Common Questions About Portable Storage Rental

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Common Questions About Portable Storage Rental

portable storage rental

There are a lot of reasons why someone might need a portable storage unit, from moving home belongings from one place to another to storing extra inventory for a business. If you need extra storage space long-term or often ship goods, especially for a business, you may want to buy your own shipping container. But for many projects, it makes more sense to rent a container rather than purchase one. Here, Porta-Stor will look at some common questions to consider when going on the hunt for a portable storage container. Hopefully we can help you make the right decision on the best portable storage rental for you!

Do I Need a Permit?

The first thing you need to consider when renting a portable storage container is the delivery location. Once you know where you need the temporary storage solution, you can find out if there are any permits required from the city to park the container. Every city, county, and area has different requirements when it comes to permits. In most cases, if the container is temporary, you will need to acquire a temporary use permit. Be aware that if you’re renting a shipping container for use in a residential area, the rules tend to be more strict, as many people don’t want to stare at a steel box across from their homes. Most permits have a 90-day use period, and placement must be 5 to 15 feet away from the property line.

What About Delivery Fees?

Most portable storage rental places will charge a delivery fee, as well as a pick up fee. When you start shopping around, make sure you’re aware of these fees. They could be set up to be due separately or built into the payment plan. Delivery fees are usually charged by the mile from the storage location, and this can really shoot up the cost if you can’t find a rental place close to your drop-off location. This kind of charge is often presented at a flat rate up to ~60 miles, and then the cost increases by a fixed amount per mile after that. If this is the case, try to look for locations for rental that are as close to you as possible without going outside the 60-mile radius. This will provide a lower cost for you and make the rental even more worth your money and time. Luckily for you if you’re in Santa Barbara, Ventura, or Los Angeles county, Porta-Stor provides free delivery and removal!

How Long Do I Need the Container?

When you’re considering a portable storage rental, it’s very important to know how long you’re going to need the container. Based on the company you use, some offer a better rate if you rent long-term, while others have a better rate for short-term or rent-to-own options. If you’re unsure of how long you will actually need the container, ask the supplier if they offer a month-to-month payment option, and decide if that will work with your budget. Most suppliers can be flexible with a contract, based on how long you need it, but be aware that costs can change over time based on the market value of the containers themselves.

What Size Container Do I Need?

Knowing what size portable storage container you need to rent is important for a few reasons. You must have enough space for everything you need to store. You also need to figure out whether or not the container will fit on location (and make sure the doors will open!) Here’s some more information on shipping container placement. Lastly, the size can affect the cost you will pay for the shipping container rental.

Most containers come in one of two standard sizes of 20 feet or 40 feet. If you’re looking for a customized size or an odd shape, it will probably cost you more, as the container needs to be cut and welded together. There are some suppliers that offer an extra wide container of 10 feet across instead of 8, in the event that you have large equipment that will not fit the 8 foot clearance. If you’re unsure of what size you need, most suppliers have years of experience with container sizes and can help you find the right one for you and your business. Here’s a handy guide for determining container size for packing up household belongings. You can also check out Porta-Stor’s sizing options for roll-off containers here!

What Custom Options are Available?

There are several features that can come customized for rental containers that you may want to consider, based on your project.

For starters, there are several types of doors that can be put onto these containers. There’s a standard single opening door, double doors split in the middle, double-entry doors that let you access both ends of the container, and rolling doors (similar to a garage door) can be installed.

There are also custom office storage containers. If you need extra portable office space (for example, on a construction site), this is a great option. Having the office space right there on-site while also having more accessible storage will make your job more efficient and easier to handle.

Some suppliers will also offer a premium lock that’s stronger than the standard lock that come equipped with most containers. This is something to consider based on what you’re storing, your location, and who will have access to the container. This can cost extra, but if it’s something you need and can be added to your budget, then ask about premium lock options. For most purposes, Porta-Stor recommends the Master Lock Magnum.

