Mobile Storage Containers vs. Pod Storage Units

Friday, January 19, 2018

When you’re budget conscience and need a mobile storage solution one of the first things you may think of are typical storage units available nearly everywhere in some form or another. The second option that comes to mind and that has been pretty popular lately is pod storage. These pod storage units are delivered to your location, you fill them and then they are taken away to their storage location until you need them again. Another popular option is using shipping containers for mobile storage since they are forklift ready and can be both a permanent fixture or an adaptable storage solution. The two latter options have increased in popularity in recent years so we wanted to compare them to see the pros and cons to those that are looking for affordable mobile storage.


Mobile Storage Containers

Mobile storage in the form of a shipping container is a popular answer to extra storage requirements for a variety of needs. These containers are built out of tough materials and made to withstand hurricanes and the unforgiving weather in the seas on cargo ships. Because of this, they can take some abuse without damaging the contents inside, and are secure against prying eyes or people that want something that isn’t theirs.

Shipping containers are a perfect answer to both long term or even short term mobile storage. They are built to be outside and still stay in pretty good shape, even after years of being left without care. They can lock, providing the security you would want in a mobile storage unit, some containers come in a double door configuration, allowing you alternative uses and access, and they come in a variety of sizes, so even if you need a smaller amount of space, you can find a storage container that will fit your need. They are available for rent as well as purchase in many places, and affordable for most. So whether you need it forever or just for a few weeks, a mobile storage container is a good choice when it comes to what you can get for your money. Mobile storage containers offer a customizable solution to the age old problem of needing more space to secure your stuff during a move, a remodel, or any other time in life when extra storage is crucial.

Did you know that these containers don’t have to be huge? Not all shipping containers are 40 feet long, requiring you to find place to put it. Some storage containers come in as little as 10 feet in length, providing you safe mobile storage without needing a large space to fit it. With all of this in mind, we think mobile storage containers are a perfect answer to your storage problems.

Pod Storage Units

Of course people also like to use pod storage as an answer to their mobile storage problems because they are sort of like “fill it and forget it”; until they get the bill every month. Although some pod storage units offer some of the same protections as a shipping container, the service is not the same and can differ from pod storage company to pod storage company. For instance, some companies may require a deposit in order to rent one of their pod storage units, and then have restrictions on what you may or may not store inside of them. Many companies will also have restrictions on when they can deliver and pick up the unit, as well as where the pod storage can be placed in or on your property.

And some pod units are built out of cheaper, thin aluminum or other metal that can be easily damaged or broken into. What happens if you (or someone else) damage(s) the unit? Your deposit will get lost and you may have to pay more money to cover any damages your lease doesn’t cover with the deposit aside from whatever might have been stolen from you! So on top of a monthly rental fee, you lose your deposit (which is due upfront!), and you may have to pay even more out of pocket in order to cover any damages to the pod storage unit while it is on your property, even if you didn’t cause the damage to begin with! While the rental payments per month may or may not be affordable for you, overall pod storage units can cost you quite a bit of money in the long run. Similar to a typical storage unit, pod units are simply rental units. You cannot buy the pod and you cannot keep it, which is fine for some, but what if you need really long-term storage? Pod storage may cost you quite a bit and then you end up giving back the unit at the end. For some, that may seem like a good deal. But when you look at it, you pay for a unit that may very well sit on your very own property the entire time, and can’t recoup any of it back.

Pros and Cons

Let’s list the pros and cons of each option so you can make a decision for which is the best option for you.

Mobile Storage Containers


  • Tough. Built out of steel and materials to last years in harsh weather and can handle a few good “bumps”.
  • Adaptable. Some configurations offer access to both ends of the container, and come in a variety of sizes.
  • Affordable. Some containers are available in a rent-to-own capacity, allowing your rent payments to go toward purchasing the unit.
  • Secure. Locking doors allow you to secure your belongings. Tuff Box even offers special tamper-proof locks for our mobile storage containers.
  • Easy. Rental companies allow you to place a mobile storage container anywhere on your property or location as long as there are no obstructions and we can move a truck into position to lower the container to the ground.
  • Damage Waivers Available. Tuff Box offers a damage waiver to prevent you from paying anything over your deposit in case of a container theft or even other outside damage.


  • Heavy. Shipping containers are heavy which may mean you need to consider what is under the ground when picking a location.
  • Limited off-site storage. Unlike some pod companies that store your pod with your belongings in it, container rental services rarely offer this service.

Pod Storage Units


  • Convenient. These units can be moved to your location filled and removed to be stored elsewhere.
  • Sizes. There are a few different sizes of pod storage units available.


  • Costly. With a security deposit and possible damages, these pod storage units can end up costing you more than simply having bought the container.
  • Not as Secure. Some pod units come with roll up doors which are easier to break into than a typical shipping container door made from steel.
  • Restrictive. Many pod storage companies place restrictions on what you can store inside of their units as well as where you may place the unit on your property.
  • Flimsy. Some pod storage units are made from thin, cheap materials that can be easily broken into.

There are a good number of considerations to take into account when deciding on a mobile storage solution.

/articles/mobile-storage-containers-vs-pod-storage-unitsFriday, January 19, 2018

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