Facts About container storage
Self Storage facilities first appeared in the United States of America in the 1960’s and since that time the industry has grown to account for nearly 53,000 facilities across the country.
Self Storage did not arrive in the United Kingdom until the early 1980s, initially in the London area, but today there are more than 1000 facilities found across the country and this equates to approximately 37.6 million square feet of rentable space.
The industry continues to grow steadily in the UK and has done for the last five years, fuelled by the growth of multi-site operators as well as smaller businesses looking to diversify into the sector.
There are a number of reasons why both consumers and businesses are increasingly turning to self storage, but the primary reasons remain social factors such as moving home, marriage, divorce, retirement and for businesses self storage proves useful for a number of reasons including storing archive, stock or office equipment. In addition to this, public awareness of the industry (often because of high visibility centres found on major arterial roads around most of the country’s leading cities and towns) has also contributed to its growth.
It is always hard to accurately measure the exact number of self storage sites, as they are not officially registered anywhere and small facilities can be opened in rural areas with limited marketing or online presence. The SSA UK estimates that there are now over 1430 self storage sites in the UK, of which 317 facilities offer predominately container storage.In total, there is approximately 42.2 million sq ft of self storage space in the UK, and we estimate that the total turnover of the industry in 2017 was £640 million.
Around a third of UK self storage facilities are owned or managed by large operators (operators managing 10 or more sites) however, since these operators tend to have larger sites, and many are located in higher rent locations, in terms of total space available and total revenue, their share of the market is likely to be close to 50%. The 2017 UK Annual Survey is the most comprehensive insight into the UK self storage industry ever produced.
Over these years both the industry and the report have grown significantly. This year, for the first time, we have included a survey of self storage customers to add even further depth to the final results. The report is now based on 3 surveys – the industry operators, the general public and the customers. This gives a truly complete analysis of the self storage industry in the UK from all perspectives.
Occupancy increased from 73.1% in 2015 to 75.8%, and revenue per square foot has increased to £22.68.
- 84% of the public survey respondents said they have heard of self storage – down from 90% last year.
- Understanding of the product remains low; only 32% of people understood that only they have access to their unit, a marginal increase on last year.
- 70% of people surveyed could not name a single self storage brand.
- Over 70% of self storage users live within 20 minutes of their unit.
- Net rental Rates in London are double the level of rates in the East Midlands or the North.
- There are over 1,430 self storage sites in the UK offering approximately 42.2 million square feet of space.*
- Divorced or seperated people are more than twice as likely to use self storage than single people.
- This is a significant increase on the size of the industry reported in previous surveys, due to the more detailed investigation into the number of self storage facilities in the UK by the SSA UK as well as additional supply being added to the market.
The term ‘self-storage’ is short for ‘self-service storage’, also known as ‘mini storage’. A self storage business provides storage rooms, lockers and/or outdoor space for rent. They rent selfstorage spaces to individuals (usually storing household goods) and small businesses (usually storing excess inventory or archived records).
Rental contracts run from as short as 1 day up to 2 years. Triple S self storage centres specialise in renting Shipping Containers in various sizes. Containerised Self-storage offers entrepreneurs and investors the opportunity to diversify their investments with relative safety and confidence. The self-storage real estate sector has proven to be one of the, if not the most, robust real estate segments over the past decade, confirming its attraction and resistance to economic downturn.
Portfolio diversification is vital to a successful investment strategy. ‘Diversification’ is the key word here and self-storage is a differentiating asset class compared to the more traditional real estate asset classes such as office, commercial and industrial. Self-storage brings some unique benefits that deliver a robust financial proposal and illustrate why self-storage is a good diversification solution.
In developing markets, self-storage companies are typically producing high double digit annual returns. With its robust stabilization characteristic, good returns nearly always continue over the life of the investment.
This is often why many container owners/investors stay with their investment over the long term despite attractive third-party offers. Asset uplift’ is one of the key principles of investing in self-storage. This is taking a relatively low yielding real estate asset and upgrading it to a higher yielding, more stable asset via a simple, proven model. We have been working in this business since 1990 and have seen each market we operate in grow exponentially since the self-storage concept was first introduced.
At that time the USA market was at 3.0ft2 (0.28m2) per head of population and Australia at 0.3ft2 (0.028m2). I thought the USA was saturated back then and that Australia would grow to around 0.8ft2 (0.074m2) But that is all academic now, because the USA reached 7.4ft2 (0.69m2) per head of population in 2011 and Australia 1.2ft2 (0.11m2)… and both markets are still growing! And the rest of the world is still way behind these two markets, but it’s climbing.