Purchasing a Portable Storage Container – the Hows, the Whys, the Benefits

Purchasing a storage container can provide tons (no pun intended) of benefits. However, actually acquiring them can prove to be quite the task for a number of different reasons. Hopefully this guide will make for a smooth acquisition and help with your project and also answer some questions as to why buying storage containers has become so popular.

Types of Portable Shipping Containers for Sale

First of all, not all storage containers are created equal. There are several sizes, types, and conditions that they come in. Within these size ranges, there are options such as:

  • Refrigerated containers
  • Insulated containers
  • Open top containers
  • Dry freight containers

Common Grades of Shipping Containers

Instant Storage carries models of portable storage containers ranging from 10 feet to 53 feet. The most popular sizes by far are the 20 foot and 40 foot shipping containers. These containers will usually be available for purchase in a variety of different conditions. The common jargon you will hear and see for the industry are:

  • IICL – Institute of International Container Lessors is the most strict grading criterion in the industry.
  • New – These units will typically have been on one trip and in tip top, like new shape. They may sometimes come with a warranty and should not have to be inspected to transport cargo for 5 years
  • CW –  Cargo Worthy means the container meets the standards in its initial specifications required to transport cargo.
  • WWT –  Wind and water tight is a pretty self explanatory condition. A storage container in this condition should not have any holes in it however, that does not apply to the understructure of the unit.
  • Damaged – Damaged shipping containers for sale will come on an “as is” basis and will typically show signs of wear and tear. Dents, rust, missing parts, and doors not fully closing are some typical signs of a “damaged” container. The price of shipping containers will depend on the condition and your negotiating skills.

Shipping Container Delivery

Once you’ve gone through the process of buying a portable shipping container, your journey isn’t quite done. In fact, one of the most difficult parts of buying a storage container can be working out the logistics of delivery. Some companies may include the delivery of the container in the price but others may require you figure out transportation yourself. Instant Storage is one of the companies that will deliver your shipping container for you within the areas they serve.

Hopefully this guide on how to buy shipping containers has been helpful. Instant Storage seeks to provide a high level of customer service whether you need to buy or rent a storage container. Please contact Instant Storage today for any inquiries you may have.

Are Portable Storage Containers Strong Enough For My Project?

When considering durability, strength, and craftsmanship, the term “military grade” often comes to mind. Often times when considering using a storage container for a project, there is a high probability you are looking for something that is safe, secure, and can take some level of abuse both inside and out. If you are concerned about whether or not a storage, also known as a shipping container can stand up to whatever it is you plan on using it for, keep in mind, own own U.S. Military uses them in several strategic ways across the globe.

Besides using mobile storage units for their primary purpose of storage, there are several other quite incredible uses that the military chooses to use the containers for. Some of the most innovative are:

  • Mobile barracks
  • Mobile offices
  • Mobile training facilities

Innovative Shipping Container Uses by the Military

Perhaps the most controversial of the three uses listed above is the mobile training facilities. This is due to the fact that much of the training and operations for drone pilots and drone flights are done from a mobile shipping container. Why use a shipping container for something like this? Well, as discussed earlier, portable storage units are safe, secure, and can stand up to the elements in almost any condition which in turn protect its contents. In fact, shipping containers have withstood the test of time being used as the chief method of transportation in the shipping industry for over 60 years.

Mobile storage units are as versatile as they are tough. For example, the same portable shipping container used as a training office can be turned into a studio apartment used as a barrack for a soldier or even an office for a commanding officer. The containers are made of steel which ensures protection from the elements as well as an adaptable structure for any minor modifications such as creating windows.

Storage Container Stats

The typical 20 foot storage container can weigh upwards of 5,000 pounds where a typical 40 foot storage container can weigh upwards of 8,000 empty. However, the impressive part is the amount of payload these containers can accommodate. A 20 foot mobile shipping container can accommodate over 55,000 pounds! The 40 foot mobile shipping container can accommodate over 60,000 pounds of payload! It might be a little more clear why the military has chosen to incorporate them for so many different uses.

