Physical storage space is often a major, if not very glamorous, challenge for many businesses. You can sometimes see that when walking around offices and are constantly stepping around piles of paperwork and navigating vast forests of filing cabinets and other furniture holding supplies and consumables etc.
At a time when office and business premises floor space is at a premium and exceptionally expensive, it can be difficult to find convenient and cost-effective room for things such as:
- The storage of products, samples, stock or raw materials.
- Somewhere to keep old files, paperwork and accounts – something that may be a statutory requirement for a specified number of years.
- Even where physical space is not an issue, it can sometimes prove to be difficult to find somewhere to store items whilst at the same time keeping them secure from things such as fire, burglary and flood etc.
That is where steel storage containers may prove to be very useful.
They were originally developed in order to standardise and therefore facilitate national and international transportation. Containers could be delivered to a location, loaded, picked up and then delivered to their destination - where they could be unloaded again.
This differs significantly from a previous approaches which essentially involved some form of vehicle which, upon arrival, needed to be unloaded immediately if serious additional charges were not to be incurred. Containers allowed businesses to load and unload at their leisure over a period of days or weeks if required.
However, it didn’t take long for some enterprising companies to recognise that these containers may also be exceptionally useful as a general storage area for businesses. They are large and voluminous, typically being 8 feet wide by 8 feet 6 inches tall. They can come in various lengths ranging from 10 to 40 feet.
That is a huge amount of additional space and it can be quickly and easily delivered into place where required and then be used onsite or subsequently shipped to central storage warehouses (though do remember that in some on-site use situations, planning permission may be required).
Being entirely constructed of steel, the containers have the advantage of also providing superb security. In some cases, they can be converted into additional office, toilet or restaurant space (etc.) by the insertion of things such as doors, lighting, gas, toilets, cooking appliances and so on.
So, from being at one time seen to be more or less exclusively part of the domain of shipping and forwarding, today they have migrated to becoming a potentially exceptionally useful general purpose business facility.