Mobile Office Trailer vs. Modular Office Container

In today’s world, people are starting to understand the benefits of portable workspaces. As our relationship to permanent office buildings continues to change and business needs become more mobile and less fixed, mobile and modular workspaces will likely grow in popularity.

At Mobile Mini, we’ve been supplying safe, secure, and durable mobile office trailers for almost 40 years. While we consider ourselves “mobile workspace experts,” there still seems to be a lot of confusion about what portable workspaces are and what they aren’t.

With all of the questions we get around portable workspaces, we decided to put together a little “Mobile vs. Modular Workspace 101 Guide” to help you understand the difference between mobile office trailers and modular office containers. By the end of this post, you should be ready to decide which one is for you!

Modular Office Space: A Definition

Modular space is a sophisticated way of saying “prefabricated” space. Modular office spaces are delivered in parts, with each section arriving fully intact and ready for assembly.

While modular office spaces are assembled on-site, they involve a mere fraction of the time, cost, and labor of a more permanent space since they arrive in fully constructed portions.

Mobile Office Trailers: A Definition

Mobile office trailers are portable office units that can be easily moved from one location to another. These units are typically converted shipping containers, which means they’re designed for portability, durability, and security. Unlike traditional workspaces, it is extremely easy (and cheap!) to reconfigure a mobile office trailer to create space that meets changing needs and preferences.

For example, if you have a growing team and need a new conference room space, making adjustments to your existing permanent space could cost millions. Conversely, with a mobile office trailer, you can easily change up your layout to expand one space and make another smaller, or make small adaptations to accommodate whatever needs may arise.

Let’s take that conference room. In a mobile trailer, you’re working with a one-floor, wide-open space. With this open floor plan in mind, you could take space from one office and repurpose it for conference use. Take one partition down, move an area from one side of your unit to another; spatially, you can’t get more adaptable and convenient than a mobile office trailer.

Modular Office Space

Modular office spaces are temporary or permanent office spaces that come in pre-assembled parts. While traditional office space build-outs can take years and cost millions, modular office spaces are assembled quickly and cheaply. One of the benefits of modular office spaces is that you’re getting a space that feels more in line with a permanent office space than you will with a mobile office trailer.

Mobile office trailers are standalone units often converted from shipping containers. They more closely resemble a permanent office site, which means that while they offer more flexibility than a fixed location, they are not as flexible as a mobile office trailer.

Modular office spaces can be transported to another location, but are far less portable than an office trailer and usually more expensive to relocate. Most people that opt for a modular office space plan on remaining in that location for a prolonged amount of time.

Cost: Modular vs. Mobile

When it comes to cost, mobile office trailers are the clear winner. Purchasing a mobile office trailer will run you anywhere between $15,000 and $45,000, depending on the size and complexity. With a modular office space, costs range between $70-$400 per square foot of space. For a 600 square foot office, you’re looking at costs between $42,000 and $240,000.

That’s why renting these units makes sense for many. When you rent a modular or mobile office, maintenance, delivery, pick-up, and relocation tend to be written into your low monthly fee. For example, at Mobile Mini, we stock mobile office units that are durable, versatile, and secure. When you rent with us, you get your unit and we take care of everything else, from troubleshooting issues to making sure your unit is exactly where you want it when you need it.


Both mobile and modular office spaces can work with any industry, but we find that they are most commonly used for:

  • Schools and universities
  • Construction companies
  • Agricultural outfits
  • Government agencies
  • Hotels, resorts, and hospitality sites

As we have mentioned, these units are portable, which means you can easily transport them from site to site as needed. If you’re working in construction, you can take your offices with you as you advance from location to location. Do you have multiple storefronts undergoing renovations at different times of the year? Modular office spaces give you the ability to provide your employees with temporary office space as they need it, allowing you to stay in business as your permanent office space is updated or expanded.

The Mobile Mini Difference

At Mobile Mini, we can meet most of your mobile office and business storage needs. Our award-winning customer service team is available 24/7 to answer your questions and provide technical assistance and support. When you rent with us, you gain access to a network of experts who are committed to making your rental experience as stress-free and productive as humanly possible.

Most of our orders are fulfilled in one day, which means you go from in-need to fully outfitted in less than 24 hours. After we set everything up, we remain accessible and responsive throughout your rental period. When you are done with your modular space, we will come and pick everything up.

Moving around throughout your rental? No problem. We will pick up your empty unit, bringing it to whatever site comes next. We even have the office supplies, tech, and furniture you need to make your office space comfortable and successful.

Life is hard; office space shouldn’t be. Check us out and see how easy work(space) can be!