Units are measured in meters cubed. A student with a few boxes and a desktop computer could safely store everything in a 1m3 unit. To store the contents of a studio apartment, including one or two pieces of furniture, 3m3 is solid. And for a few pieces of furniture plus a bike or two, 5m3 is enough. You might only need more than that if you're packing up an entire office or a few bedrooms, including the beds.
Like mama always said -- shop around.
Based out of Germany, this self storage company has a "Best Price Guarantee". If you get a cheaper quote from one of the competitors below for a similar unit, they'll match the price. They have their own moving services, and a packing supplies shop in the warehouse. Box sizes range from 1m3 to 10m3, with locations in Puxi and Pudong, both temperature and humidity controlled.
Payment: Alipay, PayPal, local and international credit cards, bank transfer, and cash.
Contracts: They have weekly or monthly contracts, with a minimum length of four weeks. To cancel, notify them three days in advance.
Warehouse Security: There are security guards on site and CCTV running 24/7. They also have fire and gas detectors. For individual units, you can bring your own lock or buy one in their shop.
Service: Their fast, professional English customer service responded to an email inquiry in just a few hours, and followed up with a phone call and WeChat.
Access Hours: Seven days a week, from 9am-9pm.
Pricing: For a 1m3 unit, the base price is 158rmb per month. A 3.3m3 unit is 475rmb per month, and 5.9m3 is 610rmb per month. They sometimes run promotions for first timers, or for those who pay up front for a one year contract.
Well-rated and popular online, this storage company has at least eight self-storage locations and one specialty wine cellar in town. The latter has LED lights, and is fire- and waterproof, temperature and humidity controlled, and offers total sunlight blockage to keep that wine in optimal condition.
Their self-storage is more expensive than the others in this list, but they do free online bookings where you can reserve a space without a deposit. Sizes range from 1-30m3. They also have this nifty space calculator, where you input how many common household items you have, and they tell you how large of a space you need.
Easy Storage offers a few additional services like receiving mail for you while you're away and a 24/7 emergency line -- for those who need to suddenly grab their loot and run in the middle of the night.
Payment: Online banking, Alipay, local and international cards, bank transfers, and cash.
Contracts: One month minimum, then contracts can go by week, month or year. Cancellations are allowed up to one day before the next payment due date.
Warehouse Security: Constant CCTV, an ADT alarm system, and security guards. Temperature is kept between 15-24°C year round, and the humidity stays between 40-60%. Individual units are locked, and only the renter gets the keys.
Service: They did not respond to an email request. The English hotline took some time to track down, but you can reach them at 5609 8656. They're very helpful and were able to answer questions about pretty minute details.
Access Hours: 10am-7pm, seven days a week.
Pricing: 1m3 is 317rmb per month, tied with Lovebox for the most expensive for that size. 3m3 is 548rmb per month. Discount rates are available for long-term renters.
The Love Box seems to be under the same management as Easy Storage, but are like the downtown, cool little sister version. Love Box's tagline is "Get Self Storage Without BS". They call each other "strategic partners", and have the same storage calculator. But Love Box has some other useful content on their site like these guides for Shanghai newbies.
Time to work the box like DJ Deeon...
Their temperature and humidity controlled warehouse is five stops north of People's Square on line 1. They don't arrange their own movers, but they have this bangin' list of contacts who can help arrange a truck.
Payment: Alipay, PayPal, international and local cards, cash, and bank transfer.
Contracts: One month is the minimum requirement. Cancellation rules are vague, other than "yes you can cancel".
Warehouse Security: CCTV is on and guards are there all day, all night. Only owners have the keys to their own units.
Service: Definitely email -- do not call their English line. Any information they were able to give through the hotline was the same as the online info, and most questions went over their heads. However, we emailed them at email@example.com and they gave great same day service.
Access Hours: A little more limited here. You can enter your unit from 10am-7pm, seven days a week, except for national holidays.
