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10 Shipping Container Coffee Shop and Café Ideas for 2024

During the past few decades, seeing permanent and temporary structures built using shipping containers has become more and more common. There are so many reasons for using shipping containers to set up structures, that when the first shipping container structures were built, people started experimenting with different types of structures, and they were not disappointed.


Some types of these structures however, make better use of shipping containers than other ones, and shipping container coffee shops are one of them.Tried and proven, shipping container coffee shops are among the most common types of shipping container structures. You probably have seen one or more already, and if you haven’t with their current numbers, you probably won’t have to travel far to get to see one.



If you are wondering why are shipping container coffee shops so popular, there are many answers for that, and the answers can be quite different from one case to another. To elaborate why is that, we have come up with a list of ideas. You can check this list to get a general image of how different shipping container coffee shops can be, and you might even decide to make one of these ideas a reality. Here are our ideas of what types of coffee shops can you build using shipping containers in 2024 and beyond.

Half-Container Coffee Shops


Take-out coffee shops do not need much space. A wide range of coffee shop products can be made with amazing quality using just a few machines, while the ingredients they require don’t take up much space either. Basically, what you would need is a coffee machine, a sink, a fridge, a few dry storage spaces, and a little bit of space between them for the barista to operate. All of these, plus an air conditioning unit for the comfort of the operator of this modern café, can be squeezed into a small space.


There are already many half-container coffee shops out there in the world. Since they occupy so little space, they can be set up almost anywhere, and especially in big cities, a small coffee shop on the side of the road can be a very successful business if it offers decent quality, and is set up in the right location. At the crossroads, near or inside busy train or bus stations, and any other busy walkway make perfect locations to set up one of these small shipping container coffee shops.

Mobile Event-Chasing Café


One of the greatest things about shipping container coffee shops is that they are very easy to move around, and if you live in a location where there are a lot of various events happening in different locations, you can have a very successful coffee shop if you keep chasing these events. Concerts, exhibitions, festivals, and all other types of temporary events generate a lot of attraction, and the crowd which show up at these events make amazing target customers for coffee shops.


At such events, sometimes people might not have access to coffee shops, or there might be coffee shops but there are further away and you an shorten people’s commute by offering closer options, or the lines to enjoy coffee shop services might be too long so more venues could always make use of the market which is provided by large crowds. Mobile shipping container cafes are an amazing way to take a lot of useful equipment with you and offer amazing quality to your customers. If you make a name for yourself, people will actively look for you in every event, which might provide opportunities to make even more mobile cafes to maximize profits.

Remote Location Coffee Shops for Nature Lovers


Are you a nature loving person? Would you like to live and breath and work within the nature? It might be a good idea for you to open a shipping container coffee shop somewhere remote in the nature. There are a lot of people who enjoy a nice hike in the nature, and a lot of them would love to take a break and have a freshly brewed coffee or tea served to them. The thing is, there are a lot of obstacles on the way of setting up a coffee shop deep within the nature.


First thing is that it’s difficult to get the material required for building a coffee shop to a location where there are no real roads. Then there is the fact that any type of permanent structure has a damaging effect on its surrounding nature, and if the business doesn’t go well there will be an abandoned structure somewhere in the wild and for a very long time, this decaying structure will remain there for the nature to decide what to do with.


But if you choose to set up a shipping container café in the nature, you won’t have any of these problems. In fact, all you need is a permit, and a location where enough people pass by for you to have a thriving business. There will be no lingering effect on the surrounding with a shipping container coffee shop. You can build it somewhere else and have it ported to almost any location in the world.

Huge Multi-Container Coffee Shops


Are you planning to open a huge coffee shop? Do you have to build the entire structure for that big café? This is a great opportunity for you to save a huge amount of money and time and build the entire structure using shipping containers. Because of their modular nature and amazing durability, you can use as many containers as you want and built whatever shape of structure you can imagine. Cutting the walls of shipping containers and using spaces between them, you can create all types of spaces within that structure.


It will be very safe and secure, as shipping containers are built to be stacked on top of each other without any reinforcement (a café structure will be reinforced) for long periods of time without bending or breaking. Not only this structure will cost a fraction of any other type of structure in terms of the material required, the labor required to set it us is also far less than other options.


Also, since you can set up a full shipping container coffee shop of any size within a few days, you will start making money that much sooner and that too can affect your economics.Did we mention how trendy and popular shipping container coffee shops are?

