Starbucks serves coffee from used shipping containers.

Starbucks serves coffee from used shipping containers.

Though it seems like you can get Starbucks coffee just about anywhere, only one store near Seattle in the USA can serve it to you from inside of used shipping containers. This week construction of a Starbucks out of four used High cube shipping containers. It will also be the only store to be setup for walk-up and drive-thru only—no lounge will be constructed.

More than just a quirky idea, there are (at least) two practical reasons for this type of assembly. The first is that it will almost certainly reduce the cost of store construction. The owner of an architectural firm that has experience building with new and used shipping containers, stated that construction in residential applications usually cut costs by 20 per cent, and the amount of construction time by up to 40 per cent in certain applications.

The other reason is that since shipping containers are very portable, they may open up new business opportunities. A Starbucks spokesman gave the example that a store could be assembled form used shipping containers in temporarily available locations, and later be transported and reassembled elsewhere. It seems this might also be a good way to test new locations before investing larger sums of money on permanent structures.

How long before we see these Starbuck stores made from used shipping containers appearing around the UK at festivals and events?

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