2nd March 2023
If you have ever looked into storage facilities in the past, then you may have come across the term’s self storage and warehouse storage. The terms self storage and warehouse storage are often used interchangeably. However, they really shouldn’t be. This is because there are numerous differences between these two storage facilities.
One key difference between self storage and warehouse storage is that self storage unit tends to be more ideal for personal belongings or for the use of a small business. However, warehouse storage tends to be more popular for commercial or industrial storage purposes.
That said, when you are choosing between self storage facilities and warehouse storage for your storage needs, there is a lot to consider. There are several factors for both storage options that make them stand out.
By understanding these, you can make the best choice for your storage needs. In this blog post we look at some of these factors to help you decide between self storage and warehouse storage for your possessions.
What Is Warehouse Storage?
Generally speaking, if you are looking for a large storage are for your business, you may be considering warehouse storage. One of the great things about warehouses is that they can give you a large-scale area of storage space. In fact, you can gain upwards of 1,000 square feet of space.
If you are a business with large amounts of stock or large machinery and equipment, then warehouse storage could be the best storage solution for you. By opting for warehouse storage, you can rest safe in the knowledge that your equipment, stock and other business items will be kept safe and secure.
There are downsides to warehouse storage for businesses though. For example, a business in the UK may be limited when buying or leasing a warehouse space for storage. This is because companies will be required to have a commercial mortgage. They must also be able to cover the costs associated within owning commercial properties. Leases can also be on a long-term basis and the cost of warehouse storage can be high too.
There are lots of different warehouse storage solutions that can be used in your warehouse storage. These include wire partitions, static shelving, mobile shelving, mezzanine flooring, pallet racking and multi-tier racking as just some examples. With all these different storage solutions available, you can see why warehouse storage is so popular for wholesalers, transporters, retailers, exporters, e-commerce stores and manufacturers.
When you opt for warehouse storage it is possible to rent the entire warehouse or a specific space to fulfil your storage needs. The main goal you should have in mind when hiring a warehouse for storage is that you optimise the space you have available. You also need to ensure that you can gain access to all products and items in the warehouse storage as and when required. It is possible that you may require leverage handling equipment for your warehouse storage space. This is dependent on the items in storage, their location and how they are stored. You will also need to ensure optimal organisation of the storage space to ensure everything has a place and is easy to locate.
One of the biggest benefits to warehouse storage for a business owner is the high ceilings. This means that large or oddly shaped equipment, stock and machinery can be stored with ease. In addition to this benefit, warehouse storage providers will typically offer heated space. This will help to prevent items in storage from freezing.
The Pros Of Warehouse Storage
There are many benefits to warehouse storage, in fact too many to mention. However, below we share some of the most common benefits of warehouse storage that may be of interest to you. Warehouse storage will often be under 24-7 security surveillance by a security guard or security cameras and alarms. As we have already mentioned, warehouse storage is often heated too so items in storage will not freeze in cold weather.
You will find that there are a wide range of unique storage solutions too. These can be used dependent on the items you have in storage and how you want them stored. You will be able to gain the sufficient storage space that you need too. In addition to this, you will have the scalability to expand or contract your warehouse storage needs. You will also gain final mile delivery with warehouse storage.
The Cons Of Warehouse Storage
As with all things in life, there are pros and cons to everything. We have looked at the benefits of warehouse storage above. Now we look at the drawbacks or downsides of warehouse storage. The key negative factor of warehouse storage is that it can be very expensive. This is especially the case when compared to traditional self storage facilities.
You will also have less direct control over your belongings and the warehouse storage itself. Many business owners find that they struggle determining the size of storage and type of storage solutions that they need. This can result in the wrong decisions being made and money being lost or wasted.
What Is Self Storage?
There are different types of self-storage units. Again, the best one for you is dependent on your storage needs. For example, there is 24-hour storage and climate-controlled storage. There is purpose designed storage such as student storage, vehicle storage and military storage. You can also get portable storage or business storage units too.
The key difference between warehouse storage and self storage is the size and privacy. Self storage units offer private storage spaces within a warehouse for households, individuals and business owners.
With warehouse storage you can only gain access at set times. However, with self storage you will be able to gain access to your storage unit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is ideal if you are storing sports equipment that you need every now and again, for example. Self storage units are ideal for storing unused or rarely used items from your home or office.
It is important to note that there are some things that you will not be able to place in self storage. Make sure you check with the self storage company before you start renting the storage space. These items that are not permitted include things like unregistered vehicles, live plants, weapons, perishables, hazardous materials and live animals. You may not be able to store these items in warehouse storage, so make sure you check.
