Is There a Porta Potty Shortage?

“Why is it hard to rent a porta potty right now?” That’s a question we’re hearing a lot these days. So, we’re going to help shed some light on why people are running into issues as they try to plan events. The simple answer is that there are fewer porta potties available to rent this summer. So, the next logical question is, “Is there a porta potty shortage?” The answer is kind of complicated, but we’ll answer this pressing question below…

Increased Demand

First of all, with so many events being canceled last year due to the pandemic, there is increased demand for all sorts of event-related products and services right now. All across the event industry you’ll find vendors are busier than usual. Caterers, event security, DJs, photographers, and yes, portable toilet suppliers are all busier than usual this summer. Private events and community events that are roaring back to life. This is a good problem for these businesses, many of which are locally owned and definitely felt the effects of the shut down last year when their “busy seasons” were anything but.

Additionally, postponed construction projects are in full swing right now. Construction companies need porta potties to provide their workers with a safe place to use the bathroom. So, portable restroom companies may need to fulfill contracts for construction companies before renting units for other uses.


In many areas there are still capacity restrictions in place for public gatherings and events, especially here in Michigan. The result is that events are happening, but with fewer people. Fewer people need fewer portable toilets.

For example, if a day-long 5,000-person event would have required 60 or so porta potties, a 50% event capacity restriction now cuts that need down to 30 or so porta potties. So, what’s the big deal? Doesn’t that mean more should be available? Well, not really…

 Portable restroom service providers count on servicing both large and small events to balance their available resources. Most providers have a huge fleet of porta potty units. However, they are constrained by how many trucks they own to get the units where they need to go. So, with fewer large events, the trucks are busier getting smaller quantities of portable toilets where they need to go. The result is that sometimes even units are available, there aren’t enough trucks or drivers to get them all to different locations for simultaneous events during the busiest weekends (like Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc.). As a result, a portable restroom company may be “booked up” for your event date even though there are technically restrooms still available.

Longer Turnaround Times

Cleaning porta potties for an event takes time. With added health concerns right now, portable toilet suppliers are working extra hard to ensure that the units they deliver have been properly sanitized. Servicing a porta potty is not something you want to rush. The last thing you want is for a unit to be delivered without being effectively cleaned or restocked. The process takes time and a bottleneck in operations can case a delay in getting units back into service.

So… What Can you Do About It?

Book early and be flexible to avoid the porta potty shortage crunch. Try to secure the units you need as early as possible – don’t wait to reserve the portable restrooms you need.

And be willing to be flexible, if needed. You may not be able to get exactly the unit type you want or the quantity you’re looking for. Just trust that portable restroom providers are doing their best to help you have a great event!   

Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all the states surrounding the Great Lakes. Take a look at our mobile restroom trailers and request a quote today!