I see these Big Steel Box sales outlets all over BC. They're painted white, look new, and are branded with the company name. Today I found out they are not old and rusty with a lick of new paint.
BSB buys them new, pre-painted white, from China. They are shipped once with a commercial load to Canada for some other party. The boxes all arrive at Roberts Bank, so special orders will ship from Vancouver. When emptied, Big Steel Box takes possession. I took a look. They are dint-free, weather-tight, sharp-looking and every door has broad rubber gaskets. The outside is steel and the inside is lined with plywood. They mainly come in 8'6" and 9'6" heights and 20 or 40 ft lengths. Smaller units are available but not for people to move inside. Shipping the 20's is quite easy and can be done on a typical tow truck with a tilt deck.
I walked into the oddly narrow office of the Sidney BC location and didn't realize until it was explained that I was inside a 20 ft container. Take a look at this Victoria area price list for the fall of 2013. It includes rental options and a new (One trip painted white), or used (Not painted, older) price list. There is a 20ft option for a pre-finished office.
What can they be used for besides storage, camps and offices? On-line I have seen pictures of a multi-storey student residence in Scandinavia. They can fill great holes or build humps that can be covered with something else. They can make tunnels and tubes. On end they make a column-like shape and could be used as forms for concrete or rip-rap fill.
My brain is telling me there are opportunities to solve big problems and make big money. The supply of product can be counted on for quite a few years.