Since ancient times, humans have had the desire to store their belongings. In recent decades, the lack of space and the need for storage have made self storage rental a growing trend, turning self storage into a business model that continues to thrive.
The concept of self storage originated in the United States and has since spread to the rest of the world. In our country, the sector has skyrocketed in recent years. Currently, Spain is the third European country with the highest number of self storage facilities, with around 600 centers occupying a total area of over one million square meters.
What are self storage centers?
This term encompasses centers that offer rental mini-storage services. Self storage centers provide exclusive, secure, and conditioned spaces for individuals, professionals, or businesses to use freely.
The Spanish Self Storage Association (AESS) represents both large operators with multiple facilities in Spain and smaller companies and independent operators with rental storage units. Suppliers in the self storage industry can also be associate members.
The AESS works to ensure that the sector meets the quality and safety standards demanded by the market. Self storage centers are much more than just rental mini-storage spaces for storing our belongings.
What services does self storage offer?
Having a self storage unit means accessing a range of complementary services that go beyond simply having extra storage space. Users of these centers have 24/7 access, advanced security systems, storage insurance, and handling equipment, among other amenities.
What sizes do self storage centers offer?
The location and size of self storage centers differ from traditional storage units. Previously, this service was primarily aimed at companies and SMEs, so the centers were usually located near industrial estates. Now, an increasing number of self storage centers are found in urban areas, making them more accessible to all users.
In terms of size, most self storage centers offer a variety of unit sizes to meet different needs. Generally, the storage unit sizes range from one square meter to eight or ten square meters.
Storage Units and Mini Warehouses in Converted Shipping Containers
Due to their durability, versatility, and mobility, the Self Storage market is increasingly using converted shipping containers as storage modules. These structures allow for the configuration of storage units and mini warehouses based on the available space, size, and design.
Benefits of Shipping Containers as Storage Method
There are multiple benefits of using shipping containers as a storage method:
- They are sturdy and durable.
Shipping containers are designed with durable materials like corrosion-resistant steel, providing excellent protection and security for stored products. They are built to withstand adverse weather conditions and shield the cargo from external elements such as water and dust. Additionally, many shipping containers are equipped with high-security locking and sealing systems to prevent theft and ensure the integrity of the products.
- They are watertight compartments.
Some storage units and facilities may have issues with insects and rodents. This feature of shipping containers avoids such problems.
- They are versatile.
Shipping containers offer great versatility and adaptability in terms of storage. Their modular design allows for flexible configurations and the ability to stack them in various ways to maximize space utilization. Additionally, specialized containers, such as refrigerated units, ensure controlled temperature conditions for sensitive products.
- Mobility and logistical flexibility.
One of the key advantages of shipping containers is their ease of mobility and transport. They can be efficiently transported by trucks, trains, and ships, facilitating logistics and reducing handling times. Furthermore, their standardization and compatibility with loading equipment, such as cranes, simplify the loading and unloading process.
How to Choose the Best Container for Storage
Size is a fundamental factor when choosing a shipping container for storage. There is a wide variety of sizes available, with the smaller options being 6-foot (1.8 x 1.9 meters) and 8-foot (2.4 x 2.2 meters) containers. If you need a larger space, the recommended options are 20-foot (13.5 m²) and 40-foot (27 m²) containers, which can store pallets, large-volume items like furniture, vehicles, or industrial equipment.
20-foot double-door containers are a common solution for creating two 7.5 m² spaces by installing a dividing wall inside the container. They are equivalent to a 10-foot container but at a lower cost. Another possibility is to create four small spaces of 1.20 x 3m within a 20-foot container.
At Bullbox, we specialize in developing storage projects using converted shipping containers. If you’re looking for a partner to start a self storage business, we can assist you. Contact us.