Shipping containers are playing a major part in the recovery of Christchurch and can be seen everywhere as the city continues to be re-built following the 6.3 earthquake that struck on 22 February 2011 which changed the city and surrounding suburbs and the lives of everyone who live there forever.

On a recent trip to Christchurch we parked the car in Manchester Street (one of the main streets) and walked around what is now left of the city – empty sites where once stood heritage buildings, piles of rubble, construction gangs, cranes AND shipping containers!

Initially it had a very sombre feel but as we walked further into the city the atmosphere changed as we found ourselves in the Cashel Mall – a brightly coloured shopping precinct made from shipping containers and abuzz with lunch time shoppers and diners. Known as the Re-Start Project and featured in a previous blog (Christchurch Shipping Container Shopping Mall – 11/07/2012), this was completed eight months after the earthquake and intended to be a temporary shopping mall to help boost the morale of Christchurch residents.

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust provided an interest-free loan of $3.36 million to the Re-Start Project enabling the retail hub of shipping containers to open in time for the busy pre-Christmas shopping period and now three Christmas’ later the shops are busy with both locals and tourists and it was hard to find a seat in the food court for a coffee!

Christchurch Shipping Container MallChristchurch Shipping Container Mall

Christchurch Shipping Container Mall

Not only are retailers using shipping containers, some of the major banks have also set-up “pop-up” facilities enabling them to maintain “business-as-usual” services for the residents of Christchurch.

Shipping Container Bank Christchurch

Shipping Container Bank Christchurch

Getting back in the car and driving away from the city it’s not long before you come across another “pop-up” shop – a local shop owner in the suburb of Addington had to relocate his convenience shop after the building that once housed his Dairy (kiwi for 7-11!) was badly damaged in the earthquake. The shop is an old brick building with a shipping container added on at one end for storage. Shipping containers are an ideal solution for temporary storage and warehousing needs – refer to our earlier blog More Storage Space, FAST! – 05/12/2012

Christchurch rebuilding with shipping containers

Driving towards the beautiful coastal town of Sumner, one of the hardest hit towns, you would be forgiven for thinking you are on a busy shipping dock as shipping containers shape the landscape and line the roads forming a barrier from falling rocks and debris. Looking up the cliff-face, houses can be seen precariously perched high above the road with shipping containers stacked two-high below. Made from COR-TEN steel shipping containers make the perfect barrier as COR-TEN steel is 40% stronger than regular steel.

Shipping container retaining wallsShipping container retaining walls

Shipping container retaining walls

Clearly the rebuild of Christchurch (and the nerves of its residents) will take time (we were told it is expected to take 15 years to completely repair the damaged infrastructure), but as the city shakes almost on a daily basis, authorities are finding a wide range of uses for shipping containers – protecting people and houses, propping up buildings, site offices, storage, etc and the strength and portability of a shipping container allows them to be modified to suit any application. Refer Shipping Container Modifications.

Christchurch re-building with shipping containers

If you would like more information on how shipping containers can be modified to suit your needs or circumstances, or would like to buy or hire a shipping container, contact Premier Box Shipping Containers on 07 3888 3011 or Get a Quote Online.