It can be a bit disorienting when you first wade into the jungle of options available within the mobile storage industry. Choosing the right container sizes, quality, and purpose is crucial for your success. If you have the wrong mix for your demographic, your containers will sit idle. Conversely, if you study your market and develop a solid understanding of their needs, your business will prosper and thrive.
It typically takes one 10’x8’x8′ container to move a single room, and it is ideal for many people who live in apartments and who might need one or two containers to complete their move. These units are relatively inexpensive and typically cost less than a couple thousand dollars each.
It is also a good idea to add a number of 16’x8x’8′ and 20’x8’x8′ foot containers into your inventory. These are geared towards the needs of families and businesses, and one of these is usually enough for them to complete their move.
Choosing the right containers really boils down to knowing your demographic. If you have lots of college students and young professionals in the area, then you will want to stock up heavily on the smaller containers. Similarly, if your region consists largely of single-family homes and businesses, then the latter is better suited to your demographic’s needs.
Construction & Quality
Most containers are made from either wood, steel, or aluminum. There are advantages and disadvantages to each.
Wood – Portable wood containers can be built to your exact specifications. This gives you considerable flexibility. Wood containers are often cheap to build at just a few hundred dollars each, but they don’t last as long as other options.
Steel – Easily the sturdiest of the bunch, steel containers cost between $1,500 and $5,000. Strong and sturdy, they are heavy, which means you will need a heavy lift system and more fuel to move them around.
Aluminum – Lighter and cheaper than steel containers, these are ideal for companies looking to move specialty foodstuffs, wines, etc. for businesses. Really, they can be used for anything, and their key advantage is their lightweight and sturdy construction that doesn’t rust and requires minimal upkeep to maintain.
Combination Containers – Many containers are built from a combination of materials in order to maximize the benefits of each. For example, steel frames may have internal panels made of wood or aluminum. Many of these containers will also have a translucent polymer top that makes it easy for people to load the containers. These types of containers are the most popular, but because of their more complex construction, they tend to be a little bit pricier.
There is a niche for specialty mobile storage. Having the ability to move vehicles, foodstuffs, wine, antiques, and other items that don’t necessarily fit inside the box can open up a tremendous number of possibilities. These niche markets can provide a considerable amount of revenue. However, servicing them can distract you from your primary demographic. As such, it is best to move into servicing niche markets once your primary market is established and can provide the stable and steady revenue that your business requires.
In the end, it is best not to rush when moving into the mobile storage market. Consider then reconsider all of your options before making a decision. As with all businesses, the more thorough the research you do into your target market and your operational goals, the better the outcome will be for your budget and your business.