Many businesses require temporary storage solutions from time to time. And often quickly. Because of this it’s good to be aware of what the options are and what would be best for your business in a hurry, or worst case an emergency.
What you choose depends on what you are storing and volume, how much spare site space you have available and a preference for and availability of off-site industrial space in your area.
Off-site storage solutions
Leasing industrial storage or operational space off site has traditionally been one of the primary temporary storage solutions for manufacturers and industry the country over.
The past few years however has seen choices and options dwindling. Issues around availability of existing space and construction struggling to keep up with the UK’s ever growing appetite for online retail have been prevalent, making off-site leasing not quite as attractive and easy as it once was.
There are other aspects to consider as well. Rental contracts can include a multitude of additional costs including utilities, taxes, insurance, security, maintenance and property improvements.
Then there are the additional transport costs and extra time needed travelling between multiple sites, plus the potential impact on stock control and traceability; all of which could impact customer lead times and loyalty.
So, although leasing temporary storage solutions 5 miles down the road is still a viable option, many businesses are now looking to consolidate operations and costs under one roof; their own.
For smaller storage requirements shipping containers can be a preferred option. There is no construction to worry about as you are basically craning into place an industrial storage box. A level hard surface would be essential and a secure area, although they are lockable. For public or highly visible sites a used container might need a bit of TLC – cleaning and painting.
The key concern is size though as they will only allow for small amounts of storage. Standard size is usually 6m or 12m long and just under 2.5m wide. Racking or any other kind of warehousing requirement would therefore need a much larger type of unit.
Temporary storage building solutions
In terms of temporary storage solutions a temporary building is a less well known option but one that manages to combine the advantages and lose most of the disadvantages of both containers and off-site leasing.
Temporary storage building solutions are prefabricated demountable warehouses that can be transported and installed on sites in usually under a week. Their demountable nature makes them available for hire and the lightweight but strong aluminium frame means they rarely require foundations or groundworks. The latter point means existing level hard standing is usually suitable and once the building is removed the ground can easily go back to its previous purpose or a new one.
Buildings usually range from 10m widths up to 30m as standard and larger on customised projects. Lengths can be just about anything extending in 5m bays and heights on most ranges go up to 5 or 6m. Insulation options are also available with choices of wall and roof cladding. All of these features makes them ideal for most storage requirements large or small including temperature controlled, sensitive, bulk and racked.
Temporary storage buildings offer all the benefits of hiring – flexibility and no long-term capital investment – coupled with the ability to keep all warehousing and storage under one roof.
Temporary storage buildings are actually the industrial cousin of the modern clear span marquee. Some businesses however choose to go for this very low cost and quality option instead.
For very basic weather protection you might get away with it. But, you run the risk of your local authority asking you to take it down because, unlike temporary storage buildings, a storage marquee isn’t strong enough to be left in situ for long periods of time, especially during the winter months when wind and snow loads in the UK are at their highest.
Although the frames are very similar in appearance to a temporary storage building and also made from aluminium, they are lighter and smaller and not calculated to meet British Standards for structural safety.
The good news for UK manufacturers is that a choice of temporary storage solutions are available to suit most requirements and business objectives. Knowing which one suits your business and is quickly available could give you an edge over the competition as the post Brexit landscape looms closer.
As we enter these new and unchartered waters the ability to respond to opportunities or setbacks quickly and easily by expanding or contracting operational space at the drop of a hat could keep your business not just surviving but positively thriving!