A shipping container self-storage business is a sure way to secure long-term profits. In this blog, we’ll run you through a step-by-step guide on how to launch your venture, including what to keep in mind, and how to buy the containers you need at wholesale prices. 

Currently, one in every five residents in the US rents a storage space. Self storage is an ever-expanding market, so if you’re wanting to start a business of your own, there’s no better time to take the plunge.

What’s more, with Container xChange—a secure online container marketplace—you can buy all of your units at negotiable, wholesale prices. Cut out the middlemen, save money on sourcing costs, and strike the best deals for your business, hassle-free—at last!

Check out the inventory we have available right now in your location by selecting the container type you want, plus the condition. Then, just press ‘search’ to start browsing hundreds of offers that match your criteria all in one place.

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            Call one of our experts at +1 (213) 458-5411, or simply fill out the form, and we will get back to you promptly.

            What is a shipping container storage facility?

            A shipping container storage facility is a specialized site in which individuals and businesses store personal possessions or inventory. These facilities repurpose shipping containers into storage units, which offer cost-effectiveness and durability compared to traditional storage options.

            Both new and second-hand containers can be used for self storage. The decision will depend on your budget and preferences. 

            Buying new containers means no dents, scratches or damage. These units also won’t require any repairs, and will have a longer lifespan when compared to used containers. However, they’ll be a lot more pricey. 

            Used containers will be significantly cheaper, but you’ll have to shell out on repairs and more regular maintenance, so it’s important to keep this in mind. Plus they’re life expectancy will be shorter.

            Shipping container storage facility

            Why start a shipping container self-storage business?

            As mentioned above, self-storage is in high demand in the United States, so now is as good a time as ever to take advantage of this. And here are a few more great reasons to get your businesses started:

            Growing demand: A recent statistic has revealed that around 21% of the US population uses some kind of self storage facility. People will pay good money to rent a space, especially if they know their possessions are safe and easy to access when they need them.  

            Scalable: With a shipping container storage business, scalability is quick and easy, as units are portable and easy to transport via trucks, trains and ships. Wanting to expand to a larger site? No problem, simply set up the new site and move your units over.

            Eco-friendly: Using already existing containers, rather than building storage units from scratch is not only cost effective, but also better for the environment. Here, you’re repurposing equipment that may otherwise just sit around gathering dust, or end up in a dump. Plus, you’re avoiding using valuable resources to create entire new structures.

            Minimal management required: Self-storage facilities aren’t as demanding as other types of businesses in terms of day-to-day management. Once the business is set up, you’ll only need a few security workers, ground staff and front-of-house staff on-site to run things smoothly.

            How much to start a self storage business?

            We know you’re curious about how much money you can make with a container self-storage business. But first let’s understand how much of an investment you’ll need to make to set up your own business. 

            If you want large and spacious storage units for your facility, opt for standard 40ft containers

            For 40ft cargo-worthy containers in the US on our platform, you’re looking at an average price of US $1,680. To know the current container cost of other container sizes and types, check new and used container prices in 2,500+ locations now. 

            Say you want to build 50 storage units using 40ft containers on one acre of land.

            That’s a US $84,000 once-off cost for the 50 containers you need to get your business up and running. Let’s also add $200,000 to $500,000 as a rough total estimate for land acquisition, site preparation, permit charges, and other expenses. 

            So overall, you’re looking at anywhere between $300,000 to $600,000 to start your self storage business. Costs will vary significantly depending on the location and size of the land you choose, as well as the container sizes you need.

            How much money can you make with self storage facilities

            Once the units are ready to be rented out, you can charge between US $100 and US $250 per container, per month. 

            If you decide to charge US $180 per unit per month, and all 50 of your units are rented out, you’ll be making a total of US $108,000 per year. That’s a profit of US $24,000 on the 50 containers. In just 3 and a half years, you’ll already have the money back on the containers you bought. After that, they’ll be bringing in pure profit!

            Of course, they’ll be other self storage construction costs involved in starting your business, such as setting up fencing and security.

            With all of these expenses to consider, why pay high commission on containers as well? Rather, save on sourcing fees with the xChange platform. Here, you’ll deal directly with suppliers, cutting out the middleman and avoiding inflated prices for containers.

            What are you waiting for? Save today by buying wholesale shipping containers for your business on Container xChange. Speak to one of our experts about how to get the best deals on our platform now. 

            Buy shipping containers for your self storage facility

            Why use containers for your self-storage business?

            • Secure and watertight: Shipping containers are wind and watertight, protecting goods from water, moisture and even fire. This is one of the best options for self storage as you can guarantee your customers an extremely high level of protection for their possessions.
            • Low startup and maintenance costs: Containers are much more cost-effective to set up than traditional storage facilities, which would need to be built from scratch. They’re also durable and weather resistant, so they’re extremely low maintenance
            • Good resale value: If you want to downsize and sell some of your containers, you can use the Container xChange marketplace to match with buyers in areas with high container demand (think, good profits) to sell your units, anytime, from anywhere.
            • Standardized sizes: Shipping containers are built with standardized dimensions, in order to comply with ISO standards. 
            • Provides rodent protection: Whilst traditional structures sometimes have to deal with rodent and pest problems, shipping containers are completely sealed. So as long as they’re in good condition, they’ll completely protect all contents from rodents.

            Use shipping containers for self-storage

            How to start a storage unit business: Step-by-step guide

            If you’re not sure where to begin, here are the most important steps to getting your business started.

            1. Research your competitors

            First things first, you’ll need to research your competitors. There are bound to be many, so check out what they’re doing well and not so well, and what you can offer to set you apart from your competition. 

