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Smart Ideas 08/05 Storage solutions, creative coffee and more

By Entrepreneur Staff

What: Portable storage units made from recycled andrestored cargo containers
Who: Rich Whelan of Moveable Cubicle
Where: Raleigh, North Carolina
When: Started in 2000

When Rich Whelan lived in Arizona, he frequently noticed largecontainers behind retail stores. Upon moving to North Carolina in1999, Whelan, 40, noted that these same giant steel containers werepiling up on the shoreline near U.S. shipping ports.

Historic trade imbalances between the United States and othercountries caused the cargo-carrying cubes to stack up at ports,wasting space. This observation, paired with an eco-friendlyidea--to purchase retired crates from ports and then lease them,cleaned, painted and restored, to other businesses for theirtemporary storage needs--inspired Whelan to start his business.