Cargotecture is on the upswing, and we're seeing shipping containers used to construct homes, apartments, pop-up shops, and even swimming pools. While the process of repurposing a shipping container to create a livable space is well-covered, we haven't seen much coverage of how shipping containers are actually made.

BigSteelBox has produced a video documenting the construction process of a shipping container from inside a Chinese factory. One surprise is that the shipping containers aren't made by machines, instead requiring a lot of manual labor from workers. Watch the full video to see the complete process, but we've boiled down the first four steps that give the shipping container its initial shape: 

Step 1: Making the wall panels.

Wall panels are made by slicing steel sheets to a size of 8 feet x 3 feet. The panels are corrugated (the signature wave-like texture increases the durability of the steel), sandblasted, and then welded together to create a wall panel.

Step 2: Assembling the floor frame. 

"The floor frame is predominantly made up of I-beams. Two longer I-beams are laid out perpendicular to each other. Then smaller I-beams are welded in between the longer I-beams to create a raft like base."

Step 3: Making the container doors and corner posts.

The container doors are also made out of corrugated steel, which is cut to size and then encased in steel tubing. Corner posts are welded to I-beams, and the door are welded inside the I-beams.

Step 4: Assembling the box.

Cranes are used to lift the door frames so they can be positioned on top of the floor frame and welded into place. The wall panels are lifted and welded next, and the roof panel is welded in place last. 

For a breakdown of the final four steps, read more on Container Home Plans >>