Tons of people today are finding a need for portable storage containers. Some need storage containers for moving, residential storage, business storage solutions, or starting their own storage container supplies business. Whether you plan to buy, rent, or rent to own, you will want to consider the top portable storage container manufacturers in the industry.
360Connect is here to help! Start by comparing the top portable storage container manufacturers and dealers in the U.S., for both commercial and residential purposes. Then, we recommend exploring what to look for in a storage container manufacturer, including product qualities. Lastly, consider our recommendations for who to call for your portable storage container needs.
Top Commercial Manufacturers & Dealers
The first thing to know about storage container manufacturers and dealers is that some mostly focus on commercial products while others cater more to a residential market.
Commercial storage containers are typically made of high-grade heavy-duty steel, are wind-and-water tight. They also look more industrial compared to residential portable storage containers. Note that there are both manufacturers (who make portable storage containers) and dealers (who just sell storage containers). Some companies also do both! Take a look at our list of top portable storage container manufacturers and dealers for commercial needs.
1. Universal Storage
Universal Storage is a portable storage container manufacturer. They have won international awards for the “#1 self-storage container.” While they are an ideal commercial solution, they can also help residential customers as well. They provide several portable storage products (keep in mind that Universal Storage’s products have trademarked names):
- Z-Box: also known as self-storage portable containers. These can be stacked 3 high and can include flexible interior and exterior customizations. Note that they are not corrugated, which make them ideal for printing brand logos on the outside.
- Green Lite: These are non-portable, self-storage expansion containers. They help businesses expand their storage units at a low cost.
- Instant Warehouse: This is a modular container system that can be assembled quickly and increases storage space at a low cost.
- Cargo-Ground Containers: These are designed for delivering cargo by ground transportation.
- Cargo-Air ULD Containers: These are for delivering cargo by air.
- Polar Bear: These are refrigerated walk-in storage containers. They can be either portable or stationary.
- Kiosk Containers: These portable containers are designed for retail purposes.
- Grow-It Containers: These containers are designed for growing plants in a controlled environment.
- Locker Box Containers: Modeled off their Z-Box, these containers are portable storage containers that include individual lock boxes for vending, retail, gyms, and more.
- Instant Housing and Instant Office: These are equivalent to mobile offices. They can be used for housing, disaster relief, temporary workspace, and more.
2. Mobile Mini
Mobile Mini is a portable storage container dealer and manufacturer that mainly helps commercial customers. They have been in business for 30 years and provides staple portable storage products such as:
- Portable storage containers: These come in standard or extra-wide widths. They also provide work/store combinations.
- Ground-level offices: Again, these come in standard and extra-wide widths and can provide separate additional storage space.
- Tank and pumps products: Including tanks, roll-off boxes, industrial pumps, filtration systems, and more.
Note that Mobile Mini’s portable container has a corrugated exterior, which is ideal for commercial needs. However, Mobile Mini is equipped to help residential customers as well.
3. Mobile Modular
Mobile Modular is a portable storage container dealer and manufacturer that primarily helps commercial customers. They offer go-to portable storage solutions, such as:
- Portable storage containers
- Portable offices
- Office & storage combos
All Mobile Modular products come in standard 10-foot, 20-foot, and 40-foot sizes. Portable offices and office & storage combos come with windows and steel bars for high security. You can also add features such as:
- HVAC systems
- Doors and windows
- Plywood walls
- Security features
4. Portable Storage Box
Portable Storage Box is a manufacturer that provides both commercial and residential (self-storage or moving) products, but they are an ideal commercial solution. Their portable containers are un-corrugated and can be used for storage facilities, warehouses, restaurants, and more. They offer:
- Galvanized smooth boxes
- Smooth boxes
- Mini containers
- And more
A majority of Portable Storage Box’s products have heavy-duty steel doors, roofs, bases, and frames. They use lightweight steel wall panels. Note that their galvanized boxes are rust-resistant and are ideal for printing branding on the exterior.
