Dec. 07–ELLENDALE — Shipping containers have been making their way inland as more and more people and businesses use them as an option for temporary and permanent storage, and the Albert Lea area is no exception.
Ed Nelson has always been self-employed and spent much of his career working in interstate trucking through his own company, Ed Nelson Trucking and Repair. For the last five years, the now 63-year-old businessman has focused his career solely on portable shipping containers. He sells, rents, delivers and, if needed, makes a pad for new or used units, which span between 20 to 40 feet long.
“There’s a real need for it,” Nelson said, noting the units are moisture- and rodent-proof, not something all outbuildings can guarantee.
He has worked with a diverse clientele — from bar owners who need insulated units so they can expand their storage capacity, to contractors who want to keep their inventory safe while out on job sites, to everyday people who need a little more room to store their valuables and would prefer to do so on their own property.
Nelson said there are additional benefits to using this type of storage system, beyond the security they can provide. First of all, there are no taxes that are required to be paid on the units. Building requirements are not necessary either. Currently, the units seem to be increasing in value as well.
Due to the recent hurricanes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been buying up many of the units making the demand that much higher. The creative uses for the containers have also increased their value.
Nelson has delivered two containers to a man in Grand Rapids who used two of the 40-foot units to build a home. He has also been contacted by a group of people in Tennessee who are buying up containers with the intention of building an apartment complex.
When it comes to local renters or buyers, Nelson said it’s best for them to give him a call. He typically discusses the customer’s needs, whether or not the site for the container will need some prep work, as well as the benefits of renting versus buying the containers.
All of the units purchased can be painted to match other buildings in the vicinity, although the used models may have a few dents. He does inspect all used containers to make sure the seals and latches are in working order, though.
He then personally delivers the unit to the customer’s home and can typically put the container wherever the customer wants it, as long as he can back his truck up to that particular spot.
For more information about portable shipping containers, call Nelson at 612-418-4375.
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