Another possible feature you might need to consider is climate control. If you live in an area that gets particularly hot or cold and need to store heat-sensitive items, you should look into your climate-controlled container options.

What Other Problems Should I Consider?

There are times when the rental cost of a container might seem too good to be true, and that could be due to the condition of the container itself. Make sure you thoroughly inspect the container you rent for dents, rust, and other problems that may cause issues if not repaired or replaced. The rental of a storage container is an important decision, and you need to make sure that it’s in good enough condition for you and your business before you pay the company.

Each business or home storage project is unique, and what each one needs in a portable storage rental will differ. That’s why it’s important to take your time, shop around, and ask all the right questions, so that you ensure that you’re getting exactly what you need when you need it. This is an important investment that needs to be thought out carefully and thoroughly.


How to Choose the Right Shipping Container for You

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How to Choose the Right Shipping Container for You

how to choose

If you’re in the market for a shipping container, whether it’s for moving, shipping, or storage purposes, you may have noticed that there are many options to choose from. Do you want a used container or a new container? Do you need one that has already been modified in some way? There are a lot of questions you need to ask yourself as you go to purchase a shipping container, but the biggest question of all is – how to choose the right one? Here, Porta-Stor will take a look at some factors you need to consider when buying a shipping container.

Why Do You Need the Container?

Before you go to purchase a shipping container, you need to know exactly what you will put in it. You need to determine what will fit your needs, literally. Portable storage containers come in a wide range of sizes. Choosing the right size to begin with will keep you from struggling with problems down the line.

Once you know what size of container you need, next you must figure out what kind of condition you would like the container to be in at your time of purchase. Make sure you choose one that’s right for your intended use, your budget, and your location. A new shipping container is more likely to arrive in top condition, but since these vessels are incredibly sturdy, most used containers will perform great as well.

Finally, decide whether you need any extra features. Shipping containers are easy to modify to suit your specific needs. Do you want climate control? Does the container need to be turned into a portable office? Do you need extra racks? Should it be repainted and emblazoned with your business’s logo? You’ll need to decide exactly what you want to do with your container and then figure out who can get the job done, if the original seller isn’t capable.

Shipping Container Sizes

As you shop around for shipping containers, the most important task is to figure out the size you need. Estimating the size correctly will help ensure that you don’t run out of space for your items. It’s also important to consider how large of a space you have available on location. It would be a huge hassle to have a container delivered, only to discover that it won’t fit anywhere near the property. Here’s some more information on storage container placement.

How Much Space Will You Need?

The good news is that there are generally 2 standard sizes of shipping containers to choose from, which will work for most jobs. Here is some information on shipping container sizes:

  • Length – Most containers have standard dimensions of 20 foot or 40 foot boxes. There are smaller, 10 foot containers available as well.
  • Height – Standard containers are usually 8 to 8.5 feet high. There are high cube containers that are 9.5 feet tall, if you need more vertical space.

You should be aware of approximately how much each size of shipping container holds before you make a purchase. There are a couple of factors to consider when you’re deciding which size to buy, so that you don’t run out of space:

Account for extra storage space – Many shipping containers are used for on-site storage. If you think that you may need more storage space in the future, then it’s better for you to get the larger shipping container size now. This will allow you to have the extra strong space when you need it, without making a second purchase.

Accessibility – Even if you can fit all of your equipment into a smaller container, would you be able to access it easily and quickly? If that answer is no, then you may want to go with the bigger size. It’s important to be able to get around inside the container to access the things you need without having to move everything else, unless you just need to ship everything from one location and offload it all at another.

Still confused about sizing? Here’s a more in-depth guide to help you decide what size of container you need for the job.

Other Things to Consider

The size and the condition of the shipping container itself are the most important aspects you need to consider as you purchase one, but there are couple of other decisions you’ll want to work out before you make that purchase:

Features – Maybe you need roll-up doors, lighting, or even an HVAC in your container. You can ask your shipping container provider if they offer after-market ad-ons for their used containers.