Top Residential Manufacturers & Dealers
There are also portable storage container manufacturers and dealers that mainly focus on residential needs. Residential portable storage containers are typically designed for self-storage and moving purposes. They typically appear less industrial compared to commercial storage containers and usually come in smaller dimensions. Like commercial storage containers, there are both residential portable storage container manufacturers and dealers, and some companies can do both. Take a look at our list of top portable storage container manufacturers and dealers for residential needs.
Boxwell is a leading portable storage container manufacturer that provides flexible, turn-key solutions for both commercial and residential needs. They provide the following storage products:
- Relocatable self-storage units: Typically available in 20-foot size. These help businesses who need more storage units fast.
- Portable storage containers: These are your traditional portable storage unit. They come in custom sizes and can provide business branding on exterior if needed.
- Moving containers: These containers are ideal for residential moving purposes. They are mobile-friendly, provide security features, and great for storing furniture in transit.
- Portable offices (aka mobile offices): Boxwell’s portable offices are easy to assemble and provide a mobile, temporary living or work space.
- Restoration and remediation: 100% weather-resistant containers are ideal for restoration and remediation efforts.
Boxwell also provides their customers with the tools and equipment they need to make assembly easy. This includes a cardinal trailer and mule, horizontal lift, hand crank dolly, and more. Their delivery system can also provide you with assisted assembly, if needed. Learn more on Boxwell’s site.
2. PODS Inc.
PODS is a national portable storage container dealer that specializes in residential and moving storage needs. They are one of the most widely known brands for portable residential storage in the U.S. PODS offers portable containers in the following sizes:
All PODS products have the following features, which makes them ideal for residential and moving needs:
- Roll-up doors
- Steel frames
- Safety and security features
- Impact-resistant wall paneling
- Built-in tie-down rings
- Ramp-free loading
PODS also offers a delivery and pick-up service which is easy and convenient for residential customers. Learn more on the PODS Inc. website.
3. Mobile Container Sales
Mobile Container Sales is a portable storage container manufacturer and dealer. You might choose Mobile Container Sales if you have residential storage needs, or need smaller or differently sized containers than the standard portable storage container sizes. Mobile Container Sales provides options like:
- 8-foot mobile containers: Good for self-storage
- 16-foot mobile containers: Good for moving companies
- 20-foot mobile containers: Good for commercial customers
Their containers use roll-up doors and have un-corrugated exteriors. All of their products are galvanized to resist rust and other weather risks. Learn more on the Mobile Container Sales website.
4. GO Mini
GO Mini is primarily a residential and moving storage container dealer. They offer affordable portable containers for home remodeling and moving purposes. GO Mini containers come in three lengths:
They are also moisture and heat resistant, have both roll-up and swing doors, have convenient tie-downs inside, use galvanized steel, and include padded wheels. Learn more on GO Mini’s website.
What to Look for in a Storage Container Manufacturer
Features to look for in a storage container manufacturer will be different depending on what you are using the portable storage container for. For instance, if you are using the container for stationary/on-site residential OR commercial storage, you will look for certain features. If you are using the portable container for moving purposes, you will look for other features. Consider these lists of features to look for when using a portable storage container for moving vs. non-moving purposes.
If you need a portable storage container for non-moving purposes, your container will likely be stationary or on-site (rather than transported) while in use. In terms of non-moving purposes, here are some key features to look for:
For non-moving portable storage containers, the exterior is what keeps the storage container durable, weather-proof, resistant to damage, and able to support weight. You want a storage container with the sturdiest metal possible in order to provide the best product in the industry.
Although steel and aluminum are used for siding, we recommend looking for containers with steel rather than aluminum exteriors. Steel is stronger (although heavier), more durable, and will last longer. The only downside to steel is that it can rust and it is heavier than aluminum. However, most storage containers today use steel due to its reliability and durability.
