A South African startup SpaceBox, offers on-demand valet storage solutions for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and residents who lack adequate storage space. Spacebox will delivery and collect storage boxes at a scheduled time (within 24 hours); and customers are charged R59 ($3.83) per box and R250 ($16.23) per retrieval.
Weight is currently limited to 25 kg per standardised box. Customers can manage inventory online and items are catalogued with text and pictures. The company also plans to launch a mobile app. Spacebox currently operate in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. SpaceBox is a division of XtraSpace, a well-known South African storage solution provider.
On-demand storage solutions have exploded in high density metropolitan areas such as Hong Kong, where residents and SMEs struggle with high rent and limited storage space in congested cities (e.g. no parking for delivery vehicles). Traditional warehouses require long-term leases and less flexibility in terms of storage space. In the on-demand valet storage model, warehouse space is maximised with standardised boxes and technology provides inventory management and visibility. The model also provides SMEs with greater retrieval flexibility.
On-demand valet storage solutions are at an early stage of development in South Africa.“Sardines packed” Hong Kong’s average warehouse space trades for a premium at 50 HKD ($6.44) per square metre, compared to R40 ($2.66) in Johannesburg.