Style of Container – The containers themselves come in a variety of styles, including flat rack, refrigerated, dry, and insulated. Make sure you are specific with what you need to purchase when you talk with your shipping container provider, so that you get exactly what you’re looking for.

Cost and Fees – Ask about the price. Most companies will have a base price for the container, as well as a delivery fee. Be sure you understand all the necessary fees. Most of the time, a shipping fee is calculated from the miles needed to travel to deliver the shipping container.

If you’re looking into purchasing a shipping container, make sure you understand every aspect of your purchase before you complete the transaction. From the basics like container size to fun modifications, you need to know what you want before you buy. This will help you make a solid decision that will help you and you business for years to come!

How Oil Prices Affect the Shipping Industry

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How Oil Prices Affect the Shipping Industry

oil prices

It’s common knowledge that oil prices have a lot to do with the cost of other products and services going up or down, like gas prices or airline tickets. But had you considered how large of an effect they have on the shipping industry? The shipping industry has to keep a close eye on oil prices, since they can greatly affect how expensive it is to ship things from one end of the world to the other. This, in turn, affects their bottom line, as well as the price for the customers who are ordering goods to be shipped. Below, Porta-Stor will take a closer look at how changing oil prices affect different aspects of the shipping industry.

Railway and the Shipping Industry

You’ve probably seen trains go by pulling a long line of large shipping containers, each transporting goods from one location to another. Getting these containers to their destination is highly reliant on fuel and the oil prices at the time. If the cost of oil is high, then the railways will have to adjust the price point of getting that shipping container and its goods to the next location.

One difference with rail as the mode of transportation for these shipping containers is that they can split the cost of fuel prices between the customer and the operator. This gives the operator a higher profit margin while giving the customer a bit of relief for a slightly lower fuel cost on their expenses.

The trouble with the railway is that it’s restricted to areas that have tracks running through and stations set up, as well as the limited number of trains that can run back and for on a particular line.

Ocean Travel and the Shipping Industry

The ocean is one large roadway of vessels hauling shipping containers of goods from one location to another. When fuel prices are lower, it’s a great time for oceanic travels and shipping containers. Their costs stay low and earnings go up. When oil prices soar, this makes profits smaller and the demand for such vessels and the shipping containers they carry tends to lessen.

Fuel costs can represent up to 50-60% of the total ship operating costs, depending on the size of the vessel. So it’s safe to say that when oil prices are on the rise, this is not a good sign for the shipping industry or the ships that are used to transport them. There’s a lot at stake when fuel costs rise. For example, if one cargo ship ends up paying less in fuel than the others, this means those other cargo ships have to pick up the cost, which isn’t a good business model when the oil prices rise.

Trucking and the Shipping Industry

The use of road trucking to transport shipping containers is a less cost effective method than railways, no matter how the oil prices are faring. Using big rigs is always a gamble when the oil prices are rising, as this can end up costing both the trucking company and the container company more money. Despite this, there has been an uptick in using trucks to haul shipping containers versus rail, due to the railways becoming more congested. However, when the price of diesel fuel goes way up, we will likely see the shift go back to railway transportation, as the cost of fuel there is less of a hit to the shipping companies.

Overall, rising oil prices can have a large impact on shipping companies and how they choose to get their freight from point A to point B. There’s never just one set way to get from place to place, and these shipping companies have to watch the oil prices carefully to determine what’s best for their business’s bottom line.

If you want more information on the shipping industry, check out Porta-Stor’s other blogs, such as this one that goes over how cryptocurrency might affect shipping in the future.

Running Out of Space? Rent a Portable Storage Container!

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Running Out of Space? Rent a Portable Storage Container!

running out of space

When you attempt to declutter your home, organize your business space, or plan an event, you may find that you don’t have enough space to store everything you want to keep. Sometimes you just need more square footage. From storing outdoor furniture to creating home office space, a portable storage container could be the perfect solution for you. Below, Porta-Stor will take a look at a few examples of when a portable storage container would solve your storage needs. Click on the links to learn more about each situation!

Home Business Storage

Learn more here!

