In 2020, the demand for warehouse and storage space rocketed due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, storage facilities are now fuller than ever two years on, with the demand unlikely to drop.
In this article, we’ll take a look into exactly why storage warehouses increased in popularity, whether this means prices are likely to rise, and what you need to know about renting your own storage unit.
Why was there more demand for warehouse space during the pandemic?
There are a number of reasons we can attribute towards to rise in demand for self-storage space throughout the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. A few major reasons include:
- More businesses moving online: As lockdown forced thousands of businesses to close their doors, many business owners turned to virtual stores instead. Online shopping has quickly taken the place of many bricks-and-mortar businesses, and this doesn’t look likely to change. With online stores booming in recent years, so has the need for more warehouse space to store additional stock.
- Moving home: Using self-storage when moving home is a common practice for keeping one’s belongings safe until needed, and this was no different once restrictions were eased during the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of people moved homes during the pandemic for a number of reasons, from moving out of the city due to online working no longer requiring an office commute, to downsizing due to a loss of income. Whatever the reason, home movers certainly added to the popularity of storage in the past few years.
Are self-storage prices likely to increase?
In an article for the Financial Times, Bruno Berreta, leader of logistics research at Cushman, warned that the UK could run out of storage space within a year. With increasing demand, it only follows that the price for such highly sought-after space is likely to increase, too.
If you are currently renting a storage unit, or planning to in the near future, it may be a good idea to ask your facility whether they will offer you a fixed rate to avoid an unexpected price hike in the future. If you are renting storage space long-term for an online business, however, an increase in rental prices may just be another business cost to factor in.
What you need to know about renting a self-storage unit
Whether you’re using a storage unit to store products for your online business, or are storing your belongings during a house move, there’s a few things you may want to consider to keep the cost of renting your unit down while also keeping the items stored safe.
- Shop around for the best quote: Self-storage is a competitive industry, so don’t take the first quote you receive at face value. Shop around a couple of facilities to find the fairest price for your needs but remember, the cheapest offer isn’t always the best quality. Find out more about what to look for in a self-storage facility here.
- Read the terms and conditions: Don’t risk invalidating your contract by operating outside of your warehouse’s terms and conditions. For example, some facilities may allow you to operate your online business from within your unit, whilst others may be strictly for storing items.
- Buy your storage insurance separately: Storage insurance protects the financial value of the items you have in storage should they be damaged or lost. Not only will taking the time to buy your own storage insurance ensure that you have the correct level of cover, but it often yields a cheaper quote than you would get by shopping directly with your storage provider.
Find out more about why you should buy your storage insurance with Surewise, and how we can help you cover yourself against fire, flooding, vandalism, and more.