Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are large metal boxes used for shipping goods across the sea. However, Christchurch has found many other uses for shipping containers after the earthquakes. Some are placed against the cliffs to stop falling rocks in an earthquake. Some are placed against buildings to stop bricks and stone from falling. They are piled three or four high against the Catholic cathedral where some of the walls have gone.

Many shipping containers are used for storage. If a whole house is badly damaged, the furniture can sometimes be stored in a container on the lawn. The family has to stay in a motel or with friends while builders repair the house.

In the central city, containers are used for shelter for workers who are busy demolishing or repairing buildings. They need a warm place where they can have lunch. When the fire station was damaged, fire officers slept in shipping containers.

Some shops, cafes and pubs which were demolished are now in shipping containers in many parts of the city. The outdoor shopping mall in the CBD with brightly coloured shipping containers is a great success. Listen to October 30th 2011 to hear more about this.

One company has brought in 1,000 containers to the city but more are needed. There is a waiting list.

There are many passives here: are placed, are piled, are used, is/ was damaged, were demolished, are needed. Can you make them active? Here is the first one to get you started: “Demolition workers placed containers against the walls.” Can you see why passive is better here?

Present perfect: has found, have gone, has brought in.
Present perfect shows an action which began in the past but continues today.

Parts of speech
to store (v), storage (n)
demolish (v), demolition (n)