Adding Mobile Storage to Your Moving Business: Dollars and Cents

Business boils down to numbers, and if the numbers don’t add up, your business will drown beneath a sea of red ink. Depending on your existing operations and set-up, it may or may not “make cents” to add mobile storage to your lineup. As you consider the options and prepare to make a decision, be sure that you have thoroughly calculated the costs and potential benefits of including mobile storage containers as an option for customers to choose.

Land Cost

If you already have land, then this cost is already accounted for, and if you are not using it for other purposes, then it makes sense to designate the space for storing mobile moving containers. If you need to buy land, then consider the most appropriate place to do this. Ideally, it should be located adjacent to your existing property as this will make it easier to maintain and manage the addition. That said, now is a good time to buy property as the land prices continue to rise and interest rates are expected to trend upwards. If your bottom line looks good and you have a stable record of revenue over the past few years, now might be the best time to expand and position yourself for even more growth down the road.

Structural Costs

You will need a combination of interior and exterior space for your mobile storage containers. While some options can be stored outside without any risk of damaging the container or their contents, most customers will prefer it if their items are stored beneath the protection of a roof. For this reason, it’s a good idea to consider pole barn construction when building your structure. It is not only affordable and durable, these buildings are quick to build and require little maintenance. Moreover, because the designs are so simple and straightforward “out of the box” solutions, they don’t require hiring expensive architects and engineers in order to get permits and permission to build.


While land and structural facilities will represent a considerable investment, your most significant investment will be the containers and equipment needed to move them around. Containers can run as little $1-$2,000 for a small unit, all the way up to $4-$5,000 for a larger 16 or 20-foot unit. When it comes to containers, size, materials, and the quality of the construction are significant factors in determining the price and it is important to shop around.

In this regard, we recommend choosing a single company that strikes a balance between price, quality, and design. This can help you secure a better deal and also minimizes maintenance frustrations and warranty management down the road.

Additionally, you will need to secure a truck, forklift, and other equipment to handle the containers. A single truck capable of moving a 20-foot container can run upwards of $50,000, and a forklift can run between $15,000 and $20,000, so you need to budget for this as it is foolhardy to rely on someone else’s equipment to move your client’s containers.

Staffing, Insurance, and Other Details

Staffing requirements for mobile storage services are minimal and you typically won’t need to add more than one or two people to your team to manage them. Additionally, insurance, zoning, and regulatory issues will be negligible additions to your existing operational requirements.

Before adding mobile storage, we advise a thorough examination of existing operational budgets and profit margins to determine the best ways to position your business for entry into the exciting and potentially very rewarding world of mobile storage services.

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