The Pros Of Self Storage
Just like there were benefits and good points to the warehouse storage, there are benefits to self storage units too. One of the biggest benefits for self storage users is that it is a cost-effective storage solution for their belongings. It also offers convenience to individuals and business owners as they can gain access to their belongings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
While security levels of self storage facilities do vary, a good self storage facility will have high quality security. This could include on-site staff and security guards, CCTV surveillance cameras, keyless entry for customers and intruder alarms, for example. It is important you check the security measures in place in your chosen self storage. This will give you the peace of mind that your belongings are safe and secure.
The Cons Of Self Storage
As with everything, there are pros and cons to self storage. The good points of self storage units need to be weighed up against the bad points. This will help you decide the best storage solution for your needs. If you have a lot of items for storage, or larger items, then you may struggle with self storage. It does mean that you have limited space for your belongings.
When it comes to self storage you will also need to maintain your inventory. We would recommend listing your items and what box they are stored in. This way you know what you have placed in storage, but you also know how and where to find it when you need it. As we mentioned, there may also be some items that you may not be able to place in self storage.
What Are The Differences Between Warehouse Storage And Self Storage Facilities?
We’ve looked at what self storage and warehouse storage are. In addition, we have looked at the pros and cons of both storage solutions. Now we look at the key differences between warehouse storage and self storage facilities. Again, this will help you decide which is the best storage solution for you and your items.
Self storage units are a practical and convenient storage solution for individuals and small businesses. They are available for short or long-term storage needs. Customers of self storage units have the ability to maximise their living space in their own homes, without having to spend too much money to gain this space back.
Commercial warehouse storage facilities will usually cost more than self storage facilities. You will also be required to sign up for a long-term contract, so a short-term storage solution will not be an option with warehouse storage.
Warehouse storage facilities and self storage facilities both offer their customers addition space in a place where there will be safe, secure and protected. Both storage options will offer climate-controlled storage if so required. This means that your belongings are protected from getting too hot or cold. They will be dry and secure instead.
While there are similarities in the two storage options, there are differences too. This is what we look at below.
- Storage Space
When looking at storage space, warehouse storage wins hands down if is it is lots of space that you need. Warehouse storage facilities are known for being large with high ceilings. Meanwhile, self storage units are smaller, and space can be limited for larger items. If you have personal needs or needs for your small business, then this makes self storge units ideal for you. However, if you have large items, machinery or odd-shaped stock then you might want to opt for warehouse storage instead.
Generally speaking, large companies will lean towards warehouse storage space for their storage needs. This is because it is a large space, ideal for big pieces of equipment and a large number of goods. Meanwhile, if you are an individual or the owner of a small business, then a self-storage unit will probably work better for you.
Self storage facilities tend to be smaller in size than warehouse storage facilities. This means that you can find self storage facilities located on easily accessible major roads. You will often find that self storage facilities are purposely built-in commercial areas. This is so the individuals and small business owners that use them can gain access to them with convenience.
Meanwhile, you will tend to find warehouse storage units on the outside of cities and in more industrial areas. This is because warehouse storage facilities need a large amount of land for the warehouse to be located. If you do hire a warehouse storage unit, you may find that you need to travel further afield than you would if you had a self-storage unit.
One of the key benefits of warehouse storage is that you can easily scale your storage space up and down, dependent on the supply and demand for your business. Another benefit of warehouse storage is that you will be able to focus on your business while the warehouse storage company can manage your inventory for you. This will enable your business to scale up, if you decide.
When you use self storage units, this means that your storage is managed by you. It can be possible for your self storage unit to fill up quickly. If this was to happen, then it is not that easy to scale up to more space. You could move your items to a large self storage unit within the facility, if one is available. Alternatively, you could rent an additional self storage unit to gain extra storage space.
- What You Can Store
What you can store varies between warehouse storage and self storage too. For example, if you rent a warehouse storage facility you can store heavy industrial machinery and large amounts of stock and equipment. However, if you have smaller business items and paperwork or personal items, family heirlooms and furniture for example, this would be better placed in a self-storage unit.
One key difference with regards to warehouse storage and self storage is what can actually be stored in the storage space. For example, you would not be able to store perishables or hazardous materials in a self-storage unit. However, this would be possible in a warehouse storage facility. It is likely that you will be able to store vehicles in a warehouse storage facility, whereas this might not be possible in a self-storage unit.
When your belongings are not with you or in your property, it can be unnerving. This is why the security of your chosen storage facility is so important. This way, you can sleep soundly at night knowing that your belongings in storage are safe.
All warehouse storage companies, and self storage companies are different. Generally speaking, a good warehouse storage facility will have 24/7 security through on-site security guards. This will ensure that your inventory is properly managed, and your stored items are safe. Self storage facilities will tend to have padlocks and gates as a minimum. A good self storage facility will have 24hr video surveillance, keyless entry and intruder alarms.
