TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | Carmina Jariel, Singapore

Self-storage firms find silver lining in Singapore's space crisis

Less space, more money.

After more than a decade since it was locally introduced, the concept of self-storage has transformed into a huge cash cow for some industry players who see a silver lining in Singapore's so-called space crisis.

Heng Tze Kiang, General Manager of StorHub, said ''demand for self-storage has certainly risen over the years and looks set to increase further. Rising space constraints, a more affluent population, increasing home prices and office space occupancy costs have led more people to store their belongings in self-storage facilities.

The internet has also served to create awareness among consumers on the advantages of self-storage and how it can complement one’s lifestyle and business needs. Many customers now view self-storage facilities as an extension of their living space and for them, reliability and security are their top storage priorities.''

StorHub, which started in 2003, is the pioneer of short-term monthly self-storage service in Singapore. In July 2013, it acquired Big Orange to capture the rising demand of self-storage in Singapore. With the acquisition, StorHub added four self-storage facilities to its portfolio. It now has 10,000 storage units across 11 facilities spanning over 1 million square feet.

''We are very optimistic with the self-storage industry in Singapore. The expanded operations offer us greater economies of scale and allow us to offer our services at more convenient locations in Singapore and at affordable prices,'' Kiang added.

Expanding overseas

Meanwhile, some self-storage companies are also tapping the overseas market for more opportunities.

Daphne Lim, Marketing Manager for Extra Space, said ''we currently have six facilities in Singapore, one in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and one in Seoul, Korea. Going forward, we are looking to open up two more facilities in Malaysia and one more in Korea in year 2014.''

Extra Space, which has increased its customer base by 15 times since it started in 2007, saw an 11% surge in number of clients comparing December 2013 vs December 2014.

''We remain optimistic because there is simply a great deal of latent demand for self storage. Homes are getting smaller while incomes are getting larger. Singaporeans don’t always have the space to accommodate all their acquisitions,'' she concluded.  

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