traditional swimming pool. 

            Want to buy and then modify containers today? Or are you looking to expand your business to include container modification? Don’t wait any longer! You are one click closer to choosing the perfect container types and sizes for your specific modification needs—at great wholesale prices. 

            Our expert team is ready to guide you through the entire process of finding the right container at the right price. Click the banner below to get access to our extensive inventory today and find the best deals in your location.

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            What are the best container sizes to use for modification?

            You might be wondering which container types work best for modification. The answer is simple: standard shipping containers are the ideal type due to their simple, standardized design and structure. 

            20ft standard shipping containers have a length of 5.9m, a width of 2.35m, and a height of 2.39m. The cubic capacity is 33.2 m³. They can be used to make custom shipping container garages, barns and small houses.  

            40ft standard containers have a length of 12.03m, a width of 2.4m, and a height of 2.39m. Their cubic capacity is 67.7 m³.  They can be used to make larger homes, offices, and stores.

            40ft high cube containers have the same dimensions as their 40ft counterpart but with an extra foot of height. They’ve got a length of 12.03m, a width of 2.35m, a height of 2.7m, and a cubic capacity of 76.4 m³. Use this as a slightly taller alternative, for more height in your structures.

            What are the popular regions for shipping container customization in the US

            Here are some of the most popular locations for modification in the US:

            • Arizona
            • California
            • New York
            • Florida
            • Georgia
            • Dallas
            • New Jersey
            • Texas
            • Houston

            Now let’s find out why container modification is so popular in these areas. 


            California is a hotspot for container modification due to its focus on innovation and sustainability. A lively arts and culture scene means that used containers are a favorite for pop-up shops, installations, and cafes. On top of this, rising housing costs have added to the appeal of using containers as a cost-effective alternative.

            New York

            In New York, much like in California, property is becoming increasingly expensive, so using containers is a more budget-friendly option. What’s more, the state has recently relaxed its strict building regulations to accommodate container-based urban solutions such as retail spaces, food markets, and event venues. 


            Florida’s location along the coast leaves the state vulnerable to extreme weather events such as hurricanes and floods. Shipping containers are built to withstand extreme weather and are thus ideal for offices, storage facilities, beachside cafes, and housing in this region.


            Texas has become well-known for it’s relaxed regulations when it comes to building with shipping containers. However, it’s important to note that building a tiny home may not be possible in the city of Houston, as there a currently minimum dwelling size regulations that won’t allow for very small homes. Make sure you check out the regulations before planning a build in and around this city.


            Over the years, Dallas has recognized the potential of container architecture, and certain building codes have been adapted to accommodate container structures. In Dallas, shipping containers are used for affordable housing initiatives, homeless shelters and community centers, as well as office, home and retail spaces.

            Why use Container xChange to source containers for modification?

            If you’re tired of worrying about scams and being overcharged for containers, it’s time to finally put your fears to rest with the Container xChange platform. Here’s why:

            Reliable suppliers

            All of our 1,700+ members have gone through a mandatory background check, so you can rest assured they’re professional, reliable, and 100% vetted. 

            Negotiable prices

            On our platform, prices are negotiable, so you can settle on a figure that suits your budget. The best part? Reach out to sellers directly on the marketplace to discuss the final price, as well as the terms and conditions of the sale. It’s so easy and convenient! 

            7-day quality assurance period

            To further ease your worries, we give you a 7-day quality assurance period to check that you’re happy with the units you’ve purchased before the payment goes through. 

            Safe payment handling 

            On top of this, payments on xChange are 100% secure, and you can manage all of your transactions in one place. Plus, get help whenever you need it with our hands-on support team. 

            Buy units for shipping container modification at the best prices on xChange

            If containers are a regular requirement for your modification business, it can be an expensive affair to source them monthly. 

            Why not buy the containers of your choice in bulk instead? That way, you’ll save money with lower costs per container, crack better deals, maintain container quality, and reduce the cost of transporting them to your desired location.    

            Here are the simple steps to doing so on Container xChange: 

            Browse and compare offers all in one place: Once you know what container type and size you need, hop onto our trading platform to browse and compare multiple offers at the same time.

            Negotiate wholesale prices directly with the seller: Found the perfect offer? Reach out to the seller directly to agree on the price and finalize the deal. Cutting out the middleman also means faster turnaround times—at last! 

            Pay for your units safely, right on the platform: When everything is finalized, pay for your units using our secure payment platform. Plus, reach out to our support team quickly and easily if you have any questions or concerns.

            Buying shipping containers wholesale on xChange is the surest way to save money and protect your business from scams. Get started now by setting up a free demo with one of our experts. You’ll get a personalized tour of the trading platform, and a chance to find out exactly how xChange can help you with your shipping container modification business. 

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            Common FAQs: Shipping container modifications

            Can you modify a shipping container?

            Shipping containers can be modified and repurposed in a wide variety of ways, including for use as storage units, mobile offices, shipping container homes, swimming pools, and shops. Standard 20ft, 40ft, and 40ft HC units are the best options for container modification.

            What are examples of shipping container modification?

            Shipping containers can be modified in various ways, including for use as swimming pools, portable storage units, offices, homes, retail stores, and studios. Used standard 20ft, 40ft, and 40ft high cube units are the cheapest and most practical options for modification.

            Which industries modify shipping containers?

            Many industries modify used shipping containers, including the mining sector, construction companies, retail and commerce, disaster relief organizations, and home and office construction companies.