The shipping containers used today throughout the transportation industry were first developed by the U.S. military to transport food and supplies during the Korean War. The original containers were called Container Express or ConEx. They were designed to be durable, weatherproof, pest-proof, and stackable. In addition, the dimensions allowed them to be used on different modes of transportation (i.e., ships, trucks, and trains). Over the years, the military has discovered that these portable, durable containers can be used for various purposes. Here are a few ways the military uses shipping containers during their operations around the world.

Shipping Containers:  Military Uses

Training Operation Barriers

During training, the military strives to present realistic operations (as close as possible) to prepare the trainees for real-world situations. Due to their structural integrity and durability, shipping containers make excellent training barriers. They simulate the types of obstacles that troops might encounter in a military arena.

Office Spaces

As the military moves around the world, they often have to create bases to run their operations. One of the things a base needs is office space. Modified containers can have windows, doors, HVAC systems, etc. – anything needed to accommodate workers. The HVAC system is vital in locations with harsh conditions.


Along with office space, military personnel need a place to live. Shipping containers can be outfitted to create very comfortable living spaces. They can be stacked to make multi-story buildings. They are quick to set up and take down as needs change. These safe, secure, and weather-resistant living quarters can be temporary or permanent.


When the military sets up a base in a foreign land, they have to bring in all necessary supplies – food, office supplies, uniforms, linens, medical supplies, equipment, etc. These versatile containers can handle it all. Refrigerated containers are used for food and medicines that require strict temperature control. Shelves and other organizing fixtures can be added to make all stored items easy to find.

Weapon Platform

The U.S. military has converted several 20-foot containers into remote weapon stations. A lifting platform is designed to rise through doors in the roof, allowing various weapons to be used from any position on the battlefield.

Carolina Containers

The portability, durability, and versatility of shipping containers make them ideal for the military. How can you use them in your business? Contact Carolina Containers at 919-562-9187 and see what we can do for you.