We look forward to answering any questions that you may have that are specific to your project. But if strength and durability was your main concern, we hope we’ve alleviated it. Chances are, if it’s strong enough for the military, it’s strong enough for your project. Please contact us at your earliest convenience and we’ll be happy to help you rent a storage container today. in any way we can.

A little 411 on the 911: On-Demand Storage Containers Provide Relief in a Pinch

There’s no two ways about it.  People don’t think about storage until they have to.  Usually that spells an impending move or renovation.  However, there are times when storage needs move quickly from a rarely contemplated issue to a code red concern.  It stands to reason that emergencies, severe weather events and other unpredictable scenarios keep storage companies like us incredibly busy.  

Almost invariably, it’s portable, or on demand storage companies that can respond to folks who find themselves in pressing circumstances.  Instant Storage, as the name implies, is storage made available on the spot – any spot where a medium to large container can be delivered and unloaded, in fact.  People who face a disaster like residential fire or flood don’t have the time or resources to load up their belongings and move them to some distant, fixed location facility.  In such times, people need all the fast help they can get to salvage their lives and avoid losing more property than they already have.  Enter the big, steel box heroes.

Storage in an Instant

Storage containers from Instant Storage are shipping containers of various sizes and configurations.  They’re loaded on trucks and delivered to driveways, businesses, schools and construction sites, where they become invaluable to those using them.  Their solid steel construction, full-width double doors and spaciousness make them the ideal answer for people who need to safely stow their stuff, whether planned or in a nasty pinch.

Restoration companies rely on portable storage solutions for getting furniture and other property out of a fire or flood damaged home quickly and conveniently.  Containers are delivered shortly after they’re requested and picked up after the job is done.  There’s no truck rental, wasted driving times or risk of improper or unsightly property storage.

Donating for Disaster

As it turns out, homeowners and restoration firms aren’t the only ones calling on Instant Storage for quick relief in tough times.  In both California and Florida, the Red Cross has relied on us in disaster relief scenarios.  Our containers have served in countless capacities over the years.  They store food, water, shelter, medicine, blankets and clothing for people and communities that have been displaced by extreme events.  They’ve served as temporary medical shelters and command and control sites.  Instant Storage gets the containers to relief agencies, including wildland firefighters, as soon as we get the call.  Once situations are stabilized, the units are picked up and put back into circulation elsewhere.  As a service to the great organizations helping out and to the affected communities, Instant Storage donates these containers to relief efforts.

Fortunately, not every day greets us with disasters and emergencies.  The majority of storage scenarios are reassuringly uneventful.  Free of sirens and floodwaters, most container deliveries are scheduled and follow pretty predictable routines.  It is interesting to think however, that our containers have traversed the oceans, traveled on trucks and trains, moved college students, served on jobsites and hotel renovations and held gear for rock bands and aviation companies alike.  There’s a long and varied history to each of our units, and given way they’re built, a long and interesting future ahead.  Regardless of your needs for mobile storage containers, Instant Storage will be here when you need us.  Give us a call or find us online and we’ll bring you unparalleled convenience, reliability, service and of course a portable storage container.  

Would You, Could You in a Box? Container Living 101.

If you’ve never stepped inside one, you can’t hope to understand just how inviting shipping containers are. Yes, shipping containers. The workhorses of global trade have an alluring quality about them. I know it sounds strange, but get in one and see for yourself. And that might explain why shipping containers, formerly affixed to ships, trucks and railcars are now playing such an important role in the current home building revolution.

Few things on the planet are as practically-conceived or purpose-built as the noble cargo container. Its design and construction betray qualities of expediency, ergonomics and durability. These attributes certainly lend themselves to home building and home living. We want livable homes that last a long time and are simple to build. And these are the same qualities that appeal to folks who want to minimize the impacts of home building on the environment.

Jobsite Heartache

Visited a construction site lately? Beyond the impressive hard work, have you noticed how much waste is generated by home building? Eight thousand pounds of wood, drywall, cardboard, carpet, tile, metal and paint come out of each 2,000-square foot house that’s built in this country. That’s several dump trucks per home and all of it is destined for landfills. Shipping containers boast wonderful benefits when viewed from this sad statistic. They are recycled and repurposed and they are cheap. Used containers cost approximately $2,500 – $3,500 delivered. And while homeowners inevitably modify them, they are already built.