There is a difference in cost to consider when comparing self storage facilities to warehouse storage facilities. Typically, you will find that warehouse storage space is more expensive. This is because of the large space that you are renting. In addition to this, you are also paying for the inventory management that is needed to run the warehouse and storage effectively.
When it comes to self storage, this will tend to be more cost effective. They are less expensive because you are renting a smaller storage space. You are also managing your own belongings and inventory, so no additional fees are required for the management of your inventory. Self storage units are designed to be affordable for individuals and small business owners.
What Are The Business Benefits Of Renting Warehouse Storage?
As we have already touched on, renting a warehouse storage unit is ideal for businesses that have large quantities of goods, products, equipment and heavy plant machinery. Warehouse storage can be an asset to both growing businesses and large, established businesses. It offers additional space for the business to grow, inventory management and high-level security.
So, let’s look at the top reasons that companies use warehouse storage and what the business benefits of renting warehouse storage are.
- Location And Accessibility
You will find that warehouse storage will tend to be located outside of city boundaries. This is because the amount of space required is so much. That said, most warehouse storage facilities will be accessible via main roads. The benefit of this for businesses is that the collecting and delivering of stock will become convenient and hassle-free.
- Additional Storage Space
While it may seem like the most obvious benefit of warehouse storage to benefits, the additional storage space does really help businesses. The sheer amount of storage space available in your warehouse will enable your business to upscale with ease. If you are a large-scale business or your company is rapidly growing, this huge amount of space will be a huge benefit to your business. It certainly won’t limit your dreams of business growth and expansion.
- Leverage Your Seasonal Growth
If you have a seasonal business, it can be really tricky to manage your stock. In a number of days, you can go from selling all your stock to having loads of stock in storage. The space within a warehouse storage facility enables companies to increase stock levels as and when required. This helps businesses prepare for spikes in customer orders during seasonal shopping events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and similar. Businesses are also able to store their seasonal items such as Christmas decorations, garden furniture or winter sports equipment for example.
- Risk Management And Security
One of the other benefits of warehouse storage facilities that is often forgotten is the risk management and security offered. Businesses have the ability to minimise loss from theft, fire and damage by storing their goods in a warehouse storage facility. This can be a huge relief and weight of business owners’ shoulders. In addition to this, the items placed in the warehouse storage unit will be covered by the insurance of the warehouse storage company.
What Types Of Businesses Use Warehouse Storage?
Now we have looked at the benefits of warehouse storage facilities available to businesses, let’s look at the sort of businesses that use warehouse storage units. If you see a business like yours noted below, then maybe you want to consider hiring warehouse storage for the future success of your business?
Large scale companies that have extensive quantities of stock are the main business that will benefit greatly from renting warehouse storage space. We have seen that many of these large-scale companies will produce goods or acquire stock in anticipation for upcoming demand. They then require somewhere to store the items until the orders for the items come in. This is where they will benefit from the extra storage space available through warehouse storage.
There is other business that use warehouse storage too through, not just large-scale companies. For example, companies that have heavy duty machinery or large and substantial amounts of equipment will often need more space than a standard storage unit can provide. This is why they use warehouse storage facilities to gain this extra space that they need.
We have found that there are a wide range of types of companies that use and benefit from warehouse storage. These types of companies include manufacturers, importers, exporters and wholesalers. Companies such as transport businesses and retail companies will often hire warehouse storage space too. Large online-selling businesses will tend to use warehouse storage, as will customs.
What Are The Costs Associated With Renting A Warehouse Storage Facility?
It is important to note that renting a warehouse storage facility will cost you more than a traditional self storage unit. If the warehouse storage unit you are renting is in or around London, then you can expect the price tag to be even higher. Research from the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 showed that London was the most expensive region when it comes to prime industrial rents. This is the still the case today.
However, it isn’t just the cost of the rent for the warehouse space that you need to consider. There are other costs associated with renting a warehouse storage facility too. For example, when you agree to a rental contract for the storage space, you may find that there are additional fees or hidden costs that you need to budget for. While you may be aware of some of these fees, others you may not be aware of.
Below we look at some of the most common types of fees that are associated with renting a warehouse storage facility. By being aware of these you can ensure that you are prepared for them. This will also help you understand if you can afford warehouse storage for your growing business. Make sure you check the contract with the warehouse storage company too. They may charge additional fees that are not listed below.
- Rent Deposits
The landlord or company of your warehouse storage unit is likely to require a deposit for the storage space. This could be anything between 3 and 6 months rent up front. In addition to this, you may be required to pay for the first quarter’s rent for the warehouse storage space too.
It is worth noting that you landlord may also charge VAT on goods and services. These services will also include your rent so it will be an extra cost that you need to be aware of.
- Business Rates
Just like you pay business rates for your business premises, business rates will be required for your warehouse storage too. The UK government charges all commercial tenants business rates on all properties that they occupy. This will typically be around 50% of the overall rent of the warehouse storage space.
