Mobile Mini in big demand
18 June 2020
You might say that Mobile Mini has really been thinking outside the box. This nationwide hirer of secure containers and site accommodation has found its fleet in demand for the Covid-19 response effort, and it’s also been busy finding new opportunities.
“We’ve been supplying a lot of units for the NHS drive-through testing facilities equipped by Sunbelt Rentals, as well as for some of the new Nightingale Hospitals,” Managing Director Andrew Thompson told me. “I’m incredibly proud of our team, who had to respond at very short notice and within very tight frames.”
Most Mobile Mini clients are in construction, and the new need for social distancing is creating even greater demand for welfare facilities and accommodation on sites.
For some time, the 15-depot company has also been exploring new markets. Andrew said that the steel containers have been used for such diverse applications as soundproof bird watching shelters, security at wind farms, taking the weight of new bridges while they are raised into place, and multiple units have even been placed together to create giant cinema screens.
In the run-up to Brexit, containers were in demand as temporary warehouses by manufacturers needing to stockpile raw materials, and now retailers need them to protect or quarantine goods offsite during store closures. With fewer people in offices, they can also be used for housing surplus desks and furniture, as work spaces are reconfigured.
Like so many businesses, Mobile Mini furloughed a proportion of its staff and is very mindful of their long-term care (an issue discussed in a previous post). “We already had trained mental health first aiders available to personnel, and during the pandemic I’ve been in regular contact with all our employees, furloughed or not, to keep them informed about the business. We want to develop a sense of teamwork and progression as we look to the future,” said Andrew.
“Covid-19 has obviously affected how we work. When lockdown was announced in March, we equipped 170 people to work from home within 48 hours. It has been a seamless transition, and Zoom conference calls are now part of our daily routine.”
On the Mobile Mini website, personnel regularly post pictures of the company’s units in various far-flung or unusual locations. Indeed, in the pre-lockdown days, I would regularly see them on my own travels, and I’m sure they’ll continue to be a common sight.
“Statistically you will see a Mobile Mini unit every three miles in the UK,” added Andrew. “We have an army of Mobile Mini spotters now, who regularly send pictures of our units. As such, we have a dedicated #MMSPOTTED hashtag.”