Portable storage containers are a convenient way to safely store your items, whether it’s for a specific or indefinite duration. One common commercial use for these containers includes storing tools and equipment at a construction site. This strategy eliminates the need to transport these items from a central storage facility to the job site each day.
Owning and operating a truck fleet can be an effective way for many companies to grow, especially portable storage companies. But the benefits to the end user of a mobile storage company having its own trucks include the following:
- Time constraints
- GPS systems
- Customer relationships
- Personalized touch
Customers who use a storage company that doesn’t have a truck fleet often complain about getting them to drop off and pick up the container on time. This problem can occur because the storage company has to contact a trucking firm to arrange transportation. A company with its own trucks has greater control over its schedule, allowing it to deliver and pick up containers to accommodate the customer’s needs.
This capability is especially important when the customer needs a container on short notice. This can occur when a retailer needs to increase inventory suddenly, as is often the case during the holiday season. Once you no longer need the container, a storage company with a truck fleet is motivated to pick up the container promptly to deliver it to the next customer.
Businesses often install Global Positioning System (GPS) systems in their trucks. These systems communicate with satellites in orbit via microwave signals to obtain the location of that signal’s origin with a high level of accuracy.
The specific capabilities of GPS tracking systems depend on whether it’s a passive or active system. A passive system identifies the GPS device’s location only when certain events occur, while an active system continuously tracks its location in real-time. Both systems can store location, along with associated data such as time, speed and mileage. The GPS systems used in fleet vehicles are typically active.
GPS systems provide companies a much greater ability to manage their fleets. For example, they can track the status of their trucks more efficiently and reroute their vehicles in response to changes in traffic conditions. Another advantage of trucks with GPS systems is the ability to give the customer more accurate pickup and delivery times.
A portable storage company with its own fleet can develop better relationships with its customers. This is largely because an in-house fleet manager is in a better position to observe the effects of company policy on its customer relationships and intervene more quickly to address unintended consequences.
Assume, for example, that a storage company implements a cost-saving measure that looks good on paper, but inconveniences customers. The company's drivers would be able to communicate such a problem to their managers more quickly, with a higher chance of resolving the issue in the customer's favor.
An internal fleet manager will also be more familiar with the storage company, including its culture and policies. This advantage means the company's fleet manager is better able to overcome barriers to change, which is especially important for implementing the latest best practices in making deliveries.
An in-house fleet manager can maintain good relationships with the drivers more easily since they all work for the same company. For example, the manager can judge the validity of driver requests more accurately because he is in the driver's established chain of command, which isn't the case when drivers work for a different company. The storage company can also enforce company policy with the drivers more effectively for the same reason.
The ability to deliver and pickup storage containers without contacting another company allows portable storage companies greater flexibility in serving their customers. Customers who have never used shipping containers before are often unsure about where to start. They may need to try different sizes to determine the models that work best for them in the long run. A company that can exchange containers quickly will be in a much better position to retain these customers.
For example, containers that house people (like mobile offices) have more amenities than one that stores equipment such as tools and vehicles. These containers need to be insulated and fitted with air conditioning and heating units. A construction company that’s interested in this type of container might start with just one. Once management sees the improvement in productivity that a temperature-controlled environment can bring about, the company will probably want to order more.
The ability to exchange containers quickly is also useful for customers whose needs change. Customers may need a trial-and-error period to determine if the size of the container storage is correct, or if they require something that is climate controlled. The flexibility of a company with a truck fleet allows the customer to switch out inventory to other products that the portable storage company has in stock. (This might include mobile offices, as mentioned, or other products like refrigerated storage or storm shelters.)
Storage companies with an internal fleet can provide a more personalized touch for their customers. For example, a driver who is an employee of the mobile storage company might be able to solve many problems on the spot, whereas using a separate trucking company would requiring delivery drivers referring the customer back to the company for assistance.
A company that delivers its own containers can also provide its customers with a more consistent experience by painting the trucks and container with the same logos and other branding. This practice provides customers with greater confidence since the same company is performing all tasks.
A busy storage company can also save money in the long term by buying trucks. In this case, the cost of making pick-ups and deliveries becomes an operating expense. A storage company that has to hire a trucking company to make pick-ups and deliveries generally has to pay for it as a capital expenditure.
Storage companies often hire other companies to deliver and pick up their storage containers. However, companies that use their own trucks enjoy some advantages over their competitors. The most obvious advantage is that it eliminates the storage company’s dependence on another company to convert and retain customers. While these things benefit the portable storage company, the benefits are typically passed along to the end user as well.
If you're ready to rent or buy portable storage and want to make sure the company uses its own fleet, contact SiteBox Storage today.