- Services Charges / Maintenance Charges
Again, you will need to check your contract for this. Many warehouse storage solutions offer security, landscaping and cleaning. In some cases, the landlord or warehouse storage company will charge you for this. This will be classed as a service charge or maintenance charge. Check what is included in the cost of the rent before signing your contract. If you do need to pay service charges or maintenance charges, check what these fees cover.
It is likely that you will be required to return the space in the condition it was rented to you. This means that the warehouse space needs to be returned in good and substantial condition. If this is not the case, you could face a ‘dilapidations claim’ from the landlord. Based on estimates from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) you could be charged an average cost of settling that claim of £7.27 per square foot as an industrial tenant.
Why Choose A Self Storage Facility Instead Of A Warehouse Storage Facility?
Now we have looked at the types of companies that use warehouse storage facilities and the benefits they gain from doing so, you may be wondering why a company would choose a self-storage facility over a warehouse storage facility. This is what we look at below.
Generally speaking, the reason you have for needing a storage solution will pretty much dictate whether a warehouse storage facility is better for you or is a self-storage facility could be more beneficial. For example, if you are a small business or individual then a self-storage unit will be much better suited to your needs.
Below we look at some of the many reasons that companies opt for a self-storage unit over renting warehouse storage space. This will help you see how a self-storage unit could benefit your business more than a warehouse storage unit.
The Self Storage Association recently completed some research. They found that most people looking to use self-storage unit want to travel quarter of an hour or less to their storage unit. The issue with warehouse storage when it comes to accessibility is that they will often be found in industrial areas that are not as easy to get too. Meanwhile, self storage units tend to be in an around city centres and large towns. Some self storage facilities are even accessible via public transport for additional convenience.
When comparing warehouse storage solutions to self storage facilities, you will see there is a large price difference. Warehouse storage will always be more expensive than self storage units. In addition to this, there are likely to be additional costs and fees involved with hiring storage space too. If you are a smaller business or an individual with a side project, you will find that self storage units are far more cost-effective than warehouse storage.
One of the biggest downsides of warehouse storage is the lack of flexibility. The great thing about self storage units for small business is the flexibility available. This means that businesses can opt for short-term or long-storage. The freedom and flexibility are there to cancel at a month or less notice, dependent on the terms of the contract. You could even relocate to a more convenient and strategic location if this would work better for your business.
- Space Sizes
Self storage units are extremely versatile. This means that a self-storage company will be able to offer your small business a wide range of shapes and sizes for your storage needs. You can also move to a large self storage unit within the facility as your storage needs grow. The same goes for when you have less items that need storage, you can just move to a smaller self storage unit as and when you require.
- Additional Services
Many self storage companies will offer their business customers additional services. These additional services could be the use of the equipment within the facility, such as forklifts and trolleys for example. You may also be offered free parking and wi-fi for when you visit your self-storage unit too. There are many self storage companies that also offer additional shelving in your storage unit for a small extra charge. Dependent on what you are storing, this could be extremely beneficial to you. In addition, some self storage companies may collect deliveries for you or send items as required.
How Can I Find A Reliable And Secure Self Storage Company?
If you have made the decision that self storage facilities are the best option for you, you need to ensure that you choose a reliable and secure self storage company. You may want to have a look on Google and check for online reviews. This will help you see which self storage facilities are available in your local area and what their customers have to say about them.
When driving around your local area look for self storage facilities. They will often be well signposted and highly visible.
Feel free to ask for a visit. This will give you a chance to see what the storage facility looks like and you will get a feel for how safe your belongings will be in storage. It’s okay to ask questions too. What would you like to know about the storage facility? Ask the person showing you around. This will give you the peace of mind you need when storing your items at a premises you are not at.
Self Storage vs Warehouse Storage: Overview
As you will have seen from reading this blog post, both self storage facilities and warehouse storage units have their pros and cons. It is important that you choose the best storage solution for you. It must be a storage solution that suits your budget, storage needs and preferences.
If you are a medium to large size business and you are growing, then you’ll need a storage solution that gives you the option to upscale but also manages your inventory. In this case, you will need to look at warehouse storage spaces as these are likely to be better suited to your needs.
However, if you are a small business or individual looking for space to store smaller items, or need affordable storage on a short-term basis, then a self-storage unit would be better suited to your needs.
Looking For Self Storage Solutions In Darlington or Peterborough?
If you are looking for a reliable, secure and affordable storage solution in Peterborough or Darlington, then we can help. Here at Quick Self Storage, we have a wide range of sizes of self storage units created to suit the individual and business storage requirements of customers in the local area.
Want to know more? Feel free to call our team. We can show you around our self storage facilities in Darlington and Peterborough to help ensure that you make the best decision for your storage needs.