Portable Storage Containers

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Are you looking for a portable storage container? If you are, then you probably know that you can rent, lease or purchase these storage containers.

Portable storage containers for rent are very popular as people are always looking to move homes or get storage units for commercial purposes.

When you rent a portable storage container, the rental company delivers it right to your doorstep. You load and they drive it to the next site (if you are moving).  It’s convenient for consumers.

What are the different types of portable storage containers for rent?

Portable storage containers are available in different sizes for rent. What is notable is that these units are now offered by a growing number of companies keen on satisfying the needs of an equally fast-growing market.

Typically, two types of portable storage containers are available: for personal or home and commercial use.

Your needs determine what type or size of the container you rent.

In homes, for instance, people rent portable storage containers to move furniture or belongings from a large home. You could also be looking for extra storage space as you renovate part of the home.

You go for commercial portable storage containers if you run a business and require large storage spaces.

For consumers, popular container sizes range from 7ft to 16ft container units while businesses prefer 20-foot and 40-foot containers.

How much does it cost to rent different types of portable storage containers?

If you have storage needs but have determined that they are short term, renting a mobile storage container is a better option for you. It is cost-effective to rent than buy a storage container if you only need it to move or temporarily store items as you renovate a home.

Rental prices vary, and will depend on:

  • Type/size of storage container
  • Length of the rental period
  • Location and proximity – added costs for delivery and pick-ups
  • Add-on costs from things like storage bins or packing boxes
  • Insurance and taxes- check to find out what applies and its cost implications

All these factors are responsible for extra fees that companies may charge when you rent a portable storage unit.

According to CostHelper, monthly fees for renting a portable storage container falls anywhere between $50 and $500. The variations in prices are due to the considerations we enumerated above. If you choose a provider located miles from your location then you incur higher costs in delivery fees.

Storage container rental for home use

Here, generally, is the cost of renting a storage container for home use as sampled across several top companies:

  • 7-foot, 8-foot containers – $50- $190 per month.
  • 12-foot containers- $150-$225 per month
  • 16-foot storage containers- $250- $350 per month.

Renting a storage container for business

  • 20-foot and 40-foot containers cost anywhere between $150 and $500 per month.
  • If your choice of a container comes with customized modifications, then an additional cost of $120 to about $500 applies.

Storage container rentals are ideal if your needs are short-term. Beyond that, it would be more cost-effective to go for a lease arrangement or buy.

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How Much Does It Cost To Buy Portable Storage Containers?

Before you buy a portable storage container, it is advisable to have a basic understanding of storage containers- the different types, quality of materials and pricing options.

If you are buying a used storage container, then physical inspection should precede any payments or delivery to your home or site. Look for signs of leakages, rust, and dents and check on the doors and locks to ensure everything is in good condition.

Whether new or used, the purchase price depends on the size of the container, location, and individual company price quotes.

Portable storage units for consumers can cost anywhere from $800 to $3000 depending on the factors outlined above.

Businesses can buy a 20-foot storage container for between $1,000 – $4,000, while a 40 ft container would mean a budget of between $3,000 and $7,000. “One-trippers”- new containers right off the ship- cost slightly more. Again, this depends on size, taxes, and delivery charges.

Which Type of Portable Storage Containers Fit My Needs?


The type of portable storage container that fits your needs depends first and foremost on you knowing what your needs are.

Is it moving items only, or is it for extended storage (both short-term and long-term)? You’d also ask if it’s moving a one-bedroom home or storing items from an office. With this in mind, you can work with the mobile storage provider to get a container that works for you or suits your budget.

If you know what can fit in a 7-foot or 12-foot container, then it helps if you avoid renting a 20-foot container that you do not want.

Types of container sizes and what you can move or store

Companies have size guides, which is information on what type of container works for whom or in which circumstance.

If you are moving or looking for storage for office or studio apartment items, then the perfect mobile storage unit could be 6-ft, 7-ft or 8-ft.

A 10-ft. and 12-ft container works best for moving or storing items in one/two-roomed apartments or homes. So if it’s a renovation or office relocation, then these types of portable storage containers would be what you need.

Moving or storage space for a house or apartment with 3-4 bedrooms would require a 15-ft or 16-ft container. The space provided by these storage containers is equivalent to what you’d get when you rent a 20-foot moving truck.

A size range between 20 foot and 40 foot is ideal if you are moving or looking to store furniture and items from a 5-bedroom home. Portable storage containers within this range are also popular with commercial users.

