Logistics Management is integral to global trading. Without it, the products and services that people use as basic necessities would not travel from point A and arrive at point Z effectively and efficiently which is where they are needed for human consumption. Much of the physical goods we use are transported all around the world in shipping containers. These hefty steel boxes can be seen every day on the freeways and railroad tracks. If you’re lucky enough to live near a port, you can also see them there. As a matter of fact, the ports are usually where they end up or rather pile up.
It is estimated that 21 thousand containers, with a lifespan of about 20 years, hit American shores every day. After they have shipped and delivered cargo, they become “used shipping containers” and nobody wants them, eventually posing a storage problem and becoming a potential source of pollution. If this were an issue brought to national attention in the 70s via Schoolhouse Rock!, you can probably imagine a group of lonely, animated containers singing about their feelings of being washed up and searching for a sense of purpose after getting tossed aside by irresponsible humans who are unconscious of the problems they’re causing the environment. These containers would delightfully entertain while informing the world they can be more than just the steel boxes that serve your needs on the back of a train, truck or ship! They can trans-form into almost anything conceivable— storage facilities, mobile offices, classrooms, military training units, malls and even homes. These containers are simply waiting on heroes with the vision and know-how to make their dreams a reality. Are there any out there who can rescue these poor containers from their bleak future? No need to fret! Some visionaries are in the building! Here to save the day and show the world the possibilities are endless when it comes to container modification. [End scene and enter real life.]
Bill Hinchliff is a principle owner and CEO of International Port Management Enterprise (IPME)— a company located in Gardena, California that provides streamlined products and services for clients interested in utilizing the many versatile functions of shipping containers. IPME is equipped to perform fabrication, logistics, and project management for all the ship-ping container needs of potential clients. IPME was established in February 2012, but Mr. Hinchliff is no newbie to the shipping container industry. He and his co-owner Craig Rapoza have over 23 years of experience in container customization (click here to read more about Mr. Rapoza’s fabrication business, Built Rite Industries). Together, Mr. Hinchliff, Mr. Rapoza and their team have built a substantial portfolio that includes some very notable container projects.
One of the exciting projects completed by the IPME team is the Vans Skatepark in Hunting-ton Beach, California. IPME partnered with Jacks Garage and Kraus Construction to provide the city of Huntington Beach a 3-acre lighted skatepark with a 4,000 square foot skate shop. This includes bathrooms, water fountains, Taco Surf Restaurant, landscaped seating area, and pro-shop, utilizing 12 new and used shipping containers for its multistory structure. The grand opening was in March 2014 and the facility is open to the general public free of charge.
Another innovative development tackled by the IPME team is Container Park of Las Vegas. This is an extraordinary retail and entertainment center with a unique community of vendors in Downtown Las Vegas. In essence, it’s an outdoor mall made out of 38 shipping containers. Mr. Hinchliff says, “Constructing with shipping containers delivers a unique industrial and contemporary appearance to the development, provides a substantially superior concentration of strength and durability, and has a positive environmental impact by using recycled materials.”
IPME has had remarkable opportunities to push the limits on container modification. For example, they constructed a marketing booth out of a 20 foot container for Nike subsidiary, Hurley International clothing company. They provided a similar container to a vendor for the famous San Diego Comic-Con— the largest annual convention for comic book fans in the U.S. They also built a “Custom Man-Cave” for actor and producer Ashton Kutcher on the set of Warner Bros’ sitcom Two and a Half Men— all out of shipping containers. The IPME team is able to sand blast and paint the containers, install doors, windows, electricity, and plumbing to make them functional, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. These are all pretty cool, to say the least, but they also work on projects with great depth and meaning.
People who have the pleasure of personally meeting Bill Hinchliff get to know him not only as a professional businessman but also a man of charisma, charity and faith. So it’s no surprise that he would gravitate toward humanitarian efforts as well. He worked to expand Waldorf High School in Costa Mesa, California by using 32 shipping containers to add 10,000 square feet of classroom, bathroom, and faculty space as well as an auditorium. Also in Costa Mesa, is The Crossing Church who Bill helped to outfit an amazingly decorated cargo container to be used as two classrooms then loaded it with school supplies and food for their partners in India. He also participated in SLEEP (Sierra Leone Educational Enrichment Project) a non-profit organization that needed freight containers to send unused books that would have been destroyed in the U.S. to children in Sierra Leone, Africa. These projects truly illustrate the infinitely boundless opportunities the world of container modifications has to offer and this is just the beginning.
Gone are the days when recycling plastic bottles and aluminum cans was the cornerstone of environmental consciousness. Even installing solar panels in the home is becoming old news when companies like IPME are leading the industry in taking old containers and utilizing them as the actual infrastructure of a home. As Mr. Hinchliff says, “Recycling and reusing is probably the number one reason why you would want to use a container to build a home. It’s all about reutilizing and sustainability.” It’s no longer necessary to hurt the planet by cutting down trees to build new homes. That can be achieved by replacing wood with steel. This is a new generation of recycling. A home built from old shipping containers is not fiction. It’s a fact. And the Man of Steel, Mr. Bill Hinchliff, is saving the environment one container at a time.
About The Author: Jaye Dunn is the Editor-in-Chief of J.A.Y.E. – the e-zine that Journeys Above Your Expectations. It is a lifestyle magazine for the whole person for the whole year. Subscribe now at http://my1creation.com