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Dangers of Maritime Work – Extreme Working Conditions

The maritime industry is currently seeing a boom in job opportunities, thanks in large part to the rise of e-commerce, globalization, and global warming. There are plenty of benefits to having a maritime career: a six-figure salary without the accompanying student loans, travel opportunities, healthcare coverage, and a challenging work environment. But this same benefit – a challenging work environment – is also the industry’s greatest downfall. Simply put, maritime jobs are dangerous.

Extreme Working Conditions – not only is there the temperamental sea to contend with, as she rocks, rolls and storms; there’s the boats themselves. Depending on the type of vessel, you may find yourself working in high open spaces or cramped, tight quarters in sweaty, humid conditions.

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Stacked shipping containers to offer sustainable and affordable office space

Sustainable OFfices

Described by Danish architecture firm Arcgency as ‘offices to feed contemporary needs’, ‘STACK II’ is a new and improved update to sister project ‘STACK I’. specifically designed for sites in transition, the project aims to offer high quality office space within a limited time frame by utilizing a modular design created from repurposed shipping containers. ‘STACK II’ expected to be in use in on location in Nordhavnen for only 10-12 years, before being disassembled to make way for more permanent construction, or for use in temporary construction elsewhere

With the continuous decline of industry in the cities and a growing sector of smaller companies, start-ups and creatives, Arcgency has identified a growing demand for buildings that can facilitate the use of otherwise derelict land to generate affordable work space. ‘STACK II’ is a model to fulfill these needs in a way that is both sustainable and financially feasible. The design builds on the same principles as ‘STACK I’, but has been further developed in collaboration with the client based on information gathered from the initial project. The temporary offices are placed directly beside their sister development, and together they overlook the harbor, creating a vibrant framework for creative businesses and start-ups.

Made out of 90% recycled materials, the entire load bearing structure of ‘STACK II’ consists of 20 feet tall shipping containers, aligned in two rows and stacked three storeys high in a checkered formation. The surface of the building is encapsulated in high performance insulated sandwich panels, creating an airtight shell crucial to minimize heat loss. structurally, pillars are used to lift the containers off the floor of the site, reducing any lasting impact on the location and allowing for ease of transportation. ‘STACK II’ demonstrates a pragmatic attitude toward container aesthetics. Due to insulation needs, the containers are covered on the outside, but remain exposed in the interior and through the opening on the façade, creating a distinct separation between the two spaces.

Large, floor to ceiling windows provide generous views of the waterfront and harbor and ensure a sun-soaked place of work. The size and position of the shipping containers emphasizes their stacked orientation, with interior windows allowing for visual exchange between the different work spaces. A collaborative, vibrant workplace atmosphere is encouraged by the design, while also allowing for individual spaces to retain their privacy.

Companies are trying to create more sustainable offices to feed contemporary needs, for example some of them are specifically designed for sites in transition, projects that aim to offer high quality office space within a limited time frame by utilizing a modular design created from repurposed shipping containers. There are temporary offices that expected to be in use between 1-2 years up to 10-12 years, before being disassembled to make way for more permanent construction, or for use in temporary construction elsewhere.

With the continuous decline of industry in the cities and a growing sector of smaller companies, start-ups and creatives, on the market as been identified a growing demand for buildings that can facilitate the use of otherwise derelict land to generate affordable work space.


Arcgency uses stacked shipping containers to offer sustainable + affordable office space

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Biggest shipping container community

TempoHousing has taken cargo container homes to a new level.

The Keetwonen student housing complex in Amsterdam is the largest shipping container community that the world has seen so far.
It contains a thousand apartments and each of its modular units is forty foot long, with one end made entirely of glass in order to let in as much light as possible. The complex also contains offices, a supermarket and a café.

In September of 2005 they embarked on a massive project to build a student housing complex in Keetwonen, Amsterdam with a total of 1034 modules.  Within the complex, which is now one of the most popular student housing centers in the city, there are 301 square feet student homes made up of cargo containers, a cafe, common areas, and a laundry mat.  Essentially, all the amenities a student would need while attending college.

