Farmers can now finance the purchase of portable storage containers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency has announced farmers can now finance the purchase of portable storage containers as part of changes to the Farm Storage Facility Loan program.

Currently, the Farm Storage Facility Loan program offers low interest financing options to help food producers build or upgrade facilities. As these structures tend to be larger, it’s not uncommon for commercial farmers to take advantage of the loan program. Smaller and independent farmers face difficulties because they needed the storage space, but may not have the resources to secure a loan.

With the changes, smaller farmers can now afford to take out loans in order to obtain portable storage units.

New microloan option

As part of the changes, the USDA is introducing loans with a microloan option that come with smaller down payments.

This new microloan option offers farmers the ability to qualify for a smaller down payment of 5 percent while not requiring them to provide any prior production history. According to the USDA, the total of the loan cannot exceed $50,000.

It is expected that the microloan programwill be of particular benefit to small ranchers, farmers and producers who do not have access to large, commercial storage.

The USDA noted these changes are a continuation of policies and efforts that have been ongoing since 2009 in an effort to help further the development of local food sources.

Growing demand of local food

Based on current trends, it is no surprise why the USDA is placing an emphasis on local food producers and helping them fulfill their storage needs.

“Local food sales are expected to increase to a market value of $20 billion in 2019.”

Recognizing this trend, over $1 billion has been invested in regional farming operations. Some of that money has gone toward infrastructure and training farmers.

Why storage is needed

If predictions from the USDA hold true, farmers will need to meet the growing demand from consumers. In turn, they will need more equipment and materials to ensure farming operations meet demands.

In the foreseeable future, farming operations will benefit from using mobile storage containers to store valuable equipment on their land. With this program’s help from the USDA, farmers will have an easier time obtaining these portable storage units.

5 Reasons Why Shipping Containers Are Better Than Storage Sheds

We’ve discussed in previous posts, the notion that using shipping containers for long-term storage is a great way to keep your belongings safe amid both weather, larceny or anything else the world may subject it to.  Some have argued that storage sheds work just as well, and should be considered before shipping containers.  In this article, we will debunk this opinion and highlight why you should choose a container instead of a storage shed.

Storage sheds are great.  You can have one constructed by a professional, or even teach yourself how to build one using the latest YouTube video.  They can be customized to fit your space and your needs, and can be built in such a way as to match their current surroundings (your home or workspace).  However, there are 5 reasons why the storage shed is outmatched by the shipping container, and here they are:

Reason 1:  They are Weatherproof

At some point, any storage facility will be tested by mother nature.  Spring rains, winter snowfall, gale force winds, or perpetual humidity are just a few of the elements that any long-term storage will encounter.

Water damage can be one of the most detrimental issues to affect most any storage.  Sheds made from wood or any other absorptive materials can potentially succumb to warping or rotting because of continued moisture from rain, snow or humidity.

Warping can cause doors to no longer close or for the entire foundation to lose shape, while Rotting can cause mold or fungus to grow, creating an unsanitary and unsavory storage environment.  Long-term, the effects caused by water damage will eventually diminish the integrity of your storage and will likely break or fall apart if left unattended to.

Shipping containers, on the other hand, are 100% waterproof and provide a haven for your possessions from not only moisture and its effects, but from wind and fire as well.  Being that these containers are comprised of fire and waterproof durable steel, whatever you keep inside will remain safe and secure.

Do you live in an area with continually strong winds?  If yes, then you’ll need storage much sturdier than your average shed.  Shipping containers made from steel are very heavy, and as such, they are impervious to even the fiercest of winds.  Your possessions will remain safely inside while the sheds of your neighbors may be unfortunately blown over.

Reason 2:  No Assembly Required

It’s true that many sheds can be put together by either yourself or a professional.  If you choose to assemble your shed, can you guarantee that you’ll follow instructions precisely, devoid of any structural errors?  If not, then you may be putting your possessions at risk.

You can choose to hire someone to build your shed, but are you ready to pay an exorbitant amount for the finished product?  Labor fees for assembly on top of the initial price of your shed will add up, especially if you opt for the more complex and high-quality selections on the market.

If you are in search of a place to safely store your tools, equipment or virtually anything else without having to worry about the labor or cost of assembly, a shipping container is your best option.  Our containers can be dropped onto your property and are then immediately ready for use.  There are no separate pieces and there is no foundation required.  No need to break out that power drill; we’ve already done the work, saved you time and saved you money!