Stack ‘em Up

For folks wishing to build a container home, they’ll be delighted about how configurable they are. Shipping containers are designed to be stacked on top of each other. Each can withstand the weight of eight more atop of it. This works in the favor of designers wanting to create multi-level living. Conventional vertical construction is typically expensive. Not so with container buildings. Units are positioned as desired on top of one another and bolted and welded down. Unique designs and increased interior space are quickly achieved using a crane and chains.

Great Lines: Thinking Inside of the Box

The rectilinear geometry of a shipping container also lends itself to contemporary architectural design. Using an acetylene torch and grinder, a craftsman can cut custom windows, sliding glass and doors into their stalwart frames. In the interior, container homes are plumbed, wired, insulated and finished with sheet rock or paneling. Conjoined containers with a removed shared wall offer impressive space when utilized for great rooms and dining/kitchen combos. From the exterior, finished container homes definitely convey something unique, but most strangers would never know that the home before them once transported toaster ovens and running shoes across the oceans from Asia.


If you’re intrigued and have never seen a container home, get online. There’s a wealth of information out there about the phenomenon. People are building gorgeous, spacious and affordable homes while limiting their impact on the environment and getting something truly unique, not to mention bullet-proof in the process.

Why Choose a Shipping Container Over a Storage Facility?

Using a portable shipping container for long or short-term storage needs beats remote location facilities hands down. Many people don’t yet realize that portable, or Instant Storage as it’s come to be known, is an option for secure, affordable storage that boasts unmatched convenience and security. When you consider that the storage unit comes to you, is removed when no longer needed and is on or near your property, the convenience is easy to wrap your head around. It’s the security considerations that we’ll bring to light in this post however.

Taking Control

A primary reason to opt for storage on demand is control. When you have a shipping container delivered to your residence, place of business or jobsite location, you maintain control of the keys, where it is placed and the hours you can access it. None of this holds true with traditional storage facilities. There is no strolling over and gaining access to your items in a fixed location scenario. Not only must you conform to their hours of operation, but you must drive there. Furthermore, you aren’t the only one who can access your unit at a storage facility. Welcome to the dim-lit realities of storage facilities. Cue the Twilight Zone music.

Smile, You’re on Camera

Despite the creepiness of being filmed at all angles while you maneuver into the cramped confines of your unit, I guess the closed-circuit TVs are a good thing. After all, lots of unsavory activity happens at storage facilities. You never know who your neighbors are at these places and what they’re storing, or stealing, as the case may be. While we’re on the topic of bizarre, a new trend is emerging whereby people rent units to occupy them. I’m talking about living and sleeping in these things. Call me insensitive, but I don’t particularly want Storage Stan bedding down next to my worldly possessions on the regular.


Shipping containers are the Abrams tank of storage. In short, they’re indestructible, impregnable and won’t ever let you down when it comes to security. These units are designed to withstand the most punishing scenarios in global commerce. Rent a shipping container and you won’t be the first to want to buy one. Upon delivery and initial inspection, husbands tell their wives, “Honey, we should get one of these.” Wives incredulously respond, “What in heaven’s name for?” Husbands eloquently respond, “Because they’re just so AWESOME!” And she thought the bigger barbeque was a bad idea. Jokes aside, step in one and you’re immediately impressed by how capacious and well-engineered they are. They’re built for one purpose alone – safeguarding their contents against whatever mother nature or some miscreant can throw at them.

You need storage or temporary staging of possessions, tools, inventory or equipment. You need it to be safe. Do yourself a favor and click or call Instant Storage today. You won’t find a safer, more convenient option anywhere.

How to Rent and Utilize a Shipping Container for Storage

Whether you fall in the ‘bigger is better’ camp may depend on personal preference and taste. However, there are certain tasks which don’t lend themselves to subjective opinion. You don’t move sheets of plywood with a motorcycle and you don’t cut hair with a chainsaw. Sometimes you need to go big, and when you do, you might as well throw in rugged, tough and safe.

