Are Shipping Containers Good for Long-Term Storage?

March 30, 2024

In recent years, the humble shipping container has seen a boom in popularity, not just for transporting goods across the globe but as a multi-purpose solution to various needs, including the innovative adaptation into long-term storage units. The question is, are they up to the task?

shipping container for long term storage

Benefits of Using Shipping Containers

  1. Durability
  2. One of the primary reasons shipping containers are favoured is their exceptional durability. Originally engineered to protect cargo from the extremes of transoceanic voyaging, these containers are typically manufactured from corrosion-resistant corten steel, which prevents deterioration and ensures longevity. Ideal for long-term storage, they can safeguard your possessions against weather-related wear and tear, which is essential for maintaining condition over extended periods.

  3. Security
  4. Shipping containers are synonymous with security. Their sturdy build and lockable doors provide a level of safeguarding that is hard to penetrate. Whether you're a homeowner looking to store personal effects or a business owner needing a secure space for surplus inventory, containers offer peace of mind that your stored items are well-protected.

  5. Versatility
  6. Customisation is where shipping containers truly shine. Whether you’re looking for a standard dry unit or a refrigerated shipping container, there’s a configuration available to fit diverse storage needs. Modifications allow containers to be adapted for climate control, shelving, and more.

  7. Cost-Effectiveness
  8. When it comes to the financial aspect of shipping containers as storage solutions, they represent a cost-efficient alternative to a traditional storage facility. They come with a lower initial purchase price (particularly in the case of used containers) and minimal ongoing costs, particularly when you factor in the absence of monthly rental fees associated with storage units. The one-time purchase can provide a permanent solution that could save money.

Considerations Before Using Shipping Containers

Space and Location

Before jumping in, consider the practicality of space and location. Do you have sufficient space on your property, or will you lease a spot in a storage location? There will be a need for ample space for delivery and positioning. Are there particular zoning regulations or permits needed for a storage structure? Address these questions early to ensure smooth sailing.

Container Condition

When looking into how to buy a shipping container, remember to inspect the unit for integrity. Seek out used storage containers that are wind and watertight, devoid of significant rust, and possess intact seals and gaskets. Preserving your stored goods is contingent on the condition of the container itself.


Containers, while low-maintenance, are not no-maintenance. Continual maintenance is crucial. A neglected container might develop issues that could jeopardise its contents, so plan for regular inspections and care. Regular checks for rust and corrosion, as well as ensuring door hinges and seals remain functional, are critical tasks to uphold the condition of your shipping container.

Accessibility and Organisation

Another vital consideration is organising items efficiently within the container. It's important to create an operational system that allows easy access to your belongings, maximises the use of space, and facilitates hassle-free retrieval when needed.

The advantages of utilising shipping containers for long-term storage are durability, security, versatility, and cost-effectiveness. However, considerations such as size constraints, the necessity of maintenance, and zoning laws should be considered.

Determining the right amount of space in a container can be challenging. Here are some general guidelines to help you make an informed decision:

  • A 10-foot container is an excellent choice for storing seasonal items, office equipment, or excess inventory for a small business.
  • A 20-foot shipping container offers around 33 cubic meters of space and is great for accommodating furniture and household effects from a 2 to 3-bedroom home.
  • A 40-foot container provides approximately 67 cubic meters of space and is ideal for storing items from a 4 to 5-bedroom home.

If you need more information on the size, our experienced team can help you select the right container for your specific needs.

Shipping containers are a solid choice when considering long-term storage options due to their durability, security, and versatility. Their adaptability and functionality accommodate a wide range of storage needs. However, assessing your storage requirements against the advantages of shipping containers is crucial to ensure they align with your specific circumstances. Evaluating your storage needs against these considerations will help you determine if a shipping container is your ideal long-term storage solution.

Betta Storage Containers in NSW
  • Container Hire

    Our hire fleet consists largely of units built within the last 5 years, which means your belongings or goods will stay safer and more secure in a clean and well-presented container

  • Container Engineering

    The many and varied applications for the use of shipping containers can be greatly increased with features that can be added or modified to a standard shipping container

  • Container Delivery

    We operate our own 20` tilt tray trucks at very competitive rates. Our experienced drivers do their best to get the container to into the required place

  • Our network

    Because we work with affiliated companies in each Australian port, we know we can meet your needs no matter the location