The project only took eight months to construct as TempoHousing commissioned a dedicated production line in China to produce 40 shipping container homes per week.  These homes were made with 8×40 cargo containers and are stacked vertically one container on top of another to complete the complex which is a total of 333,897 square feet.  

In 2015 each home cost around $475 us dollars per month, which to a college student seems very affordable.  The original plan was the leave the cargo container homes on the site for five years, and then have them relocated (which is a perk of a shipping container home).  However, the project was postponed to stay on the site until 2018.

With cargo container buildings and complexes increasing in popularity, I think this is an awesome idea to provide students with affordable housing while still capturing the dorm life experience.  The container homes have proved to be safe as they meet the high building standards in Europe, and since cargo containers are incredibly durable, I would imagine these homes take minimal maintenance and  will last longer than a traditional dorm complex.


Keetwonen, Amsterdam’s 1000 Cargo Container Student Housing Complex

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World’s busiest container ports

Foto: First picture – Port of Shanghai, Second – Port of Long Beach

Every day millions of cargo shipments travel from one port to another, connecting people and businesses all around the world. We tend to take for granted their job, but we are not actually aware of how much load they have to deal with.

Shanghai was the world’s busiest container port, according to a report by shipping consultancy service Alphaliner. Shanghai handled a total of 40 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) last year.

In the Americas, Port of Los Angeles & Port of Long Beach were the busiest container ports, with 15.6 million TEUs (combined). Strategically located on the coast of Southern California, these two adjoining ports are a major gateway for trade with Asia.

Port of LA—the 18th Busiest Port in the World

The Port of Los Angeles occupies 43 miles of waterfront in San Pedro Bay. 8.8 million TEUs were moved in 2016, up an incredible 7.8% increase year over year. Some $1.2 billion worth of cargo moves to/from the Port of Los Angeles each day, accounting for about 43% of all cargo coming into the US. Modernization in the form of the TraPac terminal, staffed almost entirely by robots, features 28 red cargo-carrying machines moving containers onto self-driving vehicles.

Port of Long Beach—a Major Trade Gateway with Asia

The Port of Long Beach’s yearly trade movement amounts to $180 billion, or 4.7 million TEUs, making it the 21st busiest port in the world. Although volume was off 5.6% in 2016 compared 2015, March 2017 saw busiest first quarter ever for the Port of Long Beach, which generates approximately $100 billion in trade. For fiscal 2018, the port invested $457 million upgrading terminals, waterways, bridges, rail lines, marine safety and other vital infrastructure.

Strictly speaking, these are two separate ports that both compete for business and share resources. However, by combining their TEU totals, we get a picture of a mega port that would account for one-quarter of North America’s entire container trade and would weigh in as the 10th busiest port in the world.

Sources: , , , ,

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Today we celebrate National Food Truck Day, so many opportunities to repurpose a shipping container

Today, National Food Truck Day was created to celebrate food trucks, and was started by DJ Rick McNeely of the Fishbowl Radio Network in Arlington, Texas.

Food trucks vary in the type of foods they prepare and sell, from ice cream to frozen or prepackaged food, to meals prepared from scratch. A precursor of the food truck can be seen as being the chuckwagon, which was a retrofitted wagon stocked with kitchen and food supplies that gave cowhands sustenance when they were on the trail in the late 1800’s.

In 1872, Walter Scott, a food vendor, came up with the lunch wagon—he cut windows in a small covered wagon and sold sandwiches, pies, and coffee to workers outside of a newspaper office in Providence, Rhode Island.

In the 1880’s Thomas H. Buckley was manufacturing different models of these and included in them appliances such as sinks, refrigerators, and stoves. Following this, food trucks started serving at factories, construction sites, and other locations with blue-collar workers. Food trucks have gained in popularity following the Great Recession, and they are now found in more places than just large cities. In recent years there has also been an explosion of popularity of gourmet and ethnic food trucks. Food truck rallies, where many trucks are gathered in one location, as well as food truck parks, where food trucks have permanent locations, have also been becoming more prevalent.

