Growth in store at Cleveland
1 December 2022
Specialist hirer and supplier Cleveland Containers is undergoing considerable expansion despite the turbulent economic backdrop – or partly, perhaps, because of it.
Andrew Thompson joined the Stockton-based business as chief operating officer in May, having spent six years at site accommodation and storage provider Mobile Mini, and is pursuing an ambitious growth plan.
Cleveland Containers was established in 2011 by Johnathan and Jane Bulmer to primarily sell shipping and storage containers. A hire activity also developed and private equity funding was sourced earlier this year to expand this and other related operations. It currently operates from 15 locations nationwide.
“We are now adding anti-vandal steel accommodation units and open-plan modular building services,” Andrew told me.
“We are in the process of transitioning to become the Cleveland Group, which will comprise Cleveland Containers providing units and bespoke conversions for virtually any application ranging from storage purposes and protecting chemicals, to confined space training and creating bars and restaurants (below). We have also launched Cleveland Hire offering, possibly, the widest variety of containers and a brand new, modern design high-spec anti-vandal accommodation fleet, as well as our new Cleveland Modular range.
“So we have been busy in recent months recruiting more people and we have plans for additional depots over the next 24 months.”
Cleveland is also working with a renewable energy partner to develop additional options such as remote tilting frames with solar panels that can be mounted on top of containers or anti-vandal units.
In addition, the business is establishing re-hire links with regional and national hirers. Given the recent expansion, Andrew said that the vast majority of units in the fleet are new or less than 12 months old. The company prides itself on the breadth of its product range which encompasses containers from 6ft to 45ft with options such as side-opening and open-top variants.
In October, Cleveland launched BOX+, a service targeted at entrepreneurs wanting to establish a self-storage business. “We have developed a complete end-to-end offering, whereby we can help with everything from sourcing land, finance and marketing support, as well as the storage units,” said Andrew. “We can create a brand with a website within an hour.
“Everything is operated online and can incorporate an automated payment function, remote access capability and security. Someone could set up a storage site and never require any direct contact with the customer.
“The self-storage market is still a massive growth area. In a downturn, demand increases significantly due to businesses downsizing their office spaces or moving to smaller high street premises, and private individuals moving home, or undergoing home renovation projects and needing to store surplus items,” said Andrew.
Cleveland is also developing a range of re-hire products such as fencing, lighting, power generation and other site services that a contractor needs as a single source of supply, providing a one-call, one invoice service.
● Photo above shows a hotel created out of steel containers for the Gulliver’s Valley theme park resort in Sheffield.