Shipping Container Sheds - A Complete Overview

From the back garden to commercial worksites, sheds are indispensable. Shipping container sheds by SCF combine the strength and portability of a shipping container with the quality design of a purpose-built worksite or backyard shed. Container sheds are also fully-customisable and are available in a range of sizes and styles.

A container can quickly double as a shed

In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of why you should consider shipping containers to build a shed, the potential options when considering design, and the many practical applications of a shipping container shed. We’ll also look at some common styles for inspiration and how the SCF team can help with your dream shipping container shed.

What is a shipping container shed?

Shipping containers are a cornerstone of the Australian domestic transport industry. Strong, stackable, and easily transportable, they’ve changed the game for transporting cargo. They are also heavily relied on for the safe on-site storage of goods, providing protection from the wind, rain, and vermin. These qualities also make them perfect domestic and commercial structures, such as shed conversions.

At its most basic, a shipping container shed could simply be a shipping container in a backyard or worksite. With a professional conversion, like that provided by SCF, shipping containers can feature all the elements of a traditional shed, such as shelving, lighting, electrics, airflow, windows, and roller doors.

Add to this the benefit of the shipping container’s robust construction and a relatively quick turnaround, and you’ve got a candidate for the perfect shed.

Various configurations are possible in a container shed

How long does it take to convert a shipping container into a shed?

How long is a piece of string? For a basic shelving configuration, it could take a week. For more sophisticated setups, the actual build time for a shipping container shed is generally around 3-4 weeks. When calculating the timeframe needed to convert a shipping container into a shed, you’ll need to consider a few elements. Think about container size (we offer a range from 8ft to 40ft in length), the level of customisation (significant modifications or more bespoke requirements can be more time-consuming), and potential planning permissions required to install a shed where you live (which is something you will need to confirm with your local council).

Cutting a container in preparation for roller doors
Shelving inside a container shed
Container shed with roller door

For a more specific turnaround time on your shipping container shed conversion, it’s a good idea to get in touch with the SCF team.

What are the pros and cons of converting a container into a shed?

Pros to Converting

Cons to Converting

Strength and durability

Shipping containers are built to withstand the rugged road of the supply chain, meaning they need to be robust. Even with modifications like a roller door, an experienced team can ensure strength and integrity is not compromised. The material of a shipping container is designed to withstand the elements, making a container shed ideal for exposed sites.

Cost

As with any custom-designed product, you’ll always pay more than entry-level products. Pair this with the recent increase in shipping container costs, and the price compared to a traditional shed may not be as appealing. The final total will depend on the style, size, and fit-out of your shed. It’s always worth speaking with our modifications team to get a complete quote on your project.

Transportable

Containers can be easily moved. This means that, by design, containers are much more friendly to transport than traditional sheds. Many containers include forklift pockets, as well as being accessible to cranes. Moving house? Take your shed with you.

Limited Floorspace

Whilst a container shed is the ideal solution for those who require a square or rectangular footprint, they are not suitable for oversized needs, such as boat or car storage, or bigger hobby sheds where the owner intends to store goods and potter away on multiple work benches.

Custom design

As a custom commission, shipping container sheds have scope for nearly unlimited designs. From the 8ft garden shed to fully-equipped, 40ft workshops, container sheds are perfect for those looking for a unique and bespoke shed design.

Local laws and restrictions

Shipping containers, as with traditional sheds and other structures, can be subject to local council restrictions (including site plans and planning permits). It’s always best to consult with your local council to understand what you can and cannot do before committing to a container shed.

Best Uses for Shipping Container Sheds

Garden Sheds

Every house needs a garden shed. Whether it’s to store power tools and gardening equipment, or a space for a workbench, a shed makes domestic life easier. Often, garden sheds are only small, so sizes like our 8ft or 10ft containers are ideal. Plus, with the fashionable, upcycled design, your friends and neighbours are bound to take notice of your newly delivered container shed.

Garden shed by ride on mower

Work Sheds

Commercial spaces can benefit from the versatility and reliability of a shipping container shed too. Often a little larger to accommodate a trade team, commercial work sheds (like the SCF 20ft container workshop) can be perfect for growing businesses or those valuing options like easy transport. The addition of workbenches, windows, airflow, and electricity can turn a shipping container into a perfect shed for commercial work.

