Use a Shipping Container to Start an AirBNB

Use a Shipping Container to Start an AirBNB

The last two decades have seen the short-term housing rental industry explode so much that specific rules have been created regarding them. If you plan to get into the short-term rental space, keep in mind it’s tricky to navigate all the rules and restrictions. If you’re considering buying shipping containers to repurpose them into an Airbnb, you’ll need a company that can provide permit-friendly shipping containers to make this process seamless.

Whether you want to convert one unit and place it in your backyard, or you want to buy several units and buy a plot of land near a vacation destination, using shipping containers is a wise and ingenious idea for making some money. Here’s why you should try out this endeavor.

Customization and Fast Turnaround Times

The turnaround time for shipping containers is quite short, even with customization. Work with your shipping container company to come up with a timeline for delivery as well as any modifications you choose. Once you receive your container and outfit it for suitable use, you can start listing your unit on short-term rental websites like Airbnb and VRBO.

Just remember that with the more customizations you make, the longer the delivery will take. You can choose from 20-foot and 40-foot sizes. The 20-foot will be small but cozy, while the 40-foot will provide twice the size and more than enough comfort for a small family with a two-bedroom unit.

As far as modifications go, you will need:

  • Beds
  • Bedding
  • End tables
  • Kitchenette
  • Bathroom
  • Dining area
  • Shelving
  • Seating
  • HVAC
  • Plumbing
  • Electricity

How fancy you get with the décor will depend on where your Airbnb is located and what kind of experience you’re offering your guests.

Catering to the Demand

More and more travelers are stepping outside their comfort zones and choosing unique places to experience their vacation destination. Traditional hotels offer standard amenities and close proximity to the destination, but they can be very expensive, have lots of rules and regulations for guests, and can be impersonal.

That’s why travelers are increasingly turning to rental sites like Airbnb to fulfill their travel needs. Shipping container hotels and home rentals are gaining in popularity because they give the traveler a unique, quirky and less expensive way to experience a destination. They get access to their own kitchen area and bedroom, without the hassle of using an elevator to reach their room every time they go in and out.

Not only can people choose from a wide variety of styles to meet their budget needs, they can get peace of mind knowing they’re using a space that’s eco-conscious in their creative designs and upcycling approaches.

Why Are Shipping Container Airbnbs So Great?

Environmentally Friendly

Shipping containers have a long and durable lifespan, and can be reused several times after serving their initial purpose. When using a unit as an Airbnb rental, you use fewer materials (think: bricks and cement) that can be harmful to the environment. Did you know cement gives off a lot of CO2?

Cost Effective

Reusing shipping containers represents a more cost-effective option instead of buying all new materials and hiring contractors to build it from the ground up. The average shipping container costs $2,000 to $4,000, so you’re saving a lot of cash going this route.


Because shipping containers are constructed to withstand wind, rain, snow and sleet, as well as carry heavy loads in all conditions, they make ideal hotels and Airbnbs. Let’s say your vacation destination is near a beach. Shipping container hotels are great because they can maintain their structural integrity even in hurricane-force winds.

Plus, shipping containers are tough to break into, particularly after adding after-market locks and similar accessories.


Everyone wants to say they’ve stayed in a shipping container hotel. People are bored with traditional hotels and motels and want something with more character. Use the novelty of a shipping container Airbnb to your advantage. This gives you a unique selling point and can give your competition a run for its money. And with so many guests posting photos to social media these days, you can increase your brand recognition through all the shares.

Contact Transocean Equipment Management

If you are interested in purchasing a shipping container to repurpose as an AirBNB, contact us at 910-483-7828 for a free quote and assistance. We can help you with any modifications you may need as well as give you a timeline for delivery.


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