Ultimate Guide to Commercial Storage

Have questions about commercial storage?

In this article, we’ll answer all the questions you have about commercial storage but never had time to ask!

Businesses and individuals alike use self-storage to hold extra items until needed.

No one size fits all, so there are many different options to choose from.

For businesses, their storage needs will often depend on their industry and business itself.

A Commercial Storage Building
Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

In this guide, we’ll take a deeper look at everything in commercial storage including:

  • What commercial storage is
  • Business benefits from using commercial storage
  • What your business should consider commercial storage
  • Different options for commercial storage
  • And much more!

Let’s get started!

What is Commercial Storage?

What exactly is commercial storage?

Commercial storage is essentially business storage or storage that is designed for businesses to use.

Both terms are used when describing the storage that is used for businesses, but sometimes residential storage may be included in the term ‘commercial storage’.

Another term that applies to commercial storage is ‘self-storage’.

This is a common wording and what most people think of when speaking about storage.

Storage in general is a very popular way for both businesses and individuals to hold on to items they aren’t going to use right away.

The average revenue for the storage industry is about $39 billion dollars annually, with the number of self-storage facilities over 45,500.

Commercial Storage Inside Facility
Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

Now that you know what commercial storage is, let’s look at how businesses can use it.

Business Benefits in Using Commercial Storage

There are many benefits for the use of business storage:

  • Extra storage
  • Cost savings
  • Inventory
  • Location flexibility

Let’s look at these in greater detail.

Extra Storage

Businesses are constantly growing.

And with that growth, comes the need for bigger space and more storage.

From entrepreneurs and freelancers to large businesses, the need for extra storage is a great.

Your office might grow, not just in terms of employees, but also record keeping, supplies, equipment, and more.

If you have a small office, these things can take up a ton of space.

This is where commercial storage comes into play.

And it’s not just offices that can use extra storage.

The construction industry has long taken advantage of extra storage to help them on construction sites and projects.

Cost savings

In many cases, renting storage is more cost effective than other options, renting larger office spaces.

While not all businesses will need the same amount of storage, all businesses can benefit from saving on the cost of leasing a bigger office just for storage.

Large Amount of Cash
Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash


It’s a new month or a new season, and that’s when new shipments of inventory arrive.

Where does the new inventory go?

What about the current or old inventory?

For those businesses that deal in high shipments of inventory – such as retail – being able to showcase their new wares along with their current offerings can be difficult.

But thanks to commercial storage, businesses can storage new inventory until they’re ready to display it, older inventory until needed again, or exclusive inventory for a specific event.

Location flexibility

As mentioned earlier, commercial storage is extremely popular for both businesses and individuals.

Because of that, there are a wide variety of locations for self-storage facilities.

There are well over 45,500 storage facilities in the US alone, so there’s a good chance that there will be a facility near your business.

Different facilities have different options, such as drive up entry or technology to view your inventory without having to visit the location.

We’ll discuss that in our next section.

If having to drive to storage location is a hassle, there is the option of a shipping storage container.

Shipping containers have evolved past their original purpose of transporting goods across the sea. Now, shipping containers can be used as building blocks for:

They are also used for storage.

Because of their size and durability, shipping containers have been used for storage on a variety of projects including:

  • Construction
  • Home renovations
  • Home remodels
  • General contracting

Using shipping storage containers mean that you can keep your storage on your property

We will also discuss shipping storage containers in our next section.

What Your Business Should Consider


We’ve explained what commercial storage is and what some of the benefits can be for using it.

You might be thinking now is a great time to start moving items into your nearest location.

Before you begin renting storage, there are a few things you should consider and ask when researching facilities and options.


Regardless of what you plan to put into storage, a crucial factor when picking a storage facility is security.

If you plan to store your items away from your business location, make sure that:

  • The facility is well-lit regardless of the time of day, especially at night.
  • There are video cameras and recordings at the location
  • There is Coded access, which only allows for individualized entry.
  • The facility has fencing, which helps to keep out unauthorized entry.

Features and Amenities

Another consideration and maybe one of the most important is considering how long you will need to rent storage for.

Most people will normally rent a storage unit for between 3 to 6 months.

Neighbor.com Storage Unit Tenant Duration Survey

Businesses may need a longer rental period, so it’s very important that you learn what the rental costs are for the storage location.

For shipping storage containers, the minimum most length of storage is a month, while the longest can be a year or two.

Businesses who will need a storage container for longer than a year should consider purchasing a container.

As we stated in the last section, some facilities will have extra features and amenities, such as technology that allows you to view what’s in your inventory without having to visit their facility.

Be aware that these extras may increase the overall monthly pricing.

Alternative Options for Self-Storage


We spoke a little bit about the option of using shipping containers for storage needs.

While storage facilities have a variety of locations, depending on where you live and which provider you use, it may not be as close to your business as you’d like.

There’s also the size of units, which might be smaller than your business needs.

Storage containers usually come in standard sizes of 10 feet, 20 feet, and 40 feet, however containers can also be modified and customized.

These types of containers can also be used by various business industries.

Construction companies, for instance, have used storage containers to store equipment and tools while on job sites.

This makes it easy to get to items in timely manner.

Another industry that uses storage containers are retail businesses.

With an influx of inventory, they use storage containers to store and even display their inventory.

A big advantage of using shipping storage containers over regular self-storage options is the ease of mobility.

Storage containers can be easily moved from location to location, so you can move the container to whatever destination you need it at.

And storage containers don’t need to stop at just containing storage; you can use them for other things too!

For example, if your business is renovating their offices, you can use storage containers to not only storage important documents, but to create mobile offices for employees.

In fact, many mobile office shipping containers have an option for a storage area, for things like tech equipment or files.

A Mobile Office from Southwest Mobile Storage

In this ultimate guide, we looked deeper into commercial storage. We learned what it meant, looked at what benefits businesses can get from it, and what they should consider when using it.

We also looked at some alternative options for commercial storage, using storage containers and what their advantages are over regular commercial self-storage.

If your business is looking for storage options, give us a call at 800.686.9114. Our storage container experts can help you choose the right sized container for your needs.