Parsons Containers to expanding to meet demand

Parsons Containers, based in Sedgefield, County Durham, is placing a renewed focus on hiring out units after it doubled its container sales turnover within two years to £500,000

Ean Parsons, left, and Stephen Collins of Parsons Containers
Ean Parsons, left, and Stephen Collins of Parsons Containers

One of the North East’s leading shipping container businesses is expanding to meet increased demand.

Parsons Containers, based in Sedgefield, County Durham, is placing a renewed focus on hiring out units after it doubled its container sales turnover within two years to £500,000.

The firm, which has also grown staff numbers from two to 16 since its establishment, has now recruited hire controller, Louise Coleman, to help it refocus on its original specialism of hires. Coleman has many years experience in the field.

Founded in 2000, Parsons Containers has two main divisions, the first of which hires and sells containers in the North East and nationally, while the second offers self storage under the U Hold The Key brand, operating from nine sites.

The company was one of the first businesses in the UK to offer shipping containers for this purpose and currently has over 1,000 in use. The high demand for the service saw it become an integral part of Parsons’ offering, as the company began to focus less on its initial emphasis on container hires.

As the economy dipped in the late 2000s, however, Parsons adapted the business and sales emerged as the main driving force for the firm.

A third division, Container Container, now caters for internet sales, and has grown year-on-year, giving Parsons a national presence.

Along with standard shipping containers, the company offers a bespoke service, building containerised products to specific requirements for industries like offshore and farming.

Its sales drive is now being sustained by long-term employee Stephen Collins, who has been promoted to container sales manager.

Company founder and managing director Ean Parsons said: “Every February between 2000 and 2007, people would start moving house and demand for container self storage would go up.

“When the usual peak of business didn’t happen in 2008, we knew that there was something seriously amiss in the economy.

I’m very proud of the way we were able to adapt our business to trade through the recession and in the process build a very successful container sales division.

“At the same time, we continued to develop U Hold The Key and we now have a very strong foundation in the North East, with sites in Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Teesside.

“We’re now starting to see a new upturn in the demand for self storage. With the great platform that we already have and by boosting our workforce, our aim is to grow back into the container hire market and match the growth we have experienced in sales and self-storage.

“Stephen has been an important member of the team for a decade and has built up a wealth of knowledge about the industry. He is well respected by his colleagues and his many other business contacts. Stephen’s promotion to container sales manager is thoroughly deserved and I am sure that he will be very successful in his new role.”

Overall, Parsons now generates an annual turnover of £1.5m.

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