Reason 3:  They Are Secure

Sheds are most often made up of wood, plastic, or other materials that can easily be broken into or deconstructed.  Throwing an expensive lock on the door of your shed doesn’t necessarily keep your stored goods safe.  Your storage facility is only as secure as its weakest point, which may be the door hinges, the frame, foundation, etc.

Shipping containers are the most secure option for storing expensive and valuable belongings.  Because our containers are made of steel throughout, with only either single or double doors, no thief would have an easy time breaking in.  From the roof to the hinges, there no weak point to be found on a shipping container.

Reason 4:  They are Less Expensive

As with most purchases, when buying a shed, you’ll get what you pay for.  If you’re hoping to save money when buying a storage shed, you’re likely to encounter the issues mentioned above such as water damage, assembly flaws and theft.  Opting for a more expensive shed is something to consider, but fees for assembly will rise, respectively.

Shipping containers are relatively inexpensive, and as we’ve discussed, save you the money you would’ve spent on assembly.  What’s more, they last forever due to their durable steel construction, unlike a wooden or plastic shed.  So, rather than buying two or more sheds throughout your lifetime, one shipping container would suffice.

Lastly, because they last forever, shipping containers in good condition are easy to re-sell.  Good luck trying to sell your older, worn out storage shed!

Reason 5:  They Look Cool!

Just because you’ve chosen a shipping container for your storage does not mean that you must sacrifice aesthetics.  Shipping containers can be customized and tailored to have both a modern and elegant appeal.  Paint your container to match your home or office building, or cut in windows and extra doors to make this container your own.

Don’t be fooled by your preconceived notions relating to the size of containers, either.  While you may be picturing an oversized rectangle atop a flattened ship bed, the truth is we offer shipping containers of many sizes.  Choose from as small as an 8 x 10 container or as large as an 8.5 x 53!

Convinced?  Then it’s Time to Buy!

If you’re convinced that a shipping container is the better option over a traditional storage shed, contact our team at any time.  We’d be happy to discuss your exact needs and set you up with the perfect container.

Shipping Containers: The Future of Urban Farming?

The farming industry is evolving rapidly, and shipping containers are one of the catalysts for change

The shipping container has, in no small way, shaped society. Nondescript and unassuming, it has propelled globalization and spurred world trade. As global container traffic grew, ports became wider and larger, changing the face of cities.

Over the years, people found other, more innovative uses for shipping containers: pop-up container shops, portable container homes, eco-container bridges, offices, disaster shelters, even saunas. Now, in the 21st century, the shipping container has once again become an impetus of change, this time in the farming industry.

In an article on The Wall Street Journal, writer Christopher Mims describes a very unlikely scene: Inside a Boston taxi depot, three white shipping containers sit side by side. These refrigerated shipping containers used to transport cold goods, but now they serve an altogether different purpose. LED light spills out of the open door of one shipping container. The air inside the shipping container is warm and humid. The walls are lined with neat rows of green plants growing in the neon light.

As the volume of arable land continues to shrink due to development, farmers are embracing new growing techniques that minimize land use, like hydroponic indoor farming. Shipping containers have proven to be an ideal space to practice this innovative farming technique. In fact, companies like Freight Farms can produce 48,568 mini heads of lettuce in a year from just one shipping container. Others, like Crop Box and Growtrainer, throw in cutting-edge innovations, from smartphone-controlled censors to proprietary vapor pressure deficit systems.

Some traditional farmers have started using portable storage containers as a place to grow produce during the dark and cold winter months. However, most of the farmers using shipping containers are located in urban areas where arable land is simply not available. The demure appearance and compact size of shipping containers make them easy to place in vacant urban areas like underpasses, parking lots, and even alleyways behind the restaurants where the crops are served.

Having on-site access to fresh herbs and vegetables is a game-changer for urban restaurants with farm-to-table philosophies. “We harvest it in the morning, and often it’s in a salad for lunch,” says Bobby Zuker, co-owner of Green Line Growers operating out of the Boston taxi depot, in an interview with Mims. Chefs appreciate the freshness of produce grown and harvested from behind their restaurant – the flavors are much stronger compared to conventional produce that’s been harvested a week earlier.

Shipping containers are not new to the American agricultural industry. In fact, farmers have been using shipping containers to store tools, equipment, fertilizer, seed, and even harvested grain for decades. It is, however, refreshing to see that 60 years after its invention, the shipping container is now serving a new generation of farmers who use it in highly creative ways that are ultimately good for business and the environment.

Interested in renting a shipping container in Florida or California? Contact Instant Storage to learn more about our shipping containers, or generate a quick quote now!