Pricing: Love Box and Boxroom are the only ones with an up-front price list online. Rates are the same as Easy Storage -- a 1m3 unit is 317rmb, 3m3 is 548rmb, and they max out at 21m3 for 2378rmb per month. They give discounts of up to 10% off the whole year, for those who pre-pay.
Based out of Singapore, this self-storage operator only has one flagship location in Shanghai, but hopes to expand to more convenient spots soon. Their warehouse in Yangpu has mostly small units, clearly catering to the student market. They also give discounts to NYU students. But they still have large sizes up to 100sqm, and throw in free insurance. The space is temperature and humidity controlled with fire detectors.
Payment: Bank transfer, cash, and local and international credit cards.
Contracts: You can rent by the day after the one month minimum. Contracts need to be canceled 14 days in advance.
Warehouse Security: 24-hour CCTV and security guards. Individual units use fingerprint scans for locks.
Service: Really fast. Got a same day response to an email request. The English service was super friendly and knowledgeable, and connected personally over WeChat, offering constant availability to any little questions.
Access Hours: 24/7.
Pricing: A 0.6m3 unit is 98rmb per month, and 1m3 is 168 per month -- just a little more than Mini CC.
These guys are cute, and have that mom & pop feel about them. They only have one location -- also in Yangpu -- but hope to expand in Shanghai and other Chinese cities soon. You You Space has their own packers, movers and trucks, calling themselves a "door-to-door" service. They keep the space between 18-25°C, and at around 50% humidity year round, for over 20 different sizes of units.
Payment: Alipay, Paypal, Tenpay, online banking, bank transfer, cash and international and local cards.
Contracts: There's a one month minimum, then you can rent by the day. To cancel, notify them three days in advance, then pay 10% of the remaining fee.
Warehouse Security: CCTV, one guard, and alarms on 24/7. Each unit owner gets their own security card.
Service: Here is where You You shines. A few hours after an email request, they called, AND sent an follow–up email. They were personable, knowledgable, and exceedingly patient. They really accentuated themselves as a service-led company.
Access Hours: You can get into your unit 24 / 7.
Pricing: Prices for their 0.7m3 unit start at 298 per month. A 4m3 unit goes for 598 per month. So, mid-range.
These guys are by far the cheapest, as long as you don't mind keeping your boxes in a warehouse, and not in a private unit, though that's available too. Seems they saved a lot of money on website design, too. They've only got one spot, conveniently located just by Shanghai South Railway Station. The warehouse is temperature controlled but not humidity controlled. They said that's never been an issue and everything stays dry, clean, and mold free.
Along with their own packing and moving service, there's a consignment service. If you have large or expensive items like furniture, they can arrange to rent them out to people who need them short term. They also have a secondhand shop where they can sell items for you. You set the price, and when it sells, you get the loot.
As for storage, they have the traditional self-storage, public warehouse storage, and document storage, possibly for treasure maps and pho recipes.
Payment: They only accept cash and cards in the facility. Online payment might come later...
Contracts: By far the most flexible. Pricing is by the day, and you can sign for just one day if you want. If you're signing long–term, you have to give three days notice for cancellation.
Warehouse Security: If you need to go cheap, store in the warehouse. While boxes are out in the open, they have a special seal so you can tell if they've been tampered with. Guards are on duty 24/7, and the whole facility has CCTV.
Self-Storage Safety: If not having your own lock creeps you out, you can pay more for self storage. But bring your own lock.
Service: Jimmy is a good dude. He's in charge of English customer service, and can walk you through the whole process. You can call his cell directly at 136 6153 6853, which is recommended since an email didn't get a response.
Access hours: Seven days a week from 9am-5.30pm, and closed on some national holidays.
Pricing: Warehouse storage is measured by volume of your boxes, per day. The 1m3unit, for a short term lease, is 10rmb per day, so 29 days would be 290rmb. But A month is 240rmb. Those calculations are clearly spelled out on their website.
Their smallest self storage unit is 9.6m3. That's enough to hold almost the entire contents, including furniture, of a studio apartment. That starts at 600rmb per month. You can see all those units and daily prices here.
Cover image : Breaking Bad S05E10 © AMC