2. Walls, Roof, and Floors
Different portable storage container manufacturers will use different materials for their walls, roofs, and floors.
- Walls: Some walls will be corrugated and some will not be. Corrugation can impact the appearance of the container as it looks more “industrial.” Plus, if you are looking to print your company’s logo on the exterior, it will be harder to do so and make it look clean on corrugated walls. Also note what material the walls are made of. Plastic can bend and corrode easily while steel and aluminum will be more reliable.
- Roof: The roof needs to be sturdy and durable. Especially if you are planning to stack containers, you need a roof that can support weight. Again, steel is the best for this. If you are keeping your containers outdoors (you likely will be), you need the roof to withstand rain water, snow, ice, heat, and more. Note that corrugated roofing can cause water to pool up and damage the roof.
- Floors: You need a thick, sturdy floor to support the weight of cargo inside. Beware of anything that can easily bend or get damaged. Most storage container floors are made of plywood but steel flooring is even better.
Different manufacturers will likely have different types of doors. You will likely come across the two most common types of doors when comparing manufacturers – swing-out and roll-up doors.
- Swing-out: Swing-out doors work like regular doors. They are more common for non-moving portable storage containers. Most containers have two doors that close together and swing out horizontally. Others will have a single swing-out door. Most containers with swing-out doors will have one set of doors on one side of the container, but some may have two sets.
- Roll-up: Roll-up doors work like a garage door. They roll up from the ground up. This can be convenient because they don’t require extra room around the door to open them, whereas swing-out doors do need extra “swing” space. Therefore, roll-up doors are great for containers that will be in tight spaces. However, they tend to be less secure and watertight than swing-out doors, especially when used for commercial purposes.
Do you plan to stack your containers? This can be a great idea for commercial needs. It can help you save room and fit more containers at your location. If you do plan to stack, you must look into your container’s materials to ensure each can support weight placed on top. Most containers made of steel can support the weight of 2 containers stacked on top. Make sure to ask the container manufacturer questions like:
- What material is the roof made of?
- How much weight can each container support on top?
- What equipment is needed to stack your containers?
Oftentimes you will need a forklift to stack containers, so keep this in mind!
5. Rust Prevention
Rust can be an issue for steel storage containers. But luckily, many manufacturers use preventative measures to help the container stay rust-free. Some common methods for rust prevention are:
- Powder coating
- Rust grip
Galvanized metal and rust grip are the most reliable ways to prevent rust. However, they are pricier which may drive the container prices up. On the other hand, finishing and powder coating are less reliable but more cost-efficient. Note that painting storage containers may take away the appearance of rust, but does not get rid of it!
6. Container Sizes & Weights
You likely have some sizes and dimensions in mind if you are looking to buy from a portable storage container manufacturer. But in case you don’t, look into conex box dimensions here. Most storage container manufacturers will carry “traditional” sizes (categorized by length), such as:
20-foot and 40-foot containers tend to be the best for commercial needs. Many suppliers will carry untraditional lengths as well. Note that most rectangular portable storage containers are 8 feet wide and 8-8.5 feet tall. Simply ask the manufacturer what sizes and dimensions they carry.
When it comes to weight, there is the weight of the empty container (“empty weight”) and the max weight (“capacity weight”). You want to be sure your trucks can support both the empty weight and the capacity weight. Note that the amount of weight the container can support depends on its size and material. Steel containers can hold as much as 25,000-70,000 lbs. at capacity. But containers made of other materials will likely have a much lesser capacity.
7. Shipping and Assembly
It’s important to find out how portable storage container manufacturers handle shipping products to you. For instance, what is the shipping charge? How many containers can the manufacturer send at a time? Then, you will want to find out how you plan to assemble them once they arrive.
