The self-storage business is developing stormily. Not only is the number of self-storage locations still increasing, but consumers are looking to rent more and more storage space. There are also numerous innovative developments within the industry. In doing so, USC is active on three different fronts. Our colleague and certified engineer Danny Schmidt is the spider in our innovation web.
Danny: “Digital access systems are the future. Our customer is increasingly asking for it. A key feature of digital is that it does not require physical contact between end user and landlord. The end user, from the moment he has rented and paid online, can access his unit without handing over the keys. For many end users, this is so important that they wouldn’t even rent storage otherwise.
We are investigating with various parties what the ideal access system is to offer our customers. The idea is that the self-storage owner can purchase an entire lock package per park. Because everything ideally runs through the cloud, he can also monitor all the ins and outs online. The end user is sent an access code via the app. The choice a park owner can make is whether to purchase locks from us at all. If so, whether that will be the classic, physical keys or the new digital system.”
“This innovation also comes from wishes of our customers,” says Danny. “A major factor in this is high land prices, especially in and around cities. The only way to make a sufficient profit with a self storage park is then to take to the air with containers, stacking them in other words. Lack of space also plays a role, by the way.
We have now looked at many ways to start stacking containers. Now the test phase begins in which we will physically try out the two remaining promising concepts. We are going to do that at our storage park in Deventer.
Two stacking concepts
In one concept, we create a kind of tunnel that you can drive under. When we build that, we can literally experience how it feels when you drive under it or stand in the tunnel.
The other concept consists of placing containers right on top of each other. Here you can reach the upper container with a movable board staircase. Both concepts can become very good additions for site owners to make their parks more profitable.
You can also tackle the problem that an end user would want to pay less for an upper container, because after all, for a stacked container you don’t have to pay a land price anymore.”
Danny: “This innovation comes entirely from our own hands. Here, our own experiences with our Salland Storage customers play a major role. This is because we have customers who store their motorcycles with us and people who have a bit more stuff stored that is more sensitive to temperature fluctuations. For them, it is important that the temperature in the storage area remains as constant as possible. To do this, we are looking at using heat panels and adding additional insulation to the partitions. The goal is to heat the containers in such a way that the temperature remains above freezing even after a prolonged, cold period.
Flexible heat panel
Ultimately, the goal is for our customers to be able to offer the heating concept to their end users as flexibly as possible. So this is only when an end user has a demand for it. The concept that is now preferred is a heat panel, to be attached with magnets. The heat panel can be easily clicked to the ceiling with this. We are doing all the development ourselves and then putting it down to a manufacturer who must actually produce the panels.”
Want to know more? Contact Danny. This can be done at firstname.lastname@example.org