Containers solve business challenges across diverse sectors in 2020

Covid, construction, community, and conservation – well contained

Shipping containers played key roles in everything from conservation and community projects through to the construction sector and supporting New Zealand’s Covid-19 response in 2020.

A modified fish filleting container at a local marae and a nine-container structure for the New Zealand Defence Force were just two of the projects leading shipping container supplier Royal Wolf were behind this year.

Royal Wolf Executive General Manager, Paul Creighton, says containers helped solve business challenges across a wide range of sectors this year – from construction and retail through to community groups and government agencies.  

“It has been a difficult year for everyone due to Covid, however we have also seen a huge amount of resilience and determination from businesses to get through it.

“This has been reflected in the strong demand for the hire and sale of shipping containers as well as increased demand for bespoke products that meet a client’s specific needs.”

Helping to contain Covid-19

As an essential service, Royal Wolf continued to operate through the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown period to help meet supply chain requirements.

Creighton says the company saw significantly increased demand for container solutions during this time as they were key to storing and transporting essential items and supporting other essential services.

“Containers played a big part in helping to keep businesses and community groups around New Zealand operating, being used for everything from extra storage through to ongoing support for supply chains.”

Community containers

Royal Wolf provided containers to numerous community projects in 2020 including Kai Ika, which redistributes delicious fish off cuts, that would normally go to waste, back to the local community.

Sam Woolford, Project Lead Kai Ika, says the fish filleting container was a practical solution that took the project to the next level and helped to feed and support more people in need.

“The Kai Ika container allowed us to go from 250 kilos a week to 1,000 kilos a week and service three other marae. The ability to scale up and have extra capacity has meant Kai Ika is able to meet the growing need in the local community and beyond.”  

Woolford says the benefit of the container and the increased capacity was highlighted during the COVID-19 level 4 lockdown when queues for collecting fish were 400m long.

Tailored solutions meet customer need

Projects for the NZ Defence Force and KiwiRail showcased the versatility of shipping containers with tailored solutions developed to meet each organisations’ needs.

In collaboration with the NZ Defence Force, Royal Wolf created a temporary, nine-container operational facility which will be used as a blueprint for future interim facilities.

For KiwiRail, 484 new logging cradle cassette containers were specially designed to increase compatibility and capacity across KiwiRail’s network.

“We’re problem solvers,” says Michael Horne, Royal Wolf General Manager Intermodal. “KiwiRail’s logging cassettes are a perfect example of us tailoring a container solution to help increase efficiencies and capability for a client.”

Safety, efficiency in construction sector

With building and infrastructure work ongoing around the country, containers such as lunchrooms, site offices, ablutions and pedestrian hoardings continued to be in demand. 

Two large scale projects with multiple container set ups included the Auckland City Rail Link (CRL) and a major land development project being undertaken by Piritahi in the Auckland suburb of Oranga near One Tree Hill.

Dozens of Royal Wolf containers are on site at various locations around the CRL, including an eight-container worker’s hub at Mt Eden Station as part of a four-year redevelopment project.        

The Oranga site housed an 11 container, double stack structure including two 40-foot shipping container offices and three 40-foot lunchrooms.

Creighton says container camp facilities provide an efficient solution that enables workers to get on and do the job with limited disruption and safety as a priority.

“Containers are one of the easiest and most practical solutions for temporary infrastructure projects and large-scale developments like Oranga and the CRL because they are safe, adaptable and portable.”


10 container projects for 2020

NZ Defence Force

Royal Wolf collaborated with the NZ Defence Force to create a temporary operational facility for one of its army bases ahead of a permanent solution being developed. The nine-container structure included a 40-foot container with toilets, showers, and laundry.  Read full article.

City Rail Link

A fully functional worker’s hub at the Mt Eden Station development is made up of two container offices, a changing room, a lunch room, a tool shed, and a 20-foot ablution unit on top of a 4000-litre relocatable waste holding tank.  Read full article.

My Food Bag

To cater for increased demand during Covid-19 and to enable safe practices during lockdown, Royal Wolf created a covered plaza-style area for My Food Bag constructed from two 20-foot lunchroom containers and a canvas shelter.  Read full article.

Kai Ika

The Kai Ika project collects delicious fish heads and off cuts that would normally go to waste and redistributes them to help feed families and communities in need. Royal Wolf created a fish filleting station at Papat??nuku K?kiri Marae which enabled Kai Ika to increase production from 250 kilos a week to more than 1,000 kilos.  Read full article.

Husky Rescue

Royal Wolf donated a self-storage container to the Husky Rescue NZ Charitable Trust, which was facing a significant downturn in tourism due to Covid-19, to store valuable Antarctic items from the New Zealand Antarctic Society.  Read full article.

Invercargill demolition

A large-scale project in central Invercargill saw a 24-strong, double stacked container wall created to ensure members of the public and workers were safe during demolition activity.

Oranga development – Piritahi

A fully functional worker’s camp was installed on a site where construction company Piritahi is preparing land as part of a development project where 1,000 homes will be delivered over the next eight years.  Read full article.

Mahakirau Forest

The Mahakirau Forest eco-sanctuary in a remote part of the Coromandel used shipping containers to create an education space to meet increased demand from people wanting to learn more about conservation.

Kiwi Rail

To increase efficiencies and capacity, Royal Wolf developed 484 specially designed cassette containers to carry logs to the Port of Tauranga. Unlike KiwiRails old log wagons the cassettes can be secured onto different types of railway wagons to increase compatibility.  Read full article.


This double stack container office and lunchroom in the corner of a tight and steep construction site in the Auckland suburb of Parnell showcases the versatility and efficiency containers bring to confined inner city sites.

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