If you run a business out of your home, you know the importance of time-saving convenience. Having a portable storage container delivered to you and available on-site can be a big help for your business. No matter what you need to store, there are several sizes available to fit your needs. These storage containers can be rented long-term or short-term, so there’s no pressure to commit to renting it for longer than necessary. Have the container shipped directly to your business, fill it up with your extra equipment, paperwork, or other items, and have it taken for long-term storage, shipped elsewhere, or left on-site as extra business space.

Event Planning Storage

Learn more here!

If you run a company that sets up events, you know how much bulky equipment this kind of business requires. It’s even worse if you’re planning a large, one-time, personal event and have a lot of extra stuff that needs temporary storage. Are there so many chairs, tables, and decorations that you’ve run out of space for it all? Renting a portable storage container could be a great option for you. The extra space allows you to organize and store all of your event planning equipment and easily access it when you need it. You can store tables, party decorations, pool party pieces, and even sporting event gear. No matter what type of event you have planned, you can easily store the bulky stuff it requires in a portable storage container for a low monthly cost and have it transported exactly where it needs to go.

Expanding Your Business

Learn more here!

When your business starts to grow, so will your need for more space. If you’re running out of space for your business, whether it’s for extra employee workspace or a bump in inventory, you might find a use for a portable storage container. If you’re on an external, temporary job site, you can easily use the storage container for a mobile office. This is a great option for on-site meetings with investors or employees, as well as allowing you to get work done while being easily accessible to see how the job is going. If you have an abundance of inventory, a storage container on-site is a great way to organize and store the inventory while knowing that it’s safe and secure.

Helping Your Community

Learn more here!

Community centers are an important hub for those in need in the surrounding area. From canned goods for a food pantry or supplies to provide relief in the event of a disaster to equipment for fun community events, there are times when more storage space is needed. Using an on-site portable storage container is a great way to keep these supplies stored, organized, protected, and easily accessible when they’re needed. Non-perishable food items often need to be stored for food banks, and if these food banks are able to keep more food on-hand with the use of storage containers, they’ll be able to quickly help more people in the community. A portable storage container is also a great idea for adding additional storage for donated clothes or toys. These items can take up a lot of space and need to be very organized so that nothing gets misplaced. A storage container allows for great organization of these items, as well as a secure place to keep them.

Staging Your Home for Sale

Learn more here!

Setting up a home to sell can be stressful, as you realize that you need to clear out a lot of personal belongings and furniture in order to get your space as presentable as possible. Using a portable storage unit is a great way to get those belongings out of your house for staging, while simultaneously getting them packed and organized for your upcoming move. Store your belongings long-term, and then have them sent to your new home when you finally move in. These storage units also allow you the peace of mind of knowing that your belongings are safe and secure while they’re being stored. The convenience of month-to-month rental is also a perk of using a portable storage container for your belongings, since you probably don’t know how long it will take for your home to sell.

Portable Storage Containers for Moving

Learn more here!

So you’ve finally sold your home, and it’s time for you to move. With so many options to get your belongings from one place to the other, how do you know which option is the right one for you? Using a portable storage container can ease the stress of packing and moving, since you can have it right there to access whenever you need it. There’s no rush to hurry and load your entire home onto a moving truck in a single day since you can rent the container over a longer period of time. A storage container allows you to pack and organize your belongings as you go, since it can be dropped off at your current home and stay there for a while. The container is then loaded back up when you’re ready and dropped off at your new home, allowing you the same stress-free way to unload your belongings into your new location. This a great option, whether your new home is across town or across the country. It also works great for moving business locations!

Farm Storage

Learn more here!

Running out of space on your farm or ranch? Portable storage containers are a great option for these environments too! They can easily help store equipment, crops, machinery, and even livestock (if the right alterations are made). These containers are affordable, versatile, modular, and easily transported from one location to another. Have them moved around your property or shipped across the country whenever you need it. They will protect your stuff from the elements, and can come in climate-controlled options if necessary.

