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The Rise Of Used Shipping Containers In The Retail Industry.

What has long been the conduit for much of the material goods that furnish our lives, shipping containers are gaining a new appreciation from retailer companies, but for a very different reason. Instead of just receiving or shipping goods, used shipping containers are now a hot commodity not just for storage, but for the actual retail space itself.

Look no further than Tampa, Florida for proof of that. Sparkman’s Wharf in downtown Tampa, which opened to much fanfare on November 30, 2018, is now a focal point and gathering place for the city and the region at large. It includes 180,000 square feet of loft-style office space and 65,000 square feet of retail that surrounds a recreational lawn bordering Channelside Drive. At the opening, Wi-Fi data showed that there were more than 13,000 cellphones wandering the grounds that day. The Wharf anchors the $3 billion Water Street Development by Strategic Parnters, Lightning owner Jeff Vinik’s multi-use waterfront project.

A little further north in Wesley Chapel, Florida, 94 repurposed shipping containers have been assembled into one of the largest and most exciting container parks in the world. Called The Krate, these these shipping containers (also called Micro Shops) are home to 55 boutiques, offices, restaurants, and bars. There is a large stage and live music five nights out of seven.

These communities are not alone in embracing the shipping container movement. Lakeland, Florida changed the city’s land development code to accommodate “shipping containers as necessary structures for commercial uses.” San Fransisco, California floral designer Lila B. Design utilizes a shipping container as an office and retail space alongside an open-air floral studio. In London’s Southbank, Softroom Architects designed a two-story building from eight shipping containers for a Mexican restaurant. And the list goes on and on.

At Tampa, Florida-based Rice Intermodal, we offer all standard sizes of shipping containers that are perfect for such uses. Shipping container dimensions range from eight feet to 20 feet, with heights ranging from 7.8 feet to high cubes that are nine feet six inches tall–making them ideal for uses such as offices, restaurants, retail, and more. We even offer refrigerated container units that help restaurants keep perishable items fresh without compromising limited kitchen walk-in space.

We also offer multiple ratings and grades of quality shipping containers. Those rated IICL meet the highest level criteria and are in excellent physical and cosmetic condition in order to withstand the rigors of overseas shipping. Our new One-Trip containers are essentially brand new. They may have been stocked for their original trip overseas from the location of their manufacture, but are clean and new and carry their original warranty.

If you are looking to expand your existing home, office, or business, or start a new one in a new way, we are here to help. We offer transparent pricing, delivery, and custom quotes on all of our shipping containers for sale or lease. To learn more, visit