Manufacturers may ship portable storage containers pre-assembled or in parts. Do you have a team, tools and equipment to assemble container parts? You will likely need forklifts or a boom crane to get the job done. Not to mention, you should know how to assemble the container before it arrives. If you don't have any assembly experience, you can ask the manufacturer if they offer assisted assembly at your location.
When using a portable storage container for moving purposes, you will want to make sure the container is ready to handle transportation conditions. You want to look for something sturdy that can withstand being transported via truck and still protect your belongings inside. Take a look at these features to look for in a portable storage container for moving purposes.
1. Exterior and framing
The material used for the exterior of the storage container is crucial. The exterior is what keeps the storage container durable, weather-proof, resistant to damage, and able to support weight.
Make sure to look for a portable container that has high-grade steel framing and metal exterior (including the roof). The walls may be a different metal than steel, such as aluminum. But containers with steel framing will make for the best moving experience possible.
2. Walls and Floors
- Walls: For moving containers, it does not really matter whether or not the container has corrugated or un-corrugated walls. Since you are only renting the container, the appearance does not matter. However, moving containers tend to be un-corrugated.
- Floors: Plywood is the best material for a moving storage container. This is because you will be moving many items in and out of the container, and it is easy to replace if damaged. If you scuff up the plywood, it will not matter.
When using a portable storage container for moving purposes, it’s best to look for a container with roll-up doors. This is because compared to swing out doors, roll-up doors will help you to save space. They will also help you to enter and exit the container easier while loading and unloading during your move. Luckily, most moving containers come equipped with roll-up doors.
Although you will not be using the storage container for a long time, you will want to find containers that are durable and weather-proof so your belongings stay secure. For instance, you will want the moving container to include:
- Wind-and-water tight security
- Galvanized steel framing (to prevent rust)
- Tie-down rings (to hold items in place)
- Smooth walls inside (to prevent “dings” and dents)
These items will help to keep your items intact during the move.
Portable storage containers for moving purposes will be a bit smaller than commercial containers. Some standard sizes for moving containers include:
A good rule of thumb is to designate about 75 square feet of storage space for each room of your house/apartment when moving. Therefore, 7-foot and 10-foot containers will be the best for moving studios and 1 bedroom apartments. 12-foot, 16-foot, and 20-foot containers will be your best bet if you are moving 2 rooms or more.
6. Delivery and Transportation
When finding a portable storage container to move, you will want to ask questions about how delivery works as well as how the container will be transported during the move. For instance,
- Will the supplier drop off and pick up the container at your location?
- Do you have to pick up and drop off on your own?
- What are the delivery charges?
- How long in advance should you reserve the moving container?
- What preparations at your location do you need to make?
- Will you be in charge of transportation or does the supplier handle this for you?
- Are there any materials you will need to help with the move?
Make sure you are 100% prepared for the delivery and move to ensure the smoothest, most secure process as possible.
Recommended Portable Storage Container Companies
When you are ready to start making calls about portable storage containers, we recommend starting with the following list. Make sure to note whether the company specializes in residential or commercial storage needs.
|Company||Products Offered||Residential or Commercial?|
|PODS Inc.||On-site self-storage storage containers|
Portable moving containers
|Boxwell||Relocatable self-storage units|
Portable storage containers
|Mobile Mini||Portable storage containers|
Tank and pump
|Mobile Modular||Portable storage containers|
Portable storage & office combos
360Connect’s free service can connect you with up to 5 top suppliers that fit your specific storage needs. Simply use our quote form to tell us what you’re looking for, and we will do the rest! Visit our easy online quote form to get started.
360Connect has additional resources for you if you are interested in portable storage containers. Be sure to look at our cost guide as well as our blog about storage container delivery services. Make sure that you read these security tips for storage containers before buying. We also understand tons of businesses today are using portable storage containers to house their business operations. Take a look at these 20 ideas to use a storage container for your small business!
Did you know that storage containers are reusable? When you are done using your portable container, you can actually resell it to make some money back on your investment. Learn about why storage containers are reusable.