With the current economic changes in the UK currently, it's important to stay ahead of updates and demands. The Self Storage Association UK has created a comprehensive annual industry report as a guide to help organisations adapt to the current climate. This covers all viewpoints of the industry, including data from operators, customers and the general public. 

Self Storage Association UK Annual Report 2024

(PDF, 11.9 MB)

Insights from the Self Storage Association UK Annual Report 2024

Download file - Self Storage Association UK Annual Report 2024
SSA Report 2024

Summary of Key Findings: 

  • Industry Annual Turnover of £1.08 billion.
  • 84% of stores are internal and 16% are container based. 
  • 13% of stores did not have a staff member permanently on site. 
  • 73% of customers are residential.
  • 25% of businesses are actively using AI.
  • 95% of SSA UK members felt that adding sustainability improvements to their business increased its value. 
  • 44% of operators are planning more investment in new sites.

Collection of Data

This year, the SSA UK Annual Industry Report has consolidated data representing a quarter of stores in the UK, which is 40% of the storage space. They have invested in a more detailed analysis to cover the entire size of the UK, particularly smaller regions. As well as separating external and internal storage sites in the report. Based on data collected nationwide, the SSA have found that there are 2,706 self storage stores in England, with 1,012 primarily container-based. Notably, the number of small container-based storage sites is on the rise, especially in rural regions. 

SSA Report 2024

Collaboration with Cushman & Wakefield

For the ninth year running, SSA UK has partnered with Cushman & Wakefield to create the industry report. From their vast experience in valuing self storage properties globally and their deep understanding of the property market, Cushman & Wakefield offers invaluable insights to the report. Their contribution offers a comprehensive economic perspective of the self storage industry's accomplishments.

Leasehold Vs. Freehold 

In 2023, there was a slight shift towards freehold sites, but the long-term average remains relatively stable. Owners typically favour freehold sites, while leasehold sites are predominantly container or external sites. Some operators opt for leasehold sites initially to enter the industry with less capital, intending to acquire freehold properties later on. Alternatively, a leasehold site may be chosen based on its location and the absence of nearby freehold opportunities.

Supply Chain Disruption

Due to the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, there has been a significant change to shipping routes making them problematically longer. The disruptions created have caused huge disturbances to the global supply chain, resulting in approximately 15% of global sea traffic and diverting ships adding around 20 days to journey times. The escalating container freight costs, reported by Freightos, have surged to £3,352 by the end of February from £1,048 in October. Despite this increase, it's important to note that it remains significantly lower than the pandemic peak of £8,030.51. Currently, these additional expenses are not being passed to consumers. Find out more about how the Red Sea Crisis has affected Cleveland Containers and the availability of our stock.

Key Focus Areas

The SSA UK Annual Industry Report 2024 addresses key internal and external factors of the storage industry, such as the current cost of living crisis and what the future of self storage will look like for business. Despite inflation rates steadily improving, we aren’t out of the woods yet. Inflation, energy price shocks, and monetary policy tightening continue to impact the economy, putting pressure on businesses, employment, and potentially causing delays in the effects of increased mortgage rates. Furthermore, the self-storage industry has experienced an unprecedented adoption of technology, resulting in significant modernisation within the sector. Through analysing the impact of these challenges, this report provides valuable insights into how to navigate around them.

In summary, the Self Storage Association UK's annual industry report provides essential insights for navigating the evolving economic landscape. With consolidated data representing a quarter of UK stores and collaboration with Cushman & Wakefield, the data offers invaluable perspectives. Despite challenges such as inflation, the report offers insights on overcoming obstacles. Key findings include a £1.08 billion industry turnover, increasing AI adoption, and the positive impact of sustainability improvements on business value. As 44% of operators plan more investments in new sites, the industry remains dynamic and resilient.

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