Ten years ago, New Zealand company South Island Seed had a handful of shipping containers for storing its product – now these big steel boxes are an essential part of the infrastructure at its head office in Ashburton.
“Using shipping containers for storage allows us to do larger volumes, be more flexible and versatile, and increase efficiencies,” says director and co-owner Brent Clarke.
Royal Wolf, the largest shipping container provider in Australasia, is the main supplier of containers for South Island Seed’s operation which provides a range of services, including crop storage, drying and machine cleaning, and transportation.
“We can rent the number of containers that we require to cover our needs. They are a very flexible storage option, not just because they are portable, but because they can be used for bulk or bagged storage, and you can safely store product outside if needed.”
Royal Wolf shipping containers are being used increasingly for temporary and permanent storage right across the agriculture and horticulture sectors in both Australia and New Zealand. The uses range from a 10-foot storage container holding tools and equipment, through to multiple containers storing seed and livestock feed, and Dangerous Goods containers for the safe storage of sprays and other hazardous materials.
Mr Clarke says for South Island Seed, the use of containers allows the company to manage the unpredictable peaks and troughs that growers, and the industry in general, experience.
“In a year when markets go quiet, the growers are still growing so we will have a surplus of product and when that happens it needs to go somewhere and we use containers for product that isn’t going anywhere soon,” he says.
All Royal Wolf containers are strong, secure, and highly portable. Double doors provide easy access with a lockable stainless steel valve in the bundled wall and an internal emergency door release to ensure both safety and security. Ventilation is provided at the top and bottom of two walls and shelves can be added to optimise the storage potential.
Refrigerated containers are available for the storage of cold goods, fruit and vegetables.
Royal Wolf containers are available in three convenient sizes – a compact 8ft container, a spacious 10ft container and a large 20ft container can store the entire contents of a three-bedroom house.