Ideas from Self Storage Businesses in Australia

Posted on Sep 19 2012 - 7:19pm by John Stevens

Sometimes managers and owners of self storage facilities feel that they out of new ideas of ways to expand and improve their business. Sometimes looking at what others in the industry do can spark new ideas – especially when they are not local businesses or even national businesses.

For example, look at what is happening in Australia. Gareth Taylor and Adam Gilchrist founded Zippy Shell Mobile Self Storage and Moving in Australia in 2007. It was one of the first mobile storage businesses in the country. In 2010, it came to the United States. Their concept is to deliver a storage container to customers, customers load it at their convenience, and the company picks up the unit and keeps it at their secure facility.

The Zippy Shell concept is meant to store a fair amount of items. Their mobile unit measures 7’ x 7’ x 15’. It is large enough to fit the inventory from a 1-2 bedroom apartment. Big items such as sofas, beds, and desks easily fit inside their units.

The novelty of their business is that they take “self storage” to their customers instead of the customers taking their belongings to the business. Mobility is the key to this business model.

There is another self storage business in Australia that is putting a twist on mobile units. TAXIBOX Mobile Self Storage has bright yellow containers (and trucks) with a taxi-cab motif. It’s a very eye-catching design.

Their units are smaller in size with dimensions of 2.4 meters deep, 1.5 meters wide, and 2.2 meters high. These units fit into one average-sized car space. That’s pretty compact! However, approximately 1 to 1.5 rooms of furniture will fit inside the box. (A king-sized bed will easily fit in it.) So the TAXIBOX is more compact in size than a Zippy unit.

TAXIBOX provides services similar to those that Zippy Shell offers. They drop off a TAXIBOX to a home or office. Customers pack the box and TAXIBOX stores it at their secure facilities. Customers only have to pack their items once, which is a great time saver.

Consider the demographics of your customers and the setup of your facilities. You might want to consider adding small mobile storage units as part of your business model.

The TAXIBOX types of units take up less space so that you would be able to put more of them in a secure facility than the larger units. They would be cheaper to purchase. They would be easier to transport and deliver to customers. Using a smaller size unit would be appealing to apartment dwellers, college students, and small families (if those demographics are high in your area).

So, if you are looking for ways to expand or ways to add new services and options to your business, you might want to consider adding small-sized mobile units to what you offer your customers.

Sources Used:

“Technology Meets Portability – The Revolution of the Self Storage Industry.” NewsMaker; 20 September 2012.

Zippy Shell Mobile Self Storage and Moving.

TAXIBOX Mobile Self Storage.