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Comparing Mobile Storage Containers to Self-Storage

25.01.2021 - Posted by Updated On 25.01.2021    

The market for storage space is expanding and becoming more and more competitive. It seems that almost everywhere you turn, someone is interested in providing you additional storage space lately. There are many options available and it's no small task to compare them and find the solution that's best for you. While we know that each person and situation is unique, we'd put together some basic guidelines for what we feel is important to consider when making your self-storage decision. The three key factors that we're including in our analysis are: Accessibility, Security, and Cost.

For our analysis, we've decided to generalize storage solutions into two areas, and they are portable storage and on-site storage. Portable storage is classified as any type of portable storage unit that can be moved from one location to another. Used shipping containers, storage, and MobileMini are solutions that would fall into this classification. On-site storage is just as it sounds, any storage solution that is located inside of a storage facility, such as Storage Masters or Uncle Bob's Self Storage.

Mobile storage vs. Onsite Storage

Accessibility: Portable storage requires you to have enough space to keep a 10', 20', or 40' shipping container on your property. In some cases it can be smaller, but these lengths are the industry standards. Because the storage container is kept on your property you'll obviously have 24 hour access to it. Accessibility to onsite storage can vary based on the location and management. In some cases you will have 24 hour access, however there are companies that aren't able to provide 24 hours access for security reasons.

Security: Cargo containers are designed to be strong and secure. They have steel doors on one, or sometimes both ends, that are secured by a high strength lock box. With container is located on your property, you'll be able to control access and install any other security measures that you desire. On-site storage typically provides 24 hour security in a well-lit area. Only people with the proper credentials, typically others renting from the same company, are permitted to enter the secured area. Many companies install security cameras and do a very good job at protecting the site, and your property.

Cost: If you expect that you'll need the storage unit for an extended period of time, possibly more than one year; you can purchase a used cargo container for an amount that would be less than renting a container. Plus, you have the option of reselling when you no longer need it and recovering much of the cost. If you only need the storage as a short term solution, the delivery and cost of the container may outweigh the cost of on-site storage options.

Summary: If you're in need of a long term, self-storage unit, and have the space available to keep a used shipping container, it makes financial sense to buy a shipping container and begin to move in. However, if you're one of the people that don't have the extra real estate available, or prefer not to make the up-front investment, using an on-site storage solution could be the best choice for you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to provide our experience and insight.

  Portable Storage On-site Storage
  • 24 hour access, on your property
  • Possible restrictions on access
  • Integrated lock box, self managed.
  • 24 hour managed security.
  • Higher up front cost, no recurring costs
  • Low upfront cost, recurring/monthly fees

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