There are tons of uses for portable storage containers, and these are only a few examples. If you’re running out of space for your home or business, consider renting or purchasing a portable storage container!

How Many Shipping Containers are Out There?

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How Many Shipping Containers are Out There?

how many shipping containers

If you look closely around you, shipping containers are everywhere. You see them on trains, stacked up on sea vessels, moving peoples’ belongings, sitting around as extra storage, and even repurposed as building materials. With so many shipping containers moving goods around the world and being used for on-site storage, an interesting question arises: how many shipping containers are out there in the world?

The short answer is we don’t know for sure. But a very broad estimate is that there are anywhere between 5 million and 170 million shipping containers globally. Below, Porta-Stor will take a closer look at how we can get a better estimate on the total number of shipping containers out there.

Shipping Containers by the Numbers

While some containers are still in use for regular shipping purposes, many are not. Millions of shipping containers are sitting unused and deteriorating or being repurposed for other uses. Since there are so many containers being used for so many purposes in all parts of the world, how can we really count the amount of shipping containers out there? Let’s take a look at the available numbers of in use, no longer in use, and brand new shipping containers:

Containers In Use – If a shipping container is dubbed ‘in service,’ it’s being used to haul freight from one location to another. It’s hard to get a completely accurate number of containers in service, as companies do not like to publish this information because of industry competition. To get a rounded figure of shipping containers in use, it’s easiest to look at the leasing companies that hold these containers. Between the leasing companies and the goods companies, there’s an estimated 50/50 split on total containers. Since the leasing companies had a rounded number of 32.9 million in 2012, this is also roughly what the shipping companies had on hand as well. These numbers total at around 65 million ‘in-service’ containers.

Containers No Longer In Service – This is a hard number to pin down, since these containers are sold every day to the likes of businesses and schools for storage purposes. Other containers go to the junkyard and sit unused completely, while still others are torn apart for their materials to be recycled.

One way to get a good guess on this number is to look at how long a shipping container is actually in use – an average of 10-12 years. The problem with this method is with the definition of a non-used and a used container. Using these containers as a wall to keep out trespassers could be called a use by some people, but others would call it a non-use.

Putting this type of argument aside, here is the math on the number of non-use shipping containers: If there are 23 million containers in use for an average of 8 years, we can assume that there are around 14 million shipping containers no longer in use. This number includes containers sitting as storage on a person’s land or those repurposed for new uses.

Brand New Shipping Containers – This is also a hard number to pin down. Some companies like to order new shipping containers from China and have them sit in a warehouse unused. New containers like these are not always owned by the company itself or a leasing company, leaving them to sit dormant much like the ex-service ones. Some companies will buy new containers and then sell them off to another company, moving them along before they can be counted as a new shipping container. Using the figures of containers bought from China and those sold to other countries, there are an estimated 300,000 new shipping containers added to the global fleet each year.

Looking at all of these rough estimates, we can give some ‘How Many’ numbers here for the amount of TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) containers:

  • 23 to 38.5 million TEU  ‘in-service’ containers
  • 14 to 23.3 million TEU ‘ex-service’ containers
  • 6 to 10 million TEU brand new containers

With a total of 43 to 72 million TEU containers total globally.

The Reality in the Numbers

One factor that’s much more certain than these estimated numbers is that the amount of shipping containers in the world will only continue to grow in the foreseeable future. The reason for this is that with ever-expanding globalization and trade, the shipping container logistics industry is growing rapidly. As this market develops, there will be even more shipping containers being created and sold into the market. Even though these containers are recyclable by traditional means, there are more and more uses coming to light that offer great repurposing options for them.

To learn more about how the shipping container business could be changing in the near future, check out Porta-Stor’s blog on how blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies could affect the industry.

Summer Storage for College Students

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Summer Storage for College Students

college student

When your college student arrives home for the summer, they’re sure to come back with lots of loads of dirty laundry and a new worldview. A problem arises when they arrive at the doorstep with all of that stuff you sent with them to college (and then some). What are you supposed to do with the extra furniture, books, lamps, and boxes once your college student comes home? There are a few things you can do to help ease the clutter and space crowding of a college student’s return, and Porta-Stor will take a look at some of those ideas now!

