Australia’s Mobile-Storage Market: A Snapshot of Operators, Growth and Predictions
|Copyright 2014 by Virgo Publishing.|
|Posted on: 10/10/2013|
By Molly Wiley
Mobile storage has evolved rapidly in Australia. Since the first operators launched approximately seven years ago, we’ve seen the introduction of PODS (Portable on Demand Storage) as well as a bunch of new operators who seem to offer more of a “drop-box” model.
There are about 15 companies operating nationally, predominantly in Melbourne and Sydney. Four of them—Gobox, PODS, Smartbox Australia and TaxiBox—have expanded to multiple cities. There's been a ramp-up of entrants in the last three years, with new operators in Adelaide, Brisbane and, recently, Perth.
The Australian mobile-storage business is split into two main models. In the drop-box model, the storage unit is dropped at the customer's location, where it is packed at his leisure. Delivery methods include truck/modular delivery, trailer delivery and container drop-offs.
In the removalist model, which functions similarly to a U.S. moving company, the module-delivery service has been integrated into the existing removals business. Delivery is normally done by a removalist truck with modules on it or containers left on the back of trucks. This model has been around for years, but only recently has it been referred to as a mobile self-storage service.
The majority of these businesses follow a company ownership structure, with a few operators following a franchise-type model. It appears the large success enjoyed by U.S. mobile-storage franchisers is yet to reach the Australian market. This may be due to the country's population or market size and the associated limitations in creating viable franchisee regions. Perhaps mobile storage hasn’t thoroughly penetrated the market yet.