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    Blog Archives

    Shipping Containers to be used as Low-Cost Housing for the Homeless

    Brighton Housing Trust has launched an innovative project to house the homeless in the city.  The project involves using converted shipping containers as self-contained ‘apartments’.  This week, the project’s wheels began to move with the first six shipping containers being installed in Brighton.

    The shipping container units were converted in Holland for a similar social housing project in Amsterdam.  Unfortunately the project in Holland failed due to lack of funding.  The shipping container units will be stacked on top of each other in 3 and 5 storey formations; a total of 36 will provide temporary accommodation to the homeless.

    Shipping containers are an excellent solution to low-cost housing.  Shipping containers are engineered to be stacked on top of each other when in transit on shipping vessels, so it is possible to create multi-storey shipping container blocks of studios/flats.  There is no building required when using shipping containers as housing as the structure already exists, just internal work is required to convert the units.  The shipping container units can be placed on temporary sites and moved at a later date (shipping containers are designed to be moved around).

    Shipping containers have been also used to create quirky and trendy housing (as below).  Eco-friendly and angular housing is being more popular and the use of a shipping container fits this perfectly.  Using shipping containers as housing also fits the popular concept of ‘up-cycling’ or ‘make do and mend’.

    Shipping-Container-Guest-House- (640x427)

    Mercator Cargo can arrange for your shipping container (whether for a housing project, or full of goods as an import or export) to go anywhere in the world. We can also assit in sourcing used containers. Contact us for more information – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:

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    Freight Forwarding News – Zim Rotterdam Stops at London Gateway

    The shipping vessel Zim Rotterdam, made a stop at London Gateway last week. The vessel holds over 10,000 TEU (the equivalent of 20 foot shipping containers) and is said to be the largest ship to enter the River Thames. Situated on the north bank of the Thames, the UK’s new sea freight port isn’t meant to officially open until later this year.

    The shipping vessel was on its transit from Asia, and was heading to Felixstowe. A fire on board prompted the unexpected stop at the new London sea freight port for repairs and to discharge its shipping container loads.

    When the sea port London Gateway opens in November, it is predicted that the terminal will handle over 3.5 million TEU per year. This is almost on par with Felixstowe port, which handled 3.7 million TEU in 2012, which accounts for almost 40% of all container traffic in the UK.

    London Gateway is expected to become a popular calling sea freight port for many shipping vessels for the UK because of its proximity to one of Europe’s largest logistics parks. Container traffic will be able to travel to here where there are options for warehousing, distribution and assembly, along with onward transit options (including sea, air and road freight). This idea aims to reduce unnecessary mileage of empty containers and reduce costs for distributors.

    Mercator will be offering services into and out of London Gateway once the sea port has officially opened. We can arrange full sea freight options, or arrange for your cargo to travel to the port, or arrange for customs clearance and delivery via road or rail to you in the UK.

    Call Mercator Cargo if you are looking for an experienced freight forwarder to handle your UK import or export via sea freight – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


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      Freight Forwarding News – Container Ships Increasing in Size

      The biggest ever container ship is due to set sail on the waters in June this year.  Rumoured to be taller than the 2012 Olympic Stadium and 400 metres long, it will be the largest vessel on the seas.

      Named the Triple E, the new model of container ship will have holding capacity of 18,000 20 foot containers.  Inside these 18,000 containers you could fit 863 million cans of baked beans, or 36,000 cars.

      Currently, the largest container ship holds the equivalent of 12,500 20 foot containers.  This is an increase in capacity of almost 50%.  There are already discussions of an ever bigger vessel holding up to 30,000 containers.

      The new Triple E ships are intended to run ocean freight services between Asia and Europe.

      So what does this mean for the freight forwarding industry?

      Bigger container ships are said to be more eco-friendly.  Not only is technology becoming more advanced on these large container ships, but by carrying more cargo, the fuel footprint per tonne of cargo is reducing.

      However, larger container ships bring their own problems, as ports are expected to either adapt to receive these bigger vessels, or the ships will call at other ports instead.

      The Port of Felixstowe handles almost half of the UK’s container trade and has plans to increase its capacities by constructing a third rail terminal due to open later this year.

      If you’re looking for a freight forwarder to handle your import or export sea freight, call us today – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


      Request a Quote for Sea Freight Shipping

        Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.

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