Keep, Toss, or Store

Just like with spring cleaning your house or going through that catch-all closet, it’s important to sort belongings into keep, toss, and sell/donate piles. Have your kid go through everything and assess whether or not they really need each item. After a year or more at college, they should know more about what they actually use and what ended up being forgotten. Preferably, this step should be taken before they pack up their belongings and head home, but it can also be done once they’ve arrived.

If something is used daily at school and is something they will use daily at home for the summer as well, then they need to bring it with them and keep it handy. On the other hand, there are bound to be some items that they took with them to school thinking they would use but never did. These items can either be sold, donated, or tossed. There’s no need to bring that item home or store it if it was never used in the first place.

There will probably also be items that are used solely for college life and will be needed after returning to school in the fall. If it’s something that they won’t need over the summer, it’s a good idea to pack it up and store it until they need it again. This policy will keep lots of extra furniture, boxes, and other items out of the way in your home all summer until the kid returns to school.

Dorm Life or Home Life

As your college student goes through their belongings and begins to pack up for the summer, have them assess where the item is needed most. As listed above, there are some things that are used daily and other things that are not. There’s no reason to unpack all of their books at home, unless they’re actually going to read them over the summer. You will probably be providing your child with towels, sheets, blankets, and pillows, so they don’t need to spread out all of their dorm room linens. Similarly, a lot of seasonal clothes that are great for fall, winter, and spring won’t be very useful in the summer.

If an item is something that’s solely used for school or dorm life and won’t be necessary at home over the summer, then it needs to be packed away and put in storage of some kind. This includes things like school supplies, books, extra furniture and linens, seasonal clothing, cleaning supplies, and even toiletries like a blow dryer if you have one already in your home.

How to Pack it Up

When your child is packing and unpacking their belongings, have them check to make sure that there’s no dirty laundry or food tossed in a storage bin. There’s nothing worse than unpacking for the start of a new school year and finding that tote full of dirty clothes or stale/rotten food intermingling with everything else.

As boxes and totes are packed for storage, make sure everything is clean and ready to use when they get unpacked for the fall semester. This means storing clean bed linens and pillows, as well as dusting and cleaning those desk lamps and picture frames. Having everything clean and ready to use when the school year starts up again makes it much easier at that time, and protects the belongings from damage.

Where to Store it All?

Your college student needs somewhere to sleep and unpack this summer, but whoops…you’ve turned their old room into your own storage space over the course of the year! You have a car in your garage surrounded by tools and yard equipment, and your attic is full of seasonal items. So just where do you put the boxes and furniture your kid brought home from school?

If you’re prepared and have enough space, you may have some room in your garage or a spare room to house their belongings. But if you don’t, you may want to look into the monthly rental option of a portable storage container. These handy rentals can be shipped directly to your home, or possibly even the dormitory (check with the school first, before you park a truck in front of their building). Then you can fill them up with items you don’t want to have around and send them to be stored at the facility until they’re needed again. They will stay safe, protected, and out of the way in the meantime.

Having a portable storage container shipped to the college town allows for faster storing of dorm items and faster unpacking for the fall semester. This allows for your child to just head home with what they need and get started with enjoying their summer. It also allows you the peace of mind of not finding a place to store all of the extra stuff (or tripping over it while it sits in the middle of the living room!)

Helping your college student assess what they need to keep, store, or a toss can help them make sure they aren’t lugging around unnecessary items. This is especially important for college students, since they tend to be much more mobile in their living arrangements for a few years. Moving can be a daunting task for you and your student, and by teaching them how to pack lighter and shed a bit of extra junk, you’ll show them how to get through this transient phase of life a bit easier. For those extra pieces of furniture, seasonal gear, and other items that need to be kept out of the way for the summer, rent a storage container so you can keep them out of sight and out of mind!