Personal Storage vs. Traditional Warehousing

Issue: May 2017

Personal Storage vs. Traditional Warehousing
Roman Horrea (public warehouse during ancient Roman period)Image credit:

Having worked in the frontline of self storage in Singapore, we’ve had many people ask for information about our “warehouse space”. Although this term is understood and acceptable particularly with our commercial users, and while self storage facilities and commercial warehouses both permit the storage of myriad of items, the two are not quite the same as most perceive.

The Roman horrea used during ancient roman times were one of the earliest warehousing structures recorded and were used to store grain, olive oil, wine, clothing and marble. They were massive buildings with two or more levels and the transport of goods in and out were no doubt carried out by an elaborate staff of labourers. But the operation of warehouses evolved over time and especially during the industrial revolution where mechanisation, technology and the introduction of supply chain management gave rise to intensive commercialisation of these buildings.

Today’s commercial warehouses provide services like professional stock and inventory management, end-to-end logistics services, packing/unpacking, storage and even free transport. And one would be in awe at the racks and racks of goods stacked four stories high or more, that are only accessible with the help of forklifts and jib cranes and moved about single handedly by one staff and automated guided vehicle (AGV).

Self-serviced storage or the more commonly used term ‘self storage’, or ‘mini storage’ used in countries like Hong Kong and Japan, is a relatively modern industry that appeared only in the mid-1950s. Self storage facilities offer individually compartmentalised storage spaces of various floor areas for lease where each tenant secures their unit door with their own lock and key. Unlike warehouses that may carry out inventory management, self storage employees do not have casual access to customers’ items. For self storage in Singapore, the fundamental feature is that the storage area is monitored by closed circuit cameras, and access is with an individual PIN that only paying customers receive.

Although the good companies operating self storage in Singapore offer basic moving equipment like trolleys and pallet jacks, once you have signed up and made payment for a self storage unit, everything after that is D.I.Y. Self storage in Singapore is gaining traction even with commercial retailers because of the flexibility of lease periods and the ability to upsize or downsize the space needed at short notice. Small retailers, sole distributors or online stores that are run by a single person welcome the security, privacy, convenience and more casual atmosphere of self storage facilities. Frontline customer service staff often lend support in terms of Wi-Fi or photocopying as well as the use of electrical power points, and customers may lounge in the air-conditioned reception area while they wait for their goods to arrive. These days, self storage facilities with unlimited 24-hour access has offered consumers a more self-sufficient business style where storage requirements are not inhibited by the time of day or someone’s else’s day off.

Some professional movers are also getting in on the storage action, offering storage along with their traditional moving services. Larger companies have their own warehouse space where one customer’s items may be bundled up together and sitting right next to another bundle of someone else’s personal items. But more savvy movers are also using self storage in Singapore because they recognise their customers’ preference for security and privacy, and if you are a family based moving service with no space for storage, why not make use of the abundant selection of units that are readily available for short or long term lease in self storage facilities for your customer’s items.

So, call us a warehouse or mini storage, StorHub Self Storage offers mega deals to house your wares. We don’t operate AGVs but we most definitely give you Attention, Great Service and Value-for-money.

Contact our Service Managers at our 13 great locations for a tour today!

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