Business for renting sea containers for storage

The use of sea containers for storage was the result of the “self-storage” system that appeared in the USA in the 60s of the XX century. The system involves the rental of very small warehouse space – even 1 square meter.

The premises are located in a protected area, where the area is at the full disposal of the tenant – a cell in a bank is rented according to a similar system. Such storage was most effectively and practically organized in shipping containers. And so this option of their use spread.

Warehouse containers as a business – and who are the customers?

Renting shipping containers is becoming an increasingly common storage option for smaller companies.

In large cities, the use of sea and port containers as a warehouse has long been common. Warehouse space is always in high demand, and the cost of renting such containers is often less than 50% of the cost of renting standard warehouse space.

Most often, such containers are used by small trading companies, online stores, services offering tire fitting services, medium-sized manufacturing enterprises and other small companies. Ordinary people who have decided to put all these priceless treasures that live on the balcony can also use your services.

who is looking for a warehouse

The potential range of tenants is large, because they can have anything; furniture, automotive parts, clothing and footwear, building materials and equipment, household appliances, tires and many other goods and products.

Small containers are often rented by individuals when moving to temporarily store things that are not needed immediately after the move, for temporary storage of tools or equipment, for seasonal storage of bicycles, tires, mopeds and motorcycles.

How to choose and search for land for business on sea containers

You should choose a site for placing your containers according to several criteria:

Firstly, it should be the cheapest possible land, because it will be included in the cost of your service.

Secondly , this site should have the most convenient access, both in summer and in winter, because no matter how tempting the price is, customers will not use your services if you decide to be based in the center of a conditional swamp.

Container business

Thirdly, the site must be at least electrified, because each of your containers must have lighting, customers will not really want to delve into their warehouse with a flashlight at the ready.

Fourthly,  the site must be protected, because you will be financially responsible for the fact that your clients will store it in it.

You can find such a site in industrial areas, near garage cooperatives, on the territory of large enterprises and factories. Maybe it will be an abandoned military unit or an airstrip. There are a lot of options, but one thing is for sure – whoever seeks will always find!

Pros and cons of business on sea containers for storage

Well, let’s start with the good, with the pros of the business:

  • The sea container assumes resistance to any weather conditions, does not let moisture through and in general the thing is very strong, therefore, you can store everything in it from the archives of a small business, to school albums and letters of your beloved grandfather, and nothing will be done with them.
    Those. formally, our clients can be generally anyone who needs to store “something” and this “something” is placed in a truck.
  • The container is easy to transport from place to place, if a change of location is suddenly necessary.
  • If suddenly “it didn’t work” the container can be easily sold, since there is a demand for them.

Well, now let’s talk about the sad, about the cons:

  • It is difficult to find a suitable site for the “base” for our containers
  • If we do not quickly find clients and fill containers, there will be substantial losses, especially if we took out a loan to set up a business.
  • Due to the increase in demand for sea containers, they are constantly growing in price, reducing the profitability of the business and its scaling.

The nuances of the business of renting sea containers

Firstly, each container must have a convenient access, both for cars and for a conditional gazelle. The client arrives, opens the trunk, unloads his “treasures”, and leaves satisfied with himself with a sense of accomplishment.

The client should not experience problems in order to drive up close and certainly should not carry his belongings 100 meters on his hump, brushing off obsessive thoughts like “what the hell”.


Secondly , you must have available both whole containers that can be rented (10-, 20- and 40-foot), as well as cells, i.e. A 40-foot container is divided into 8 autonomous cells with convenient access to each of them.

By the way, this format has its advantages, when it is completely filled, it is unlikely that all 8 tenants will leave at once, and the profit will be almost constant. Also, with this approach (dividing large by small), a 40 – foot container has a 2-fold higher yield than if you hand it over in its entirety .

The disadvantages include additional expenses for “cutting” the container (the maximum is + 100 thousand)

Thirdly , all containers and each cell separately must be equipped with lighting and shelving for the convenience of storing “treasures”.

If suddenly in the middle of the night your client neededpick up and burn your bookkeepingfind some documents stored in his cell, then without lighting it will be problematic. And as you know, our customers are everything!

Fourthly , we buy used containers, check their strength and, if necessary, restore them in some places, and also carry out anti-corrosion treatment.

Profitability of business on sea containers

In order to calculate the profitability and profitability of a business specifically in your location and whether it is generally worth starting, you need to find out if there is a demand for these services, as well as what offers are on this market, what competitors offer.How to find out if there is a demand

To find out how many people per month are looking for a warehouse space in your location, open the wordstat , select your locality instead of all regions, type in the search without quotes “(rent|rent) (warehouse|warehouse|container)” and click the pick up button.

You should pretend to be a client and call all competitors to find out what price for renting a warehouse in your location is relevant.

Let’s look at profitability using a 40′ container as an example.

For example, the adequate cost of renting an entire container in your location is 15,000 ₽, you can buy such a container for 100 – 200,000 ₽ depending on its condition, + you need to invest from 50 to 100,000 ₽ for additional equipment, i.e. according to the worst estimates, a container ready for delivery should cost you 250,000 ₽.

For a year, if 80% of the time the container is “populated”, it will bring 144,000 ₽ . Minus land rent, minus money for electricity.

You can start with at least a couple of containers, which will quickly pay off, and then gradually increase the volume of rent by purchasing subsequent containers and gradually arranging the territory.

The nuances of drawing up an agreement when renting a container for a warehouse

When renting a container for a warehouse, a lease agreement must be drawn up. In order for both parties to be confident in the terms of the lease, the contract specifies the dimensions and other parameters of the container, products prohibited for storage, the amount of the rent, the rights and obligations of both parties to the contract, as well as the conditions for terminating the contract. If all these conditions are taken into account, the parties will be calm for the reliability of cooperation.

Notarial office

In addition, at the request of the parties, individual conditions regarding the rules of the lease can be prescribed in the contract.
The contract is accompanied by an act of delivery and acceptance of the container on the first day of the lease by the tenant, and on the last day – by the lessor.

How much money do you need to start a business

The initial investment depends on what scale is originally planned. But at least it makes sense to start with 2-3 containers, i.e. initial investments for the purchase and equipment of containers, advertising and land lease with a margin for downtime will be from 800,000 ₽.

Business Outlook

The main way of development in the lease of containers is to increase their number to 100 or more pieces. In addition, if there is enough territory and investments, they can be invested in the construction of a building for leasing to trading companies.

Then the business will be attractive in that you can rent an office and a warehouse in the immediate vicinity. In parallel, you can start providing services of loaders and cart-loaders for a fee .

And if you improve the territory of the complex, the flow of customers will only increase: round-the-clock access, a sufficient level of security, a video surveillance system, Wi-Fi throughout the territory, recreation areas and toilets will ensure the interest of customers in your project.

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