When it comes to practicality, open side shipping containers are the best. For those of you who want to learn, the reason why this particular shipping container is called “open side” is because of its unique modification that allows the wide side of the container to open up. This allows for a number of useful benefits, which we will get to that later, however, the most obvious advantage here is unloading and packing.

Open side shipping containers can be loaded from the side with forklifts easily, whereas, regular high cube shipping container variations need more manpower to place items deeper in the back of the 40′ length inventory space, whoof! Other than their unique modification, open side shipping containers are exactly the same as other high cube shipping containers. Open side shipping containers for sale are also known as side open shipping containers.


So now that you have a basic knowledge about open side shipping containers let’s delve into their specifications below:



Benefits of Open Side Shipping Containers

Open side shipping containers have multiple advantages. Some of the best ones are listed below:

  • Efficient & Easier Loading/Unloading Cycle
    • The open side access in these containers allows for much easier loading and unloading cycle. You can store a range of different items from the side of the container easily. Forklift users will especially harvest the benefits of this perk.
  • Allows for Unusual Sized Items to be Stored
    • You might have items that are unusually sized and it can be difficult to place them into your containers. Even if they are stored within the container, you might not have an efficiently utilized containment store to their size not allowing for smooth loading. Open side containers solve this issue with their wide loading/unloading space.
  • Accessibility is Superb
    • Regular shipping container units have doors at either one or both ends. This makes access to the middle of your shipping container rather difficult. This can be especially said for 40′ high cube shipping containers, where the extra length can be problematic with larger inventories. With open side shipping containers, you can get to your items in the middle of your container with ease without having to pull out a couple of the other items first.
  • Additional Functionality
    • Besides the accessibility from the side of the container, many utilization options come into the picture for the shipping container owners and your creativity becomes the sole limit. You can create passageways between your store to your shipping container, build a café, bar, or even a retail shop out of them. As we said, the possibilities are quite diverse when it comes to open side shipping containers.


Specifications of Open Side Shipping Containers

20′ Open Side Shipping Container

20’ External Measurements 

  • Length: 20′ (6.58m)
  • Width: 8′ (2.44m)
  • Height: 8′ 6” (2.62m)

20’ Internal Measurements

  • Length: 19′ (5.80m)
  • Width: 7′ 8” (2.34m)
  • Height: 7′ 10” (2.38m)


40′ Open Side Shipping Container

40’ External Measurements

  • Length: 40′ (12.19m)
  • Width: 8′ (2.44m)
  • Height: 8′ 6” (2.62m)

40’ Internal Measurements

  • Length: 39′ 3” (11.96m)
  • Width: 7′ 8” (2.34m)
  • Height: 7′ 10” (2.38m)


Creative Ideas for Open Side Shipping Containers

This is exactly what you came here for. Here’s our list of five creative and fun ideas you can utilize your open side shipping containers for!



Retail Shop

The first idea on our list is none other than retail shops! The usage of shipping containers as retail stores started to become a trendy option particularly in Europe, Far East Asia, and the US. The best part of using open side shipping containers as retail shops comes from their mobility. You can move them to any new location you want on demand.


Moving shipping container units constantly may not sound practical at first, however, trust us when we say this, their overall transportation cost is much lower than the rent and other expenses you will be paying for brick and mortar establishments.



Pop-Up Cafe

This is one of the most exciting options when it comes to open side shipping container ideas; pop-up cafes. Highly popular in the USA, England, Australia, and Japan, pop-up cafes are well-known for their creative exterior and devilishly unique food assortments presented to their customers.


Just like food trucks, pop-up cafes are an effective way for young professionals to put their skills on display while gaining good media exposure. They are an ideal choice for aspiring chefs and baristas who would like to experience kitchen facilities and establish a small business without requiring the large financial sum necessary for identical culinary concepts.




Bars are a big aspect of night culture and who wouldn’t want to enjoy a well-made Mojito by the beach next to a cozy bar with highly interesting architecture? The best part of having a shipping container bar is that it is portable, which means you can designate different locations to move your bar when an event is present.


You can also decorate the interior and exterior of your bar with a wide variety of customization options to present your customers with a unique atmosphere. You can custom paint the exterior with tropical paintings or if industrialism is your preferred style you can add beautiful graffiti to adorn your walls. Lighting types can be changed to reflect whatever color scheme you desire. The possibilities are quite wide when it comes to bars and shipping containers will be the perfect option in this regard. Lastly, if you plan on opening up a bar near the beach you can get a fully mobile prefab shower next to it for your guests or yourself!



Event/PR/Exhibition Stand

Constructing an extra building for certain events, constructions, and exhibitions can be costly and impractical. They also need to be taken down once they have served their purpose. Imagine if you could pack all the necessary display items and office inventory in a mobile unit that you could utilize whenever needed. This is where open shipping containers exactly fit in!


You can store all of your items in the container and move them from city to city to any event you require. For instance, shipping container units have been used as a visitor information point for UEFA Champions League Final by the Cardiff design agency. They have also been used for product showroom exhibitions in the catalogues of bedrooms, chairs, and household items. The choice is yours when it comes to utility but one thing is certain, using shipping container units for events as exhibition stands are very time and cost-efficient.



Mobile Storage Unit

Perhaps this is where the most ordinary but efficient usage idea for open side shipping containers comes into play; mobile storage unit. We talked about mobility a lot and how it provides numerous benefits for businesses. Imagine having the same benefits for a personal storage unit that you could move from region to region, city to city on demand.


You can for instance load all of your items for camping and winter sports into your container while going for a winter family vacation in the woods. They can also be converted into an extension of your living quarters when you are fishing, hiking, and camping. If not, they will simply serve you as superb storage units that are mobile on demand, which is extremely valuable.


This is the end of our blog post for designing “5 Amazing and Innovative Ideas for Shipping Containers”! We hope you enjoyed and learned a new piece of information from our post!


If you are interested in learning more about 20 and 40 foot high cube open side shipping containers in general you can check out our other blog posts and pages such as 20’ Open Side Shipping Containers, 40’ Open Side Shipping Containers, and 5 Amazing and Innovative Ideas for Shipping Containers.


We are sure you will find more useful information regarding shipping containers through our website. Until next time, be safe and be in a happy mood!

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