Moving and storage are among life’s less joyous affairs. While moving can be a very happy occasion– the promise of a new home or perhaps an improved business location – the physical act of lugging boxes, furniture, tools and office supplies is about as thrilling as a root canal. When moving and storage become truly joyless however is when you’re underprepared, underequipped and outgunned.

Most temporary storage solutions involve palletized, light-weight containers that are dropped in your driveway or parking lot for a pre-determined amount of time.   These portable storage units work nicely for short-term and low-security scenarios. And that covers a fair number of residential moves, where temporary driveway staging is needed. For all the other occasions, you have a heavier-duty option.

Rugged Shipping Containers for Storage

At Instant Storage, there’s no plastic and canvas, no lightweight aluminum and no chance of finding a stronger, more secure, or purpose-built storage solution. Instant Storage containers are maritime shipping containers. They’re designed to withstand the most grueling of environmental conditions while keeping their cargoes dry, safe and unharmed. They’re built to tolerate incredible abuse while they’re stacked onto ships, craned onto trucks and transferred to freight trains. Because they’re spec’d for that type of rough and tumble, they will certainly handle whatever you throw at them.

Your Storage Container is Safe

What does this mean for you? It means you will not find a more secure option for storing your valuables, anywhere. The steel containers are impenetrable, have twin locking doors and are every bit as affordable as their less-secure competitors.

Heavy on Convenience

Despite their heft, Instant Storage shipping containers boast ultimate convenience. They’re delivered to your home, jobsite or place of business and hauled away as soon as you no longer need them. There are no binding contracts, no driving to and from fixed location facilities, and time wasted managing logistics.

If you’re in the market for convenient, secure and customizable storage, click or call Instant Storage. Shipping containers are delivered in multiple configurations where and when you need them, including dual-purpose containers that can serve as temporary work space and storage combinations. Navigate to Instant Storage and make your way to a happier, more secure moving and storage adventure.

Go Green with Instant Storage

All consumers identify with the benefits of instant, or on-demand products and services. Unfortunately, because of their ease and convenience, such products and services aren’t always so easy on the environment.

One industry that’s far gentler on the environment than its predecessor while granting tremendous time and cost savings to the user is portable storage. Simple, flexible storage delivered to your door also has the added benefit of a lighter carbon footprint.

Portable Storage Containers vs. Mini Storage

There are few places as uninspired as the old mini storage facility. The dimly-lit corridors of fixed location storage sites carry a high cost for our environment as well. The buildings are climate controlled and lit. They’re perched on large, paved-over parcels of land and are constantly rumbling with uneconomical trucks loading and unloading the things people don’t often use, but can’t seem to part with. Worst of all, people must drive back and forth from their home or worksite to the mini storage facility to obtain their belongings from storage! These trips to and from the storage facility are not only inconvenient, they also cause traffic and pollution.

The other option is portable storage. Besides imparting convenience, flexibility and affordability to the client, portable storage containers don’t take the toll on the planet that conventional mini storage facilities do. They are stackable (and virtually impregnable) steel storage containers that don’t have permanent homes. That’s right – these vagabond vessels don’t require asphalted acreage to sit atop when they’re either in a driveway, at a business or not in use. And while some multi-purpose containers are configured with air conditioners, lighting and other amenities, they don’t impose the enormous infrastructure requirements that fixed location facilities do.

The Eco-Friendly Choice

Increasingly, it’s important for home owners and business owners alike to make responsible, eco-friendly choices. This affects where we source goods and services, our transportation choices and how we interact with their communities. From time to time, we all have to move, improve a room or building, store seasonal inventory or transition in some way. Instant storage offers unmatched expediency and convenience with minimal impact on our lives, schedules, bottom lines and environment.

Make the environmentally friendly choice and enjoy the convenience that portable storage containers provide. Fill out the form to get a quote on one of our portable storage containers today.

