Logisticians on an upcycling mission: a team from DB Schenker in Florida recently looked into potential alternative uses for decommissioned ocean freight containers. Photo: DB Schenker

To give items we use in our daily lives an entirely new purpose once they reach the end of their original lifecycle, and perhaps even augment them in the process – this is sustainability in the best sense of the word. This is called upcycling – often also referred to as creative reuse – and the practice keeps gaining in importance in logistics as well. In connection with ocean freight containers, for example. These containers are decommissioned in large numbers year after year, yet thanks to their sturdy construction, they are anything but ready for the scrap heap.


A team from DB Schenker USA recently went to the premises of a company called Little River Box Co. in Florida to take a look at what can be achieved with a little bit of imagination. The company specializes in the upcycling of containers. It converts them into stylish bars, stores, yoga studios and even homes. “Shipping containers played a major part in reshaping global trade,” said Gayle Zalduondo, one of the company’s founding partners, when the logisticians dropped by. “So how cool is it that they’re now playing a part in reinventing ‘local’ trade, supporting business and communities?”


And by the way: DB Schenker, too, has already found alternative uses for ocean freight containers: the “Oslo City Hub” opened last spring – a recent winner of a prestigious award (you can read about that here) – consists of a number of these robust boxes.

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