So far, we have only described situations which fit smaller needs.  However, if you have large quantities of product which need to be very mobile, a semi-trailer for rent may be the ideal solution.  You can get 45’, 48, or 53’ storage trailers which can store lots of merchandise, equipment, or materials that all be managed and moved easily.  A business may need just 2-3 of these to manage a yard or a logistics management company may need a whole fleet of semi-trailers to complete a job.  B&W Trailer Rental has helped many companies throughout the eastern part of the United States solve their fleet needs.  You can reach them at 1-800-227-5134.

bw semi-trailer rental

Where Can I Rent Portable Storage Containers?

Renting a portable storage container when moving homes or for commercial use is no longer a big challenge. The past couple of years have seen several storage companies that specialize in offering mobile storage services set up in the country.

Many of them have grown into global brands, with offices and facilities across the nation. If you are looking for a company to rent a mobile storage unit,  then these moving and portable storage companies will probably have what you are looking for.

A summary of the top 5 companies you can check out.

  • U-Haul

U-Haul offers both truck rental and portable storage container services using U-Boxes. U-Haul containers are of wooden material which might not be as sturdy as metallic ones.

  • PODS

PODS is short for “Portable on Demand Storage” and is a leading storage and moving company in the U.S.  The company offers reasonable rates for rentals but loading and off-loading is upon the consumer.

  • U-Pack

U-Pack offers great storage services and is one of the most affordable in the country. No deposit when you rent.

  • 1-800-PACK-RAT

1-800-PACK-RAT is available in the U.S. and Canada and offers 30-day storage packages for their container units.

  • SmartBox

SmartBox is great for storage or moving on a small scale and offers very low costs.

  • B&W Trailer Rental

B&W Trailer Rental offers 45’, 48’, and 53’ storage trailers for rent, lease, or sale

Here is a summary of container sizes these companies rent out and their availability across the country

PODS7 foot, 12 foot, 16 footCountrywide
1-800-PACK-RAT8 foot, 12, foot, 16 footCountrywide
SMARTBOX8 footLimited
U-Haul U-Boxes8 footCountrywide
Go Mini’s12 foot, 16 foot, 20 footLimited
Zippy Shell10 foot, 15 footLimited
COWs8 foot, 16 footLimited
B&W Trailer Rental45’· 48’· 53’ storage trailersUnited States

Individual companies have their customer-focused perks, though you can only charge each by sampling their offers in terms of prices, sizes, additional fees, etc.

What If I Need Really Large Portable Storage Containers?


Many of the storage companies offer portable containers in sizes from 7ft to 16ft, with a few having a 20ft offering as well. In most cases, people rent more than one storage container when they have a lot of stuff to store or move.

But if you want a really large storage container, then the 40-foot unit could be what you need. 40′ portable shipment containers work best where you need to store a very large inventory or move items that can’t fit in a 20′ unit.

A 40-foot storage container is popular with businesses in the construction and moving industries as they offer huge storage spaces.

Can storage trailers help?

You could also consider storage trailers if you need space larger than 40′. Here we are talking about storage spaces up to 53 feet long. Head to a site like this one or find storage trailers near you.

The idea that trailers work is brought home by the fact that businesses are already using storage trailers in inventory management. They (trailers) offer portability and can be rented, leased or purchased.

If you decide to go this route, then a trailer rental will cost you around $800 for a used model and $2500 for a new one per month. It might be too expensive, but it is worth considering if you have quite a mountain to stuff into the container space.

What Differentiates a Large Storage Container From a Semi-Trailer?

  • Semi-trailers have wheels and loading and unloading is at dock height. Storage containers, on the other hand, are steel boxes without wheels and where loading and unloading is at ground level.

In that sense, semi-trailers offer “storage on wheels”, while to move containers you’d need to first load it up on a ship, truck chassis or flat and rail wagon.

  • Trailers come in various models depending on use, and cannot be stacked. Trailer sizes include 48ft and 53ft. Storage containers have standard specifications that make it possible for stacking and sizes go up to 40ft.
  • Another difference comes is in associated costs. Renting a semi-trailer is much more expensive than having a storage container. The same applies to lease or buying costs. Storage or moving companies drop off and pick containers, making it economically reasonable if it’s a one-way move.

If you are looking for a portable storage container for rent, the best place to begin is to determine what amount of space you need. After that, check out the above companies for quotes for comparison.

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