Mobile Coffee Shop for Mobile Work Forces


In this day and age, there are a lot of tasks which require a great number of professionals for a limited period of time. These work forces then move on from this project and go to their next one. There are so many corporations and organizations which operate this way, and what better way to serve them fresh or hot drinks than having a mobile shipping container coffee shop? It takes a little investment, but it will repay that investment ten-fold in no time.


Work forces like frequenting familiar venues, and if that venue follows them everywhere they go, they will get a sense of continuity which helps ease their minds and improves their performance. There are basically no other methods of doing this which would be this efficient. Shipping container coffee shops are more spacious than other types of mobile coffee shops, and therefore they can serve more people with a more colorful menu. Stationary coffee shops won’t even come close since they can’t be set up near the workplace so they are an entirely other type of service. A mobile shipping container café is a great way of offering the workforces refreshments with little commute and effort.


Luxurious Coffee Shops


Reducing the costs of building doesn’t necessarily mean that every other cost should stay at a minimum. Think of shipping containers as bricks. A brick is not something that brings the concept of luxury in mind, yet it is perfectly normal to build a very luxurious building using bricks. Shipping containers are the same.


While the building itself would cost less to build, it can be built with highest standards in mind, and expenses and quality of everything used and set up within the structure can be of the highest order. Since any type of coffee shop could be built using shipping containers, there are a lot of different types of coffee shops which could be built in a very luxurious way. You could have one big fancy shipping container coffee shops, or you could have a chain of very neat mobile coffee shops which offer drinks of rare quality.

Coffee Shop Chains


This one comes thanks to the unique character which shipping container brings. Having a chain coffee shop or restaurant means having a brand identity. That identity has to be visible and apparent in every detail of every branch of the business.


If you build a chain coffee shop using shipping containers, not only you ensure low cost of setting up for every branch which is added to your chain, you also give them an easy character boost. The corrugated pattern of the walls of the shipping containers will be something that is an essential part of the identity of your chain coffee shops, and it comes with zero extra effort. Now this philosophy could be used on both mobile and stationary coffee shops.

Specialty Cafes


There are certain cafes around the world which don’t have very colorful menus with many options, but within those few options which they offer, you can expect amazing quality. People could flock to a venue which offers only one product, because that product is thought of and prepared with so much quality and uniqueness that is not available in any other café. If you think you can offer something of very special quality, like a certain type of coffee or an exotic tea or some other unique product, you don’t need to splash on everything else.


Your special product will be the identity of your business, and if you cut costs on something else without reducing its quality, it could be an added benefit. And since the menu won’t come with a lot of diversity, you won’t need too much space anyway. A shipping container coffee shop which serves a very special product can hold a lot of character and identity, and if its business blooms, more of it could be set up to rapidly expand the business.


Foldable Shipping Container Coffee Shops


This is a unique type of coffee shop with a very smart and innovative design. The walls of this type of coffee shops are foldable, which means that at their closed stance, this will look like a simple and closed off container. After expanding however, this type of café will expand on both main sides, and provide a far larger space.


This space could be used in many different ways. Other parts and equipment of this café could be designed to follow the foldable philosophy as well, making a far larger work area and offering a much more colorful menu with more staff working and serving. It could also be used as a covered sitting area.

Coffee Shop Court


We have already mentioned that shipping containers have a modular nature. This means that they are primed to be set up on besides and on top of each other. Now imagine a place where there are many shipping container coffee shops beside each other, each of them offering a different type of food and beverage, and they form a space in the center with tables and chairs. This entire venue could be expanded or moved to another location at any time, making it perfect for special events and gatherings of large numbers of people.

Where to Get Your Own Shipping Container Coffee Shop?


Here in Green Box, our specialty is modification of shipping containers into anything that our clients demand. We are fast and efficient, and we will make sure that our product is aligned with every single one of your requirements and desires. When our customers approach us, we check everything regarding the project. What our customer wants, where they want it, how they want it, and any other relevant detail.


Then, we prepare a 2D model, one which could be edited and tweaked by our client as much as they wish. Everything needs to be highly practical and all matters should be checked with the client to make sure that they are satisfied with every little detail of the product. Once our client is happy with the model, we will start the modification process. We modify the containers in our factory, which is equipped with all the latest tools which are necessary for building high-quality modified containers.


More important than that, the professionals operating those tools are experts who have many years of experience in this field. Thanks to the perfect environment of our factories, we can modify and deliver most of the projects within a month, even considering they will be thoroughly checked and quality controlled. If you have any questions regarding our work or our prices, please contact us. We are ready and happy to provide all the details you may wish.


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