An Affordable Approach to Hospital Storage Solutions

For decades, healthcare facilities were designed to host as many patients as possible in order to maximize profit. The patient-centered design movement has changed the way that hospitals are designed by emphasizing the importance of larger, more private patient rooms. While larger rooms may improve the patient experience, other spaces, like storage areas, may suffer. Storage space is not as important of a consideration in hospital and clinic design. Because of this, many healthcare facilities lack adequate storage space.

Healthcare reform has made healthcare more accessible than ever. However, this influx of newly-insured patients is putting a strain on hospitals’ already limited storage space. A lack of storage space may make it difficult to order new supplies, causing problems with the hospital supply chain, or even stock outs! Staff may also become frustrated with the clutter and inventory issues caused by a lack of storage.

When storage rooms and supply closets are full, hospital administrators must use creativity to find new hospital storage solutions. A common quick fix is often to convert a patient room into a storage room. However, this solution is not ideal because less patient beds mean less profit. Other healthcare providers faced with a lack of storage turn to off-site storage as a solution. However, they quickly learn how inconvenient and inefficient it is to drive supplies back and forth between the storage facility and hospital.

The demand for better patient rooms and more storage space is pushing many healthcare administrators to consider building or buying new facilities. However, declining reimbursements and tight profit margins are causing many healthcare facilities to put their re-building plans on hold.

Luckily, there’s another hospital storage solution that’s both convenient and affordable: portable storage containers! Many healthcare facilities use portable storage containers because they’re affordable, and it’s easy to schedule deliveries and pick-ups.

Portable storage containers are convenient and easy to access because they are located on-site. Instant Storage offers portable storage containers in a wide variety of sizes and configurators, so there’s an option for every healthcare provider. For example, shelves can be installed to store files and paperwork. Steel doors and secure locks ensure that your documents and equipment stay safe.

Other benefits of hospital storage solutions from Instant Storage include:

  • Freeing up patient rooms being used for storage space
  • Eliminating the need to travel to and from an off-site storage facility
  • Eliminating stock outs and other inventory issues
  • Easy access to infrequently used equipment and supplies
  • Avoiding the need to invest in new buildings

Do you need more more storage space for your healthcare facility? Learn more about our innovative and affordable healthcare storage solutions or generate a quick quote now!


Rethinking Retail Storage

When shoppers enter your store they see a beautiful display of racks and shelves full of colorful products. What they don’t see is the retail storage area or stockroom where all of the back stock is stored. New business owners are rarely prepared for how much retail storage space is needed to maintain a robust operation with a great supply chain. Businesses that are enjoying high sales may also need to seek out new storage solutions if customer demand exceeds the volume of products that can be stored and displayed in the store.

A lack of retail storage space can lead to all sorts of complications. When faced with an overabundance of back stock and lack of storage, retail managers are forced to make difficult choices. They may choose to:

  • Deeply discount last season’s inventory in order to move it as quickly as possible
  • Start looking for larger, more expensive spaces to host their storefront and products
  • Reduce the volume of stock that they are ordering

The problem with these options is that they all have the potential to negatively impact the bottom line. For instance, selling products at a deep discount has a negative impact on profit margins. Storefronts with more storage area tend to be more expensive. Moving to a larger storefront means that rent will increase and marketing efforts will have to be implemented so that your customers know that your business is moving. Not to mention the stress, time and effort it would take to relocate your business! Reducing your inventory would also be a risk because there would be less products to sell and turn a profit on. You may also be unable to meet customer demand with a smaller inventory.

The good news is that there are alternative ways of creating more space for less money. For example, Instant Storage provides innovative and affordable retail storage solutions for retailers in Florida and California. Our portable storage containers are clean, safe, and secure, and available in a variety of sizes and configurations. We also offer storage container modifications like heavy duty shelving to better serve your business needs.

There are many benefits of portable storage for retailers that are short on storage. For example, portable storage containers cost a lot less then constructing or renting a new storage facility or storefront. Portable storage also gives retailers a way to access their inventory on-site without having to construct more storage space or transport products from storage to storefront.

