Comparing Shipping Containers to Self-Storage Units

Need more space? Moving and need temporary storage for your belongings? There are a number of reasons why people need storage space, but what will suit your needs best? A storage container or a self-storage unit? Let’s compare.


Self-storage units are spaces that you rent at a local storage facility. They are large facilities with hundreds upon hundreds of units varying in space size. Some of these units are in a building that provides air-conditioning, roll-up style doors, and padlocks for security.

There are some pros and cons to using a self-storage unit. Self-storage facilities provide an added security because they have their own security system, deterring would-be thieves from trespassing and breaking into your unit. A downside to using self-storage is that you will probably have to make several trips back and forth to get your belongings to the facility. Remember, self-storage facilities are businesses and their hours could vary, so you may not always have access to your stuff when you need it. Additionally, self-storage units are smaller (commonly sized at 10’x10′) and much more expensive in price.

Shipping Containers

A shipping container is a large steel box that is wind and watertight and is typically rented or purchased from a shipping container supplier.

One of the most convenient reasons to rent a shipping container versus renting a self-storage space is that the container is delivered directly to you and placed exactly where you want it. This will provide you 24-hour access to your belongings whenever you need them. For security, ATR attaches lockboxes to all of their rental shipping container fleet. However, there are no AC units on shipping containers. The cost of the shipping container will vary depending on the size of the container but is almost always cheaper on the cost per square foot when compared to self to storage. ATR rents and sells shipping containers in various sizes including 10’ containers, 20’ containers, 40’ containers, and 45’ containers.