Shipping Containers - Year in Review

Royal Wolf Shipping Containers - A Year in Review 2016

Look Good Feel Better - Royal Wolf supports Cancer Charity
It was a record year for the number of shipping containers located on city streets – and a year where these big steel boxes were used for everything from a pop up waterfront market to a mobile makeover workshop for cancer patients.

Paul Creighton, Executive General Manager of shipping container specialists Royal Wolf, says containers have become part of the urban landscape because of the construction boom but they are also now a go-to solution for a wide range of projects such as retail outlets, temporary housing and storage.

“The wide range of different and interesting projects that containers have been used for this year shows just how diverse they are with people putting them to all sorts of practical and creative uses,” he says.

The recently constructed Wellington Underground Market at Frank Kitts Park is a large-scale project that uses 16 “half-size” 10-foot containers as shops for stall holders.

Helena Tobin, Wellington Underground Market General Manager, says containers were chosen because they needed structures that were secure, strong, and able to cope with Wellington’s windy weather.

“They are really cute, they open up on one side and let in lots of light and allow the store holders to set them up beautifully. And the aesthetic of the containers is quite important to us because we have a real industrial maritime history and they fit really beautifully with that,” she says.

Other container projects this year included a 40-foot container and two 20-foot boxes used as a pedestrian bridge at the Burt Munro Challenge in Invercargill, a mobile workshop for cancer charity Look Good Feel Better, and a retail and food village on Auckland’s Queens Wharf made from eight repurposed shipping containers.

Leading New Zealand retailer The Warehouse also used Royal Wolf’s specially modified Dangerous Goods containers to store thousands of bottles of perfume and nail polish in the lead up to the Christmas period.

Dangerous and Hazardous Goods Containers

Jasmine Taylor, Inbound & Inventory Manager at Warehouse Group Wholesale, says the containers are an efficient and versatile storage solution that’s ideal for logistics operations when they require extra capacity.

“For us, especially ahead of our busy Christmas holiday period when all of our racks are full, having stock still within our site that we can access easily is essential,” she says.

With the on-going construction activity in Auckland, the city’s footpaths continue to be populated by shipping container hoardings (covered pedestrian walkways) in areas such as Symonds St, Khyber Pass, and Wynyard Quarter.

As part of Auckland’s City Rail Link construction, a six container, two-storey container structure was built and includes two worker’s lunch rooms, an administration office, two changing rooms, and a toilet and amenities building.

Mr Creighton says Royal Wolf also has large numbers of containers located around the country, ranging from small two and three container configurations through to large scale installations.

These include:



  • 19 x 20-foot container hoardings at the new Novotel hotel site at Christchurch Airport



  • 11 x containers on the corner of Bryce and Barton Streets in Hamilton on the site of the new ASB Bank building



“Container hoardings are one of the easiest and most practical solutions for managing safety on and around a construction site and on very restrictive inner city building sites it reduces the amount of disruption in these areas,” says Mr Creighton.

To meet demand for container solutions around the country Royal Wolf has opened two new offices in Nelson and Whangarei this year.

“The demand is definitely there and that is driven by a growing awareness about the wide range of applications containers can be used for,” he says.


Wellington Underground Market

Sixteen 10-foot containers – also known as half size containers – formed a pop up summer market along the waterfront at Wellington’s Frank Kitts Park. The containers, which appeal to the areas industrial maritime heritage, also provide a safe and secure retail outlet for stall holders.

Dangerous Goods containers

With New Zealand’s new Health and Safety laws requiring tighter controls around the storage of dangerous substances, leading New Zealand retailer, The Warehouse, used specially modified shipping containers to ensure thousands of bottles of perfume and nail polish were stored safely and securely.

Queens Wharf Village

A retail and food village on the Auckland waterfront was made out of eight shipping containers which showed how these steel boxes can be transformed into an efficient yet stylish space for a diverse range of customers.

Auckland City Rail Link

This temporary container building on Victoria St as part of Auckland’s City Rail Link highlights the demand for containers as a result of the on-going construction boom. Made up of six containers, the two storey structure includes two worker’s lunch rooms, an administration office, two changing rooms, and a toilet and amenities building.

Royal Wolf New Zealand Hoardings Gantries

Containers for charity work

Mid way through the year cancer charity Look Good Feel Better hit the road around New Zealand for four months in a specially modified 40-foot Royal Wolf container to conduct workshops and classes for people living with the visible effects of cancer. Also, following the Kaikoura earthquakes, Christchurch based transport company 4D Freight and Royal Wolf joined with other groups to help transport a container load of presents to the more than 650 kids of Kaikoura in time for Christmas.

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