We found so many opportunities to repurpose a container, so people made from hot dog food truck to pizza place or bars, tacos and many more.

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Industrial Workers of the World Day

Industrial Workers of the World Day is a day to remember the work industrial workers do all over world. Also we should reflect on the legacy of the labor union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The day takes place on June 27th, as it was on that day in 1905 when a group of organizers who would become the IWW had their first meeting. The IWW, whose members were sometimes known as “Wobblies”, have been one of the more radical labor unions in the United States, and have had ties to anarchists and socialists. The goal of the IWW was to form “One Big Union” with workers from different industries and trades, and to break down the barriers between race and sex to unite all workers in a common cause. They wanted to get rid of bosses altogether, so that workers could own part of the companies they worked in. The IWW had some successes in the 1910’s, and had about 150,000 members at this time. By the 1920’s their membership began to decline because of their opposition to World War I, crackdowns against radicals following the war during the First Red Scare, conflicts with other labor groups that were more conservative, and splits in the organization itself. But, they still are organizing today.

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Today we celebrate Tropical Cocktails Day

Tropical Cocktails Day, which was started by Jace Shoemaker-Galloway in 2013, celebrates the flavorful drinks that are most associated with tiki bars, and are more often than not made with rum. Tropical cocktails became popular after two tiki bars, Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic’s, opened in California in the 1930’s. Both establishments claimed to have invented one of the most popular tropical cocktails, the Mai Tai. Since their formation, tiki bars have portrayed a romanticized view of what Polynesian drinks and culture are like. After about thirty years of great renown, tiki bars fell out of popularity. But, there was a resurgence in the 1990’s, and in the 21st century tropical libations are once again filling people’s glasses.

 It’s always nice to relax and have a cocktail, but check these bars out, made from repurposed shipping containers.

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Does a shipping container can be turned into a great swimming pool?

Not everybody can afford a swimming pool, that’s why some architects and designers taught about a way of getting a great swimming pool out of a shipping container.

Traditional pools sometimes may be considered a symbol of excess and waste, but the shipping container swimming pool, has a more modern and modest look. Most of the shipping containers swimming pools are repurposed and recycled containers.

They can be resold or moved along from a property to another in case you might need it. And it’s not that pricey after all.

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Turn you shipping container into affordable housing

As far as your imagination goes, you can turn a shipping container into whatever you want. More often, people started using containers to create their dream homes, self sustainable and affordable housing. Some of them are just temporary and some of them are permanent, even off the grid homes, with utilities ( water, heat, electricity ). Here are a few ideas that you could try building, using shipping containers.

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The tallest shipping container building in the world

The tallest building built using shipping containers is most likely the Freitag store in Zurich.
The building uses a total of 19 containers with 9 being stacked on top of one another to form a structure that is 26 meters ( 85 feet ) tall. It’s still under city limits, but is impressive to see and it’s also been completely safe since being built.

You might know Switzerland based company Freitag for their innovative and stylish messenger bags made from old truck tarps, but did you know that they have another claim to fame? Their radical shipping container store in Zurich boasts the title of being the tallest in the world! The 26 meter (85 foot) high structure consists of 17 white, yellow, orange, blue, red and green containers that are, of course, reclaimed – just like the materials they use for their popular bags.

he Freitag Store holds another title too. It’s also the tallest building in Zurich – of any kind. The first 2 floors of the store consist of 4 horizontal shipping containers each, giving them a sense of stability. The third and fourth floors are then pared down to just 2 horizontal containers each. Finally, the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth floors are just one container each, making it seem like the building could topple at any moment – though that’s obviously not the case since each level has been secured thoroughly. On the top floor, there is even an observation deck with binoculars.

The bottom four floors house the actual store with displays and merchandise. The other floors contain areas for storage and a staircase that take shoppers up to the viewing platform. What a fantastic example of a company walking the walk as much as they talk the talk – extending reuse and recycling from their product line into their retail spaces.


Freitag Store is World’s Tallest Shipping Container Structure!