Another benefit of portable storage is that it saves business owners money by only paying for storage when they need it. Because the volume of inventory fluctuates throughout the seasons, retailers may only need extra storage for just a few months out of the year. For example, retailers often order more inventory before the holidays in order to prepare for the seasonal spike in consumer demand. This seasonal inventory may not fit into the existing storage space, necessitating the need for portable storage. After the seasonal inventory has been sold, the portable storage can be hauled away so that the business owner doesn’t have to pay for storage space that she doesn’t need.

Learn more about Instant Storage’s retail storage solutions, or contact us today to generate a quote!

5 Benefits of Construction Trailers

Construction companies are legally responsible for providing a clean and safe workplace for their employees. However, constructions sites are often inherently dangerous. This is because employees are working on and around unfinished structures that are not yet “up to code,” and may include dangerous elements like exposed wiring and uneven floors. To add to this challenge, workers may have to transport tools and supplies away from the job site at the end of the work day if there are no secure structures to store supplies in.

Safe and comfortable shelter can also be difficult to find at the job site. Shelter is a basic human need, and is important for protecting workers from harsh weather during long shifts. Shelter is also necessary for people like supervisors and architects who need a desk and quiet place to work in order to get their job done.

Creating a safe and comfortable work environment at outdoor construction sites is a constant challenge for the people who own and run construction and land development companies. Here’s how construction trailers can ease most of the safety, security, and comfort challenges related to construction job sites:

1. Eliminate the Theft of Tools and Equipment

The theft of tools and equipment from jobs sites is a major concern for all construction companies. In fact, an entire black market exists for the sale of tools and equipment stolen from construction job sites. Unfortunately, 62% of equipment stolen from job sites is never recovered. Construction site theft results in monetary loss and even project delays if new equipment can’t be procured quickly enough.

Portable storage containers from Instant Storage save construction companies money by providing a safe and secure place to store mission critical tools and equipment. Heavy duty locking mechanisms on every door keep thieves away from your equipment. Keeping certain types of supplies and equipment locked and out of harm’s way also assists compliance with OSHA regulations.

2. Provide an Office for the Foreman

Although construction is a hands-on industry, paperwork must be completed at every step of the development process. The digital age has also made the use of computers and email impossible to avoid. This means that job site supervisors and foreman need a desk, computer, and quiet place to do their work, even if spend their entire work day at the job site. Since job sites are typically outdoors, dusty, and noisy, mobile container offices are a perfect way to provide foreman with a safe, comfortable, and quiet place to work. Providing job site supervisors and “white collar” workers with a construction trailer improves workplace productivity and worker satisfaction.

3. Secure Storage for Important Documents

Document security is a concern for every business, but for construction companies working at outdoor job sites, it is often difficult to find a secure place to store documents. That’s why all of our mobile container offices are equipped with a steel lockbox that can be used to store your most valuable documents and equipment.

4. Provide Shelter for Workers

Construction workers are subject to long hours and heavy labor in sometimes inclement weather conditions. Hot sun, cold snow, and whipping winds are just some of the weather conditions that construction workers are expected to work through without complaint. However, bad weather can still have a negative impact on worker morale, and can also cause illness like heat stroke or the common cold that may cause workers to miss work.

Construction trailers give your workers a safe and comfortable place to take a break from the elements. Although most of their day may be spent outside, they can use a construction trailer to take their lunch break, or shelter themselves from dangerous weather conditions like lightening, high winds, and hail.

5. Reduce Time Spent Transporting Materials to and from the Job Site

57% of a construction worker’s time is wasted traveling to retrieve, waiting to receive, or trying to find equipment. Travel time that could be better spent working at the job site is a major inefficiency that detracts from the bottom line, and can even extend the deadline of a construction project. Having a safe and secure place to store tools and equipment on-site eliminates the need for daily travel to deliver tools and equipment to and from the job site. Having secure on-site storage also eliminates the possibility of losing tools and equipment while travelling to or from the job site.

Learn more about construction storage containers by contacting Instant Storage. If you know that your company needs storage containers for upcoming construction projects in Florida or California, you can generate a quote now!