            Also, you’ll need to establish your target market, so that you can tailor your marketing and service offerings to solve their pain points.

            2. Create a business plan

            Next, create your business plan. This should include the following sections:

            • Business description: In this section, you’ll need to explain in detail what your business does. 
            • Competitor analysis: Here, outline who your competitors are and what sets you apart from them.
            • Marketing strategy: Your marketing strategy should detail how you’re going to reach your target audience, to convince them to use your service offerings.
            • Services: Here, outline your service offerings.
            • Operations and management plan: In this part of the business plan, explain exactly how your business is going to run. This should include how many staff you’ll need, what kinds of processes you’ll implement, etc.
            • Financial plan and projections: Here, include your budget plus all financial requirements for starting and running your business.

            3. Register your business

            Once your business plan is approved, it’s time to register it, and organize all licenses required in your jurisdiction. Plus, you’ll have to register with the tax authority in your state. Make sure you get this done as early as possible to avoid any fines.

            4. Get the correct permits

            You’ll need to secure the correct permissions in order to operate a self storage business in your chosen location. This may include zoning and building permits, business licenses, and environmental permits.

            5. Select your location

            Select a site for your self storage facility, making sure to take into account accessibility, zoning regulations, competition in the area, as well as proximity to your customer base. 

            6. Prepare the site

            To prepare your site for use as a self storage facility, you may need to clear and flatten the land, put up fencing, security and lighting, as well as set up an office and reception area. You’ll also need to create a layout for containers to be placed on the site. 

            7. Source containers at wholesale prices in bulk 

            While preparing your site, start sourcing shipping containers for your facility. It’s best to buy containers in bulk, at wholesale prices. Our container marketplace can help you with exactly this. 

            Once you subscribe to our container marketplace, you’ll get instant access to multiple container offers in one dashboard. 

            Simply browse and compare the competitive pricing and terms to select an offer that suits you. Then, negotiate directly with the supplier on the marketplace to secure a price that fits your budget. 

            We facilitate safe payments, and charge no commission on containers. Plus, it’s quick and easy to source the units you need—the perfect container procurement partner for your container self storage business.

            Learn how storage companies in the US are already saving money with our container marketplace now.

            Shipping container storage facility

            8. Prepare your shipping containers for storage use

            If you’re buying used containers, some of them may need repairs. This could include patching up holes, removing dents and scratches, and repainting interior and exterior walls. 

            You’ll also want to make all of your containers look uniform by painting them the same color. Make sure to use a chemical and corrosion-resistant paint, in order to protect your units.

            What to keep in mind when starting a self-storage shipping container business

            Choose your site carefully: It’s essential that you select a location that’s easily accessible for customers, as well as for trucks (for delivering or moving your units. If your site is difficult to reach, you may lose out on clientele or have problems getting containers into and out of the location.

            Protect yourself from scammers and online fraud: There are a lot of scam artists out there hoping to trick buyers into paying for poor quality containers or not delivering units that have been paid for. Not to mention overcharging for containers. 

            To avoid these shipping container scams, it’s best to use a platform like our container marketplace, where all the suppliers and buyers have been vetted and pre-approved already. Less work for you, and more peace of mind.

            Select comprehensive insurance: Make sure you get comprehensive cover for all of your business assets, as well as for stored goods. This will protect you from unforeseen circumstances. You could also offer insurance options to your customers, as a supplementary product.

            Buy containers for self-storage at wholesale prices on xChange

            Having a secure online marketplace for all of your shipping container needs means one less thing on your list when starting your self-storage business. Once you subscribe to our platform, you’ll get:

            Access to 11+ container types: We’ve got 11 container types available, including standard containers, reefers, double doors, open tops and flat racks. So if you want to supply storage for vehicles, buy double door units, or for a cold storage facility, opt for reefers.

            A network of 1,700+ pre-approved partners: With xChange, you can say goodbye to keeping track of multiple accounts and sourcing channels at the same time. 

            Instead, simply log into the platform to gain instant access to a large network of suppliers and offers, all in one place. What’s more, check out the reviews and ratings of our members before deciding who to work with.  

            An inventory of 100,000+ containers in 2,500+ cities globally: On our platform, you can find shipping containers to buy in over 2,500 cities around the world. So you’ll have no problem sourcing the units you need, no matter where you are.

            Secure online payments: We take safe payments very seriously. All payments are encrypted, and you can keep track of all transactions in one place. Plus, you’ll get a 7-day quality assurance period and money-back guarantee, in case there’s a problem with the containers you’ve purchased.

            With xChange, start your shipping container self storage business with the confidence that you’re getting the best wholesale prices on containers, from reliable suppliers every time you source units.

            Click below to set up your demo with our expert team now to learn more about how you can save money and buy containers at competitive prices today. 

            Buy containers from xChange today for your self storage facility

            Common FAQs: Shipping container self storage

            Can you store things in a shipping container?

            Shipping containers are perfect for residential or commercial storage use due to their strong, durable, and wind and watertight design. Shipping containers are built to withstand extreme weather conditions including floods and fires, keeping inventory and possessions safe and secure.

            What can you store in a 20ft shipping container?

            A 20ft shipping container can be used to store the contents of a small 2-3 bedroom house, around 50-60 fridges, 400 flat screen TVs or 10 pallets (carrying 60 boxes each). 20ft dry containers are built to keep wind, water and harsh weather out, keeping stored items dry and protected all year round.

            What is shipping container self-storage?

            Shipping container self storage is a facility that uses shipping containers as storage units for individuals and businesses to rent out. Shipping containers provide a strong, waterproof and durable storage space, keeping inventory or personal possessions safe and secure throughout the year.