With these it helps Ok this is going to be hilarious but in case someone runs into this. The configuration is all ok and works as intended. The thing is, I had a separate folder on the repository in which I placed all of the individual services in their own folders alongside travis.yml and docker-compose at the top level. The travis.yml must be however placed at the root directory of the repo. If its down in any underlying folder travis will throw: Build config file is required via repository settings, but config is empty.
should help you out What you are looking for is Docker Compose. Docker compose will automatically start the images that you have and you can also link these images automatically inside docker-compose. If you have done some manual changes to the containers running, you can commit the container and the changes to a new image using