Box⇐⇐⇐ to the Future
Roads? Where we're going we don't need... roads!
The humble shipping container has gone a long way in the last 60 years, about 50,000 miles each every year to be more exact.
Malcolm McLean designed the first containers in 1960 and there are now over 17 million in the world - although 10,00 are lost at sea every year, almost one an hour.
Containers can last 25 years - about as long as your cat (there is a Schrödinger joke in her somewhere but I’m not sure if it’s alive or dead), however most usually go into retirement at about 12 -15 years old and that’s where their story gets interesting.
Far from being left to rust more and more are being up-cycled to find a new lease of life used to make homes, shops, cafes and just about anything else you can think of.
We’d love to McFly you round the globe to visit a few of our favourite box parks…
We’ll start in the UAE where they see over 8 million shipping containers pass through their ports each year. A few have been siphoned off to create Boxpark Dubai with quirky dining, high-street fashion labels and entertainment brands. All it’s streets, alleyways and shops are modelled on shipping containers – why not take a look next time you’re passing by?
A bit of a sail away and we’re in New York (OK we may not be travelling on the most direct route). In Manhattan’s Fulford Street they built a three-storey shipping container food and drink court to bring people back to the waterside after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Just a short hop across the pond to London and one of a number of shopping and eating venues built entirely from recycled shipping containers, Boxpark on trendy Shoreditch High Street, is made up of 60 shipping containers stacked two stories high and five rows wide. It’s got a great reputation for street food and fun, well worth a visit.
Not to be outdone by London or New York, Buenos Aires has a hip mall built with a Heinz variety (57) stacked shipping containers. Topped with a solar panels, there are restaurants, offices, eco-friendly retail stores, as well as a gallery space with a cafe. Definitely on the list to visit in person.
Great Scott! There’s also going to be a box park in York and we’ll be in it!
Spark:York is under construction and we’ll be upstairs waiting for your visit as soon as we can – drop in for a glass of wine and try and work out where the container has been…
Check out the codes on the side of the boxes - [XXX-U-123456-1]. The first three letters signify the owner, the next letter is the category of the container (U = freight container).
We’ll find out what we can about our box!