The self storage business model has not changed much over the decades. You rent a space that resembles a residential garage, store your items inside, and that's that. Much like any industry, self storage is slowly changing, although the changes are not all that obvious. What will the future bring for the concept of self storage? And how will it affect how you store your possessions?
Self storage units in Australia are around 80% to 90% full—which is rather close to capacity. While demand is meeting supply, it would only take a slight upwards shift for available storage units to reach capacity. This means that you might one day have difficulty locating suitable self storage within easy reach of your home. This is not really a major burden unless you need to access the stored items on a regular basis. It's also logical to conclude that more self storage facilities will open should the number of existing facilities prove insufficient to meet demand.
A business model that is gaining traction in the US, so-called bin storage, is ideal for those who have a fair amount of items to store, and yet don't need to rent an entire unit. You bring your items to a central depository where the items are packed into a small container. The container is then transported to a secure warehouse where it is stored until you need the items once again, or until your rental period expires. You might not even know exactly where your items are being stored. Again, this is not ideal if you might need to access the items on a regular basis, but it's a great solution for when the traditional self storage model is not the best.
While it's still viewed as a novelty, there is increasing automation in the storage industry. At a New York hotel (as well as several hotels in Japan), guests who want to store their luggage after checkout use a robot to arrange this. You take your items to a packing area where a robotic arm provides you with a container. You need to input your name and select a PIN code. The robotic arm then stores the container for you. This type of automation reduces labour costs, as well as reducing the potential for human injury that can come with heavy lifting. It's also very secure, and it could be an innovation that becomes commonplace in the storage industry.
The changes in the self storage industry might not be as quick or as obvious in many other industries, but they're certainly there. And who knows, perhaps one day it will be as simple as delivering your items to a robot who will take care of them for you. For more information on self-storage options, contact a facility like Zippy Removals & Storage.