Whether you’re looking at options for storing away your personal belongings, business equipment/inventory, commercial materials, or anything in between – there are a ton of options when it comes to storage. However, the two most popular options are portable storage containers & traditional self-storage lockers. In this article, we’ll break down the differences between the two options along with the pros and cons to each so that you can find the best storage option for your specific needs.

What is Portable Storage

Portable Storage is essentially a storage unit that is delivered directly to your location. Most often, these come in the form of a shipping container (available in various lengths) or a similar type of structure. One of the best parts of Portable storage containers is that they can be dropped off in your driveway, at your work site, or anywhere else you need them – so you’ll always have a secure and safe storage space in a convenient location.

What is Traditional Storage

When most people think of storage, they picture a traditional storage locker with a roll-up garage door (mostly thanks to the popular TV show – Storage Wars). While that may be the case for many storage facilities, there are actually a ton of variations and different amenities that you can find (depending on where you live and where you look). Traditional self-storage units are found in facilities and can be available in both indoor and outdoor units.

Benefits of Portable Storage

Now that we’ve discussed what portable storage is, it’s time to talk about the benefits of using a portable storage container. Listed below are some of the main benefits and reasons why many choose to use these types of storage containers over traditional self-storage lockers.


Since portable storage units can be delivered directly to your location (home or business) they offer the ultimate convenience factor for storing your things away while keeping them available for use.


Portable storage units come in a variety of sizes, allowing you to save both time and space by selecting the right size for your needs. Typically the height and widths are all the same with the length being the only variable you’ll need to worry about.


Since most portable storage containers are essentially shipping containers, they are designed to be both structurally sound and wind and watertight. This means that anything you place in them will be safe from the weather.


Since they are made of high-grade steel, portable storage containers are extremely durable and resistant to any type of damage. This makes them the perfect choice for construction projects, business use, or home renovation projects.


One of the absolute best features of a portable storage unit is its ability to be transported. This means that you can use them as a moving container when moving homes or locations with your possessions still inside.

Benefits of Traditional Storage

Listed below are some of the main benefits and reasons why many people choose to use traditional self-storage units and lockers.

Variety of Sizes

Unlike portable storage containers, self-storage locker sizes can vary dramatically in height, width, and length. While this may sound like a con it actually allows many users to save money by renting only what they need.


This benefit is dependent on the specific facility you’re looking at but many self-storage facilities offer different amenities including climate-controlled units, humidity-controlled units, alarm systems, indoor storage, and more.


Since these types of units are placed on a business property, they (may) offer additional security measures provided by the owner such as video surveillance, alarms, gated access, and more.

Cons of Portable Storage

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of portable storage containers, it’s time to talk about some of the negative aspects.

Not Climate-Controlled

For the most part, portable storage units are not climate-controlled, meaning that your possessions will be stored at outdoor temperatures.

No Additional Security

Since your portable storage container is stored with you, any additional security measures that you’ll need will come at your own expense (such as video surveillance, motion lights, etc.).

Delivery Space Required

The only drawback to getting a portable container delivered is that it often requires a large amount of space to be unloaded onto your property. In most cases, this is not a problem, but for central urban areas where space is an issue – this could make delivery more difficult or impossible.

Cons of Traditional Storage

If you’re planning on renting a traditional storage unit near you, here are some of the negative aspects that you may want to consider before renting.


Anytime you want to visit your storage unit you’ll need to commute there and once you’re there; you’ll then need to find your locker – in some cases, this may require additional time navigating the building or waiting for elevators.


When loading your storage unit, you may need to make multiple trips or rent another vehicle altogether which will incur an additional cost.


Not all storage facilities allow 24/7 access. In some cases, you may only be permitted to visit your unit within business hours (which may require you to take time off work).

Book a Portable Storage Container

If you’re looking to rent a portable storage container or moving container on Vancouver Island, we can help! At Van Isle Containers we have a wide variety of shipping containers and storage containers for rent near you. Whether you’re looking for a 20’ storage container, 8’ or even a 40’ container – we can help!

Give us a call or fill out our online form to get a customized quote today. If you have any questions, our customer service team is always happy to help!