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Storage Container vs Storage Unit: What’s Best for You

When planning to put away some of your personal or business property in outdoor storage, perhaps because you’re remodelling your home or relocating your business, two solutions may come to mind: storage facilities or storage container rentals.

Which one is better among storage containers and storage units?

Each option has pros and cons, so the ideal option depends on your specific situation and needs.


Storage facilities are distributed across the country, so if you choose to put your items in one, you will need to rent a unit in an accessible location. You should consider choosing a facility that will be in close proximity to you, depending on your plans to move.

For instance, if you want to relocate, then it’ll be more convenient to choose a facility that’s closer to your new residence rather than your current home. You should also consider whether the facility gives you 24/7 access to your unit or the specific work hours you’re allowed to access it.

Storage containers, on the other hand, are portable storage units that are delivered to a location of your choice, and they stay there for the entire duration of lease. This allows you to keep your equipment, old furniture, inventory, and other items close to your home or business. As the storage container is stored on your property, it functions like your backyard storage with unlimited access to your items. If you plan to move, you can ask the company to transport the storage container to the new location after packing it.

Storage containers eliminate the cost and inconvenience of travelling to and from your storage unit whenever you want to put something in storage or retrieve it.

Size Options

Both outdoor storage options come in a variety of sizes to meet your specific storage needs, whether you want to pack the items in a room, studio, 1- or 2-bedroom apartment, or a larger house.

That said, storage containers — also known as shipping containers — tend to be much bigger in length and width, as well as height, with some options offering more vertical height than standard to suit storage applications that require it.

Many storage units come in 7, 12, and 16-foot sizes, while storage container rentals can vary from 5 feet to 53 feet in length. As storage containers are generally larger, they are the more practical solution for homeowners and businesses looking for additional outdoor storage, whether short-term or the long-term.

Safety and Security

Many storage units are advertised as weather-resistant with steel frames to protect your items from the elements. However, they only provide fibreglass units that are easy to break into or low-end thin metal sheeting that doesn’t offer much security for your valuables.

These lightweight materials cannot withstand the tough and extreme environmental conditions in a similar way to Corten steel containers that can withstand the harsh sea environment for 10 to 12 years when shipping goods overseas.

Storage units also often have roll-up doors that provide easy access but are not as secure as storage containers. These doors are not completely watertight or pest-proof, which puts your items at risk of damage.

Generally, storage units are specifically designed for domestic storage, so they are made cheap and quick, which means they use lesser grade materials than what is needed to withstand ocean use for that many years.

Steel ISO storage containers are made from 14-gauge corten steel, which is virtually impenetrable by the elements, insects, or pests. They provide you with high-quality, secure, and professional storage. Their sturdy construction extends to the doors that provide a tight seal all-around for complete water resistance and a high-security barrier that makes it extremely difficult for thieves to break into your container.

Storage container doors are as durable as the container itself unless they’re modified, so you can have peace of mind that your valuables are protected wherever your container sits on your property.

Storage Options and Customization

Storage facilities provide a variety of storage options to meet your different needs, including special shelving and temperature-controlled rooms, as well as secure storage with guards for access control. But any additional features to a standard unit will cost you more. In addition, you won’t be permitted to make any further customization or alteration to your unit beyond what is indicated in the contract, which limits your flexibility.

A storage container rental allows you to do whatever you want with your rented container without necessarily worrying about the contractual terms, provided it is on your property. When moving the container, you will need to follow company regulations regarding hazardous materials that cannot be transported.

Storage containers can be modified to better satisfy your storage needs or other uses. The customization options may include storage shelves, temperature control features, added storage, and much more.


There are different types of storage units with a variety of features that may be available at an extra cost. For instance, storage units with ground-level access for easy loading and unloading will cost you more than those that require ramps, trolleys, and other equipment to move your items. If you want to store inventory in your unit, some companies may not allow you to use it as an office but may provide working space at an extra cost.

The fact that your storage container rental is located on your property means that you can use it for other purposes besides storage without incurring additional costs. Customizations such as air conditioning, heating, ventilation, lighting, and skylights can allow you to use the space for storage and an office or workshop.

How to Choose Between Storage Container and a Storage Unit

If you’re looking for personal or business storage, storage container rentals may be ideal for short-term and long-term storage. With a variety of container sizes and favourable rent rates, we can deliver your container and leave it on your property for as long as you need the extra storage.

If you need to move some of your property across town or the country, our drivers will also pick up your container promptly and deliver it to your next location of choice. When you’re done using the container, we will pick it up, so you don’t have to hassle about storing it on your property when not in use.

For more help deciding whether a storage container rental or storage unit is right for you, call Secure Container at 416-817-3216 or contact us here.

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