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Storage Solutions: Shipping Containers vs. Trailers

05.03.2023 - Posted by Updated On 05.03.2023    

The ideal storage unit is quick to delivery or install, has enough room to store everything that needs to be stored, is secure, and has ample room in case you need to load more things into it in the future. Historically, the most common structure for storage has been a barn or shed constructed from wood, concrete, or bricks; and while structures like this meet most of our criteria, they are very permanent, immobile, and take some time to construct. As international trade and intermodal shipping have grown in popularity, shipping containers and trailers have found their way into occupations other than shipping - one of the most popular being portable storage solutions.

Converted Trailers for Storage

Logically, the type of trailer that you see cruising up and down the highway behind big rig truck make perfect storage trailer candidates, and in several cases they do work well. Trailers are secure, very portable, and come in a range of sizes.

Pros: Using a trailer for storage works well in short term scenarios. If your storage needs are seasonal, and typically span less than six months having a trailer delivered to your location will provide you with respectable amount of extra space in virtually no time at all. The truck shows up with the trailer, puts it in your location, unhitches, and drives off until it needs to be picked up.

storage trailer

Cons: If your storage solutions last longer than six months you may run into problems with moving the container when it's time for it to be picked up. If a trailer sits for an extended period of time without moving the tires may being to show signs of dry rot, and the electrical systems may fall into disrepair. While neither of these problems sounds like a major issue, the two could be expensive if you need to have the trailer recertified to move it on roads or highways.

Converted Shipping Containers for Storage

Shipping containers may not seem as prevalent as trailers, it could just be that you don't know what to look for to tell the two apart. When on the highway containers and trailers look very similar; essentially a large box on a set of wheels. However, shipping containers not only travel on highways, but also on ships and trains. They're large, secure, and easily maintained.

storage container

Pros: Shipping containers are easily maintained. They're little more than a steel box with a set of doors. They come in 20' and 40' lengths, and while some other sizes do show up they're not as common. Shipping containers are inexpensive and can be delivered to your location for a minimal cost. If you plan on keeping the storage unit on site for more than six months a shipping container should be your first option. Also, it goes without saying that shipping containers are very secure.

Cons: The main obstacle with shipping containers is typically delivery. Unlike trailers, shipping containers need to be either unloaded with a forklift or crane, or set on the ground with a tilt bed trailer. If there is little space available to navigate a truck around in the shipping container delivery may not be possible.

Storage solutions come in all shapes and sizes, and depending on your physical needs and the duration of the period that you require the additional storage. Short term solutions when mobility is imperative can benefit from a trailer, while middle to long term periods or those require higher security features will be best served by using a converted shipping container.

If you have any questions about using shipping containers for storage, or shipping containers in general, you can contact the staff of or any of the registered sellers on the site directly though their listings.

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