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Self-Storage Modules vs Self-Storage Containers vs Storage Units

Self-storage modules vs self-storage containers vs storage units

Whether you’re looking for short term or long-term storage, there are many storage options, and it can be rather daunting to choose one. Should you load your own storage module, get a shipping container delivered or store it in a storage unit? Since there are differences between each option it’s best to get a clear understanding of what each storage solution entails and compare them. You can then find out which ticks most of your boxes!

Shipping containers

Shipping containers are large, metal containers that are delivered to your door so you can load items yourself or have removalists load the items for you. If you have space and residential permission, you can then keep the container at home, or it gets picked up and delivered to the warehouse or shipyard. When you’re ready to retrieve your items, just let the storage facility know and they will redeliver the shipping container to the new address.

If you have the luxury of keeping the storage container at home, you can then easily access your items. However, if the container must be stored in a warehouse you will not be able to access it. Moreover, containers usually only come in a few sizes: 20ft, 40ft so if you are storing only a few items, you will be paying for space you won’t use.

Containers offer a complete seal which means they are harder for pests to get to compared to traditional storage units or a storage module. However, as they are completely sealed, they tend to trap humidity and prevent ventilation and hence encourage mould and mildew.

Pros of containers

  • Very large, great for storing contents of 3+ bedroom homes

  • Long and short-term storage options available

  • Access is the best if you can keep the container at home

  • Best at keeping pests out due to the complete seal.

Cons of containers

  • If you’re only storing a few items, then this is not the most cost-effective solution

  • Limited access if storing the container offsite

  • If items are in storage long term, they are at risk of mould and mildew because of the complete seal. If you choose this option, make sure all items are bone dry going in and don’t store fluids.

Storage Units

Storage units are the most traditional storage option. These are self-contained garages or cages in a large warehouse space. To load your storage unit, you or your removalists have to load your furniture and household items into a truck, then unload the truck at the warehouse where they will be packed into a storage unit.

When you move out, the process is reversed. The items are unpacked and loaded onto a truck and the truck delivers them to your new home.

Storage units are usually housed in warehouses. Depending on the storage facility, the warehouse may provide 24-hour access or limited access, state of the art security, insurance, pest, humidity, and temperature control. But rest-assured if you are booking a storage unit in a warehouse with all these features, the monthly storage price will reflect these requirements.

If you opt for a storage unit and need access regularly, we recommend you choose a local facility.

Pros of storage units

  • Long term and short-term options available

  • Access can be good depending on the facility

  • They are well ventilated and that reduces the chance of mildew and mould forming.

  • Many sizes are available.


Cons of storage units

  • Double handling means you will either have to move your items twice or pay double the removalist costs.

  • You will need to get to the storage facility to access your items. Restricted access may be available.

  • If you are storing short term, this tends to be a more expensive option than storage modules or containers.

Storage modules (Mobiboxes)

Storage modules or our mobiboxes are wooden containers that can fit 10cbm each and are delivered to your door. Like shipping containers, you can pack the items directly into the modules then have these brought to a warehouse. They will then be redelivered when you move to your new home. This avoids double handling.

As storage modules are smaller than shipping containers, it’s a great option if you are storing only a few items or if you don’t need to fill a whole container. Due to the efficient warehousing that these modules provide, these tend to be the most affordable of all the storage options listed here.

Storage modules are housed in secure warehouses. Though they are made of wood, they are stored in watertight warehouses. They are also well-ventilated compared to shipping containers.

Pros of storage modules

  • Long and short-term options available.

  • Flexible depending on how much storage is required.

  • Well-ventilated.

  • One of the most affordable storage solutions out there


Cons of storage modules

  • Access tends to be restricted as you will generally have to book in a time for the module to be brought out to you.

  • Removalist costs or the time you spend loading will be more than with a shipping container if you are storing a lot of items (30cbm+)


Here is a comparison table highlighting the differences between the storage solutions. We have also added a fourth option being a friend’s or relative’s garage.


Storage module

Shipping container

Storage unit

Friend’s garage

Will there be double handling?





24-hour access?


Yes, if stored at home, no if stored in a warehouse or shipyard

It depends on the storage facility

Depends on the relationship

Is it secure?





Is it completely sealed?




Ask your friend

Are long term options available?




Unlikely, it depends on how much you value this person

Are there different options depending on the space required?


No – only 2 sizes available generally

Yes, some warehouses have differently sized units



If you’re still confused about which option to go with, give us a call, we would be happy to discuss!