Shipping Containers for Sale in Oakland, California: Versatile Solutions for Every Need

shipping containers for sale oakland

‍Photo by distelAPPArath on Pixabay

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Role of Oakland in the Shipping Container Industry
  • Shipping Container Uses in Oakland
    • Shipping Container Restaurants and Retail Spaces
    • Shipping Container Homes and Apartments
  • Transportation Routes and Facilities
    • Highways and Intermodal Transportation
    • Rail Freight Routes
    • The Port of Oakland
  • Oakland’s Export and Import Businesses
  • Major Companies in Oakland Utilizing Shipping Containers
  • Self-Storage Solutions in Oakland
  • Conclusion


shipping containers for sale oakland

Shipping containers have become much more than metal boxes used for transporting goods across the globe. In Oakland, California, these versatile structures have found a variety of applications, from trendy restaurants and retail spaces to affordable housing solutions. The city’s strategic location as a major port and transportation hub makes it an ideal location for shipping container-related businesses.

In this article, we will explore the role of Oakland in the shipping container industry and delve into the various uses and applications of shipping containers in the city. We will also discuss the transportation routes and facilities, as well as the major companies in Oakland that utilize shipping containers. Whether you’re looking to buy a shipping container for personal or commercial use, or simply curious about the innovative projects in Oakland, this article will provide you with valuable insights.

The Role of Oakland in the Shipping Container Industry

Oakland, situated on the West Coast, is a prominent port city and a key location for shipping container depots and transportation. With its extensive network of railroad freight routes and its proximity to the interstate highway system, Oakland has established itself as a major hub for container shipping in the USA.

The Conex Depot Oakland container storage facility, located at ZIP 94607, plays a crucial role in the local economy. It offers a wide range of new and used cargo containers for sale, catering to both individuals and businesses in Oakland and beyond. By providing easy access to quality shipping containers, Conex Depot contributes to the growth of shipping container-related businesses and projects in the city.

Shipping Container Uses in Oakland

Shipping Container Restaurants and Retail Spaces

One fascinating example of shipping container repurposing in Oakland is the MacArthur Annex. This unique project consists of 33 repurposed cargo containers transformed into retail spaces, including restaurants, shops, and artist studios. Located near the MacArthur BART station, the MacArthur Annex attracts diverse, independent tenants seeking affordable spaces for their businesses.

The concept behind the MacArthur Annex is not only about creating sustainable and affordable spaces but also about fostering a sense of community. Tenants include a vintage record shop, an apothecary selling handmade and organic products, and even a tarot card reading stall. The stacked containers, connected together to form the complex, are not only visually striking but also environmentally friendly, as they are made from “upcycled” sea containers that would have otherwise been scrapped.

Shipping Container Homes and Apartments

In Oakland, shipping containers have also emerged as a viable solution for affordable housing. Boxouse, an Oakland-based startup, specializes in converting shipping containers into compact homes for rent or sale. These tiny homes, measuring around 160 square feet, offer a fully renovated living space complete with a bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen amenities.

The Boxouse models range from a basic, bare-bones version to a deluxe model equipped with solar power units, automatic utility services, and futuristic smart windows and lights controlled by voice. The vision behind Boxouse is to transform abandoned lots in Oakland into vibrant communities of shipping container homes, addressing the city’s homelessness issue and revitalizing neighborhoods.

Transportation Routes and Facilities

Highways and Intermodal Transportation

Oakland’s strategic location is reinforced by its connectivity to several major highways. Interstate 580 (MacArthur Freeway) heads southeast toward Hayward, while Interstate 880 (Nimitz Freeway) runs south to San Jose. The Eastshore Freeway (Interstate 80/I-580) runs north, and Interstate 980 (I-980) serves as a short spur connecting Interstate 580 and State Route 24 to Interstate 880 in Downtown Oakland.

This extensive highway network facilitates the movement of shipping containers in and out of the city, supporting the local economy and ensuring efficient transportation of goods.

Rail Freight Routes

Rail freight plays a significant role in Oakland’s shipping container industry, primarily centered around the movement of containers to and from the Port of Oakland. The Union Pacific Railroad (UP) and the BNSF Railway operate rail facilities adjacent to the marine terminal area, enabling the seamless transfer of cargo between the marine terminals and the port’s intermodal rail lines.

These rail freight routes connect Oakland to various destinations across the country, further enhancing the city’s position as a vital transportation hub for container shipping.

The Port of Oakland

As the fifth busiest container port in the United States, the Port of Oakland is a crucial player in the shipping container industry. Located in the San Francisco Bay, the port is one of the three largest ports on the West Coast, handling a significant volume of containerized cargo.

The port’s commitment to containerization and intermodal container transfer has contributed to its success. With recent upgrades, including the deepening of shipping channels and berths, the Port of Oakland can now accommodate larger vessels with capacities of up to 18,000 TEUs. This modernization ensures the port’s continued relevance and efficiency in the global shipping industry.

Oakland’s Export and Import Businesses

Oakland serves as a major gateway for agricultural exports and imports. In 2015, the Port of Oakland moved over 3.5 million metric tons of agricultural export cargo, with nuts, meat, and animal feed being the highest volume commodities. These exports are primarily destined for markets in Japan, South Korea, and China.

On the import side, the Port of Oakland handled approximately 2 million metric tons of agricultural container freight in 2015. Wine, coffee, non-alcoholic beverages, sunflower oil, soybean, and rice products are among the main agricultural imports. These goods primarily originate from countries such as China, Thailand, and Australia.

Oakland’s export businesses encompass a wide range of products, including food and beverage products, electrical machinery, meats, foodstuffs, wine and spirits, and dairy products. Many of the city’s largest companies, such as UPS, Southwest Airlines, and FedEx, rely on shipping containers to transport their goods efficiently.

Major Companies in Oakland Utilizing Shipping Containers

A variety of prominent companies in Oakland rely on shipping containers for various purposes. UPS, Southwest Airlines, and FedEx utilize shipping containers for efficient logistics and transportation. Other businesses, such as Manos Home Care, Universal Security Solutions, and Waste Management, benefit from the secure storage capabilities of shipping containers.

Additionally, companies like Helix Electric, Shimmick Construction, and Mettler-Toledo Rainin Instruments utilize shipping containers as temporary on-site offices or storage solutions during construction projects. The versatility and affordability of shipping containers make them a practical choice for a wide range of businesses in Oakland.

Self-Storage Solutions in Oakland

Beyond commercial use, shipping containers have become increasingly popular for self-storage purposes in Oakland. Whether individuals choose to buy a used shipping container or rent one from a local supplier, these containers provide a secure and convenient storage solution.

Conex Depot, a leading provider of shipping containers in Oakland, offers various sizes and grades of containers for sale. Whether you need storage for inventory, construction materials, or furniture during a remodeling project, Conex Depot can provide the right solution. Their knowledgeable sales team can offer project advice and competitive pricing for both new and used containers.


In Oakland, California, shipping containers have moved beyond their traditional role as transportation vessels. They have become key players in various industries, including hospitality, housing, and storage. The city’s strategic location, extensive transportation routes, and the presence of major companies contribute to its position as a thriving hub for shipping container-related businesses.

Whether you’re interested in innovative shipping container projects, looking to buy or rent a container, or simply fascinated by the versatility of these structures, Oakland offers a vibrant and dynamic environment. Embracing the potential of shipping containers, the city continues to leverage their versatility to meet the diverse needs of its residents and businesses.