Ground Level Mobile Office (GLO)

A ground-level mobile office (GLO) is a portable, temporary office space made with a converted shipping container. Most frequently, it is delivered to your location via a flatbed truck and quickly assembled on a flat, ground-level surface. Ground-level offices are made with high-grade steel and finished with advanced security mechanisms, making them sturdy, weather-resistant, and theft-resistant. They are perfect for construction, renovation, commercial, and retail projects.

How is a GLO different from an Office Trailer?

A ground-level office and an office trailer are easy to mistake as the same unit since they are both designed to be portable, temporary office spaces. However, there are some differences between the two types of spaces


The main difference between a ground-level office and an office trailer is how the office is set up at your site. A ground-level office, as the name suggests, sits directly on the ground. An office trailer sits slightly above the ground, on either a chassis or a metal frame. As a result, most mobile offices require a ramp or stairs to allow users to access them.

Set up

Additionally, ground-level offices are usually more low maintenance to set up, compared to mobile offices. All you need to do to prep your site is find a level surface. Then, your GLO can be delivered and placed on your site via a forklift. Mobile offices, on the other hand, require more preparation. When delivered, the supplier must secure the mobile office to the steel frame. Then, they have to assure it is secure in the ground so it will not become unanchored or move. These different setups can impact portability (which is only offered by portable storage containers).

Exterior design

Ground-level offices typically have a standard exterior appearance. Although they have converted interiors, their exterior retains the look of its traditional steel shipping container. However, you can customize the interior of your GLO almost any way you want. The good news is that since the ground-level office retains the shipping container’s features, it remains extremely sturdy and weather-resistant.

Mobile office exteriors can be more customized. For instance, they often have wood or vinyl paneling, which can give the unit a more “office-like” style. They also usually have ramps or stairs, and even awnings. With a mobile office, you can customize the interior much like a GLO, but you also have the option to have a highly customized exterior.

Who Uses Ground-Level Offices?

Today, tons of businesses utilize shipping container ground-level offices because of their convenience factor. The cost of commercial rent is increasing nationwide year over year, not to mention the capital expenses that come along with purchasing. It makes sense for many business owners to rent a GLO to save money while they start or grow their businesses.

Here are some of the industries that frequently utilize ground-level offices:


Similar to shipping containers, the standard sizes for ground level offices are 20-foot and 40-foot in length. These dimensions are:

There are also “high cube” options available for both 20-foot and 40-foot units, which adds a foot in height – making them 9.5’ tall. Additionally, most suppliers offer 10-foot, 12-foot, 16-foot, or custom sized GLO’s, depending on your needs.


In terms of layouts, most containers are open floor plans. This layout is straightforward and simple. When entering the GLO, the layout is open with no closed-off designated rooms. This allows you to use the open space in the way you wish.

What can you do with an open floor plan layout to fit your needs? Check out these options:

  • Work and store: This GLO is designed for workers who need both storage and a workspace. Part of the GLO is meant for storage, and the other part is meant for work. This is a great option if you want to keep storage and work separate, so you can stay productive while at work. You can also choose whether you want a larger workspace, storage space, or equal sizes - depending on your needs. (Because standard layouts are open floor plans, you'll need to discuss framing with your supplier or an outside source.)
  • Dual office: With a dual office, you can enjoy the benefits of having two or more closed-off workspaces. This is a great option for offices where two or more people will be working side by side, and will be more efficient with privacy. (Because standard layouts are open floor plans, you'll need to discuss framing with your supplier or an outside source.)
  • Workplace office: This layout typically includes a larger collaborative space, where you can add a conference table. Many workplace layouts also include a dual office, so you can enjoy a collaborative space and a private space within the same office. (Because standard layouts are open floor plans, you'll need to discuss framing with your supplier or an outside source.)

Note: Keep in mind that layout, framing, bathrooms, and other customized options will depend on the supplier. So make sure to ask the right questions when talking about the layout.

What are the benefits of a GLO?

Advanced security

Ground level offices are known for their advanced security. Their exterior is made from high-grade steel and they are completed with superior locking mechanisms, like padlocks. Their steel exterior also makes them weather-proof and highly durable, so you can rest assured your office is built to withstand harsh weather conditions. If you are looking for a workspace that will deter theft and keep highly valuable items safe from weather damage, a GLO is the way to go.


As mentioned, because ground-level offices are set up directly on the ground at your site, they can be very easily dropped off, relocated, and removed. Once delivered, your ground-level office will be ready and usable within moments. Additionally, if you need to relocate your office to a new location, you can do so within the same day. This is a great benefit for on-the-go professionals, like construction workers who may need to relocate their office to a new job site.

Note: Relocation is only offered for portable storage containers.

Cost effective

One of the biggest benefits of using a ground level office is the cost. Of all the types of portable office or storage space, ground level offices are some of the most affordable. You can also choose between used, refurbished, or new shipping containers. This allows you to find a GLO that best fits your budget. They can also be rented on either a short-term or long-term basis, or purchased outright - depending on your needs. To get a better feel for prices, take a look at our shipping container pricing guide.


Are you in need of a larger temporary office space? The great thing about ground level offices is that they can be easily stacked on top of one another, or combined at the ground level. If one large shipping container is not sufficient for your space needs, you can always stack them to create a larger workspace. Just ask your supplier about ways in which you can stack or combine units.


Ground level offices can be customized internally with lots of available add-on features. Here are just some of the features you can add to make your ground level office feel more like your own workspace:

  • Windows
  • Window guards
  • Blinds 
  • Doors
  • Electricity 
  • Interior shelving
  • HVAC units
  • Bathrooms
  • Insulation
  • Built-in finishing and furniture 

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