SCF workshed with PA doors, shelving and servery window

Mobile shed

If your business requires you to move around a lot, but you still need a shed, mobile conversions for shipping containers offer a great solution. Now that you’ve outlaid the money and invested in a high quality container, you can take it with you for extended periods, or if you need to relocate indefinitely. Mobile sheds mean the ability to take business wherever you go

A mobile shed being loaded onto a truck

Bike or car shed

Did we mention that shipping containers are robust? If you’re looking for an attractive and practical way to safely store your favourite mode of transport that can stand the test of time, a container conversion delivers. Smaller options like an 8ft or 10ft container are popular for push bike or motorcycle storage and maintenance. Want to store a car for the long-term? Consider a 20ft side door container. With access from the end door and side, you can easily get your car when you need it. Either way, a container shed for your vehicle is a great option at your residential home.

SCF container shed used to store bicycles

Types of Container Shed Designs

When it comes down to designing a shipping container shed, the possibilities are limitless. We’ve put together a few to inspire your next container shed design.

Subtle

Not every shed has to advertise itself to the world. Particularly if you plan on storing valuables like power tools, a low-profile exterior can be a great foil for a fully-appointed interior.

High End

Sometimes - particularly when you’ve put a lot of time and effort in - it’s nice to end up with a shed that looks beautiful from the outside. Finishes like timber cladding and professional glazing can really make a shed stand out from the crowd.

Garage

From traditional garages to open-walled carports, shipping container sheds can be designed to suit any car storage need.

Upcylce

Lean into the on-trend style of upcycling. With containers already being repurposed, combinations of reclaimed timbers, handicrafts, and renewable power work well.

How to choose the right size container shed?

The right size shipping container shed will depend on many factors, but consider the following as you begin the journey:

  • Budget - How much have you got to spend?
  • Location - This can include landscaping and space available
  • Purpose - What will you use the shed for?
  • Transport - Smaller sheds tend to be easier to move if you’re planning on doing so

Container sizes for shipping container sheds


The SCF range of shipping containers scales from tiny 8ft containers right up to 40ft long. While sheds can be any size, it’s worth understanding your space requirements early on in the conversion process.

8ft Shipping Container Sheds

Our 8ft container is the smallest in the range and would be ideal as a boutique garden shed or bike lock-up.

8ft container shed

10ft shipping container sheds

Our 10ft container is an easily-portable shed while allowing a little more space than the smallest of the range.

10ft shipping container shed

20ft shipping container sheds

Ideal for small commercial workshops and farm sheds, the 20ft container is an all-rounder for those needing a good amount of space.

20ft shipping container shed

20ft high cube container sheds

Ideal for small commercial workshops and farm sheds, the 20ft high cube container is an all-rounder for those needing a good amount of space.

20ft high cube shipping container shed

20ft side opening container sheds

These sheds provide the easiest access of our whole range. The 20ft Side Opening Container is perfect for long workbenches and easy access for larger teams.

20ft Side Opening Container Shed

40ft shipping container sheds

The longest of our range, consider the 40ft container for garages and full-sized commercial workshops where many staff will work.

What are the costs involved in building a container shed?

When considering a shipping container shed conversion, there will naturally be a few costs involved. The first is the cost of the container itself, which will depend on the size and delivery method. The next consideration is how it is fitted - account for elements such as doors, shelving, racking, cages, work benches, electricity and air-conditioning. 

For more detailed quotes and estimates, contact our team.

Tips to get started with converting your container into a shed

As with all building projects, getting things off the ground can be the most challenging step. The following will help set you on the right track:

  • Know your budget (and stick to it!)
  • Measure your space and understand which container size works for you
  • Plan your must-have shipping container modifications (or speak to our modifications team)

Other container uses

At SCF, we offer more than just shipping container sheds. Our expertise means we can provide containers for any conversion request. Some popular container conversions include:

Shipping Container Homes 

Shipping container homes are seriously stylish and in demand. Avoid the pitfalls of traditional home builds and take advantage of the endless customisation options for a beautiful and unique home.

A home made primarily from shipping containers

Shipping Container Pools 

Classically, pools have been costly to install and often require large-scale landscaping. By comparison, shipping container pools are relatively easy to install in most yards and represent an accessible option for many homes.

A shipping container converted into a swimming pool

Shipping Container Cafes

Like sheds and commercial workshops, shipping container cafes are versatile, trendy, and endlessly customisable. For drive-thru, festivals, or quirky permanent structures, shipping container cafes are an increasingly popular choice.

A cafe made out of multiple shipping containers

Our container modification team can assist you with building a new shed

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by choice or simply need an experienced sounding board, the SCF container modifications team can help. Whether it’s understanding the right size shed, sifting through the range of available container modifications, or figuring out delivery options, our team is happy to assist.

Reach out to SCF for all your container shed needs

Ready to start with a shipping container shed conversion of your own? Our container modifications team is ready to help. Simply get in contact, request a callback, or visit any of our locations

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