Standard Containers are constructed in two most widely used lengths 20’ & 40′ and they are all 8’ wide (there are some exceptions, the domestic use purpose built 8 & 10’s and the rarer Pallet Wide & 45’ long)

They are commonly of two heights (externally). The most common 8′-06″ but increasingly more frequently being offered 9’-06″ High (called Hi-Cube)

Used containers

They are usually and currently (March 2015) about half the price of a new build, but whilst being cheaper, the used container has a several distinct disadvantages.

They are usually 10 years + of age and are in a wide variety of colours, = extra costs to re-paint, they do not have lock boxes fitted add £40-00)The ply timber floors may have a large amount of trapped moisture which can cause condensation They will undoubtedly show signs of use and abuse internally and externally.

New Build Containers (often called Used Once or Once Used)

They are frequently offered in either blue RAL 5010 or RAL 5013 or Green RAL 6007or RAL 6003, they do have lock boxes fitted (but always ask) and they are clean, odour free and have kiln dried floors. (they may have some minor scuffing marks on the floor from being once used) You can have any containers sized to suit your specific requirements this involves cutting and shutting from a longer size, which is an additional cost, but in the long term, and to facilitate maximum use of land, may prove economically beneficial.

You can use them conventionally through rear double doors or converted with personnel doors fitted into the sides with individual bulk heads to separate each unit.

Using this method you can create a wide variety of widths (all being 8′ deep)

You can also have them lined and insulated, this again is an additional cost and a high one and if your containers are laid out in compact rows may not be of any significant advantage except the insulation of the ceiling where exposed to sunlight.


Most Self Storage Depots offer a variety of sizes 10′ x 8’s, 20′ x 8’s, 40’x 8’s and of these the 20′ x 8’s are the most popular sizes that will be used by your potential client, for example:

(A 20’ If packed correctly, can take the full contents of a semi-detached 3 bedroom house) and house movers are always regular (3month hire) customers. But increasingly if they are fitted with shelves for instance, they are used quite extensively by medium and large sized businesses for amongst other things paper trail Data Storage.

Sole traders or small businesses for storing products and tools often use the 40’s.

The 8’ & 10’s (and Purpose built) are mostly used by public for long term ‘’Glory Hole’’ storage, or overflow from a 20’ that proved too small for their effects or for decanting from a 20’ or 40’ when sorting to move in to new home.

Your choice of container sizes you use should be based on the envisaged type of clients and quantity of those types.

The biggest clients for establishing Self Storage business start-ups are farmers, often having barns or space underused, but many others are entrepreneurs who rent or buy a small parcel of land and for these each square foot is a cost to them and they try very hard to make every square foot work for them. These clients, not having the land spread that farmers have, are the most likely to require bespoke sizes and also to maximise revenue use the tops of the containers for additional storage “Toppers” (see


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