1st Container’s History

In April 2024, we celebrated a remarkable milestone – our 20-year anniversary! 🎉 It’s been an incredible journey filled with growth, challenges, and countless memories that have shaped who we are today.

To commemorate this special occasion, we’ve put together a timeline below highlighting some of the significant milestones and cherished moments from our two-decade journey. From humble beginnings to where we stand today, each picture tells a story of dedication, perseverance, and innovation. And yes, there are obligatory pictures of our younger selves!

None of this would have been possible without the unwavering support of our incredible team, loyal customers, and partners. Your trust, commitment, and collaboration have been the driving force behind our success, and for that, we are deeply grateful.

20 Years of 1st Containers

1st Containers is Born
1st Containers is Born

Mitch Brenner, the driving force behind 1st Containers. A former golf professional with a passion for both sports and entrepreneurship, Mitch embarked on an exciting journey that led to the creation of our thriving container business.

Armed with nothing but a vision and determination, Mitch took a bold leap into the world of business ownership. Recognising the potential in the market, Mitch gathered £15,000 as an initial investment. This sum was not amassed alone; rather, it was a collective effort involving contributions from Mitch himself and three close friends who shared his vision for the business.

1st Containers gets its first sale

During a leisurely holiday in Bulgaria, fate smiled upon 1st Containers as we secured our inaugural sale. It was a pivotal moment, marking the beginning of an incredible journey.

In an unexpected turn of events, we found ourselves sealing a deal with none other than the New Zealand tourist board, selling them a 20-foot green container. This significant milestone not only validated our vision but also propelled us into the realm of international commerce.

1stContainers.co.uk Launched
1stContainers.co.uk Launched

1stContainers.co.uk was one of the first websites launched within the container marketplace, we have continued our innovative approach to container services throughout our 20-years.

Partnership with CAI International
Partnership with CAI International

CAI International are a global leader in container leasing and logistics solutions. This partnership represented a significant milestone for us, as it allowed us to expand our offerings and better serve our customers’ needs. Together, we provide innovative container solutions, exceptional service, and unmatched reliability to businesses worldwide. This partnership has been a major contributor to our success and longevity.

Partnership with Textainer
Partnership with Textainer

Textainer leads the resale industry, boasting over 45 years of experience as one of the largest sellers of used containers. Our partnership with them spans nearly two decades, instilling confidence in the quality and availability of our stock. This enduring collaboration enables us to consistently surpass our customers’ expectations.

Partnership with Triton
Partnership with Triton

Triton is one of the world’s largest and most reliable suppliers of high-quality shipping containers, partnering with them so early in our history has been a major driving force to how we have been able to provide the products, services and prices that we have. This partnership is nearing 20-years and is something we are very proud of.

MOD Relationship

Within just one year of trading, 1st Containers achieved a significant milestone by securing our first government contract with the Ministry of Defense (MOD). Initially, we provided 200 containers to support the MOD’s storage needs.

This marked the beginning of a longstanding partnership that continues after nearly 20 years. Over the years, our collaboration with the MOD has flourished, with tens of thousands of containers supplied to meet various storage requirements.

This ongoing contract speaks to the quality of our products and the reliability of our services, cementing our position as a trusted provider in the industry. We are proud of our partnership with the MOD and look forward to continuing to support their operations for years to come.

1st Containers opens its first depot in Rainham

Following our successful partnerships with Triton, CAI, & Textainer a pivotal moment in our journey, the next logical step was to establish a solid foundation for our operations. With a growing inventory of containers and expanding clientele, we needed a dedicated space to store and manage our assets.

Enter Rainham—the site of our very first home. Nestled in this vibrant community, our base in Rainham provided us with the infrastructure and resources needed to support our burgeoning business. Over the years, as 1st Containers expanded and moved to various offices, Rainham remained a constant anchor for our operations. Our headquarters remains rooted in Rainham, serving as a testament to the significance of the community in our story.

We Open our First Office in Rainham
We Open our First Office in Rainham

Catapulting off the success of the Depot opening in 2006, our company embarked on a trajectory of growth and expansion. By 2008, the initial 1/4-acre depot site had expanded to an impressive 2 acres, reflecting the company’s rapid development. To accommodate our ever-expanding team of employees and centralise our operations, we undertook the construction of an office on the depot site. This office became the cornerstone of our administrative and operational functions, serving as a hub for collaboration and innovation. As the years progressed beyond 2008, our company continued to flourish, driven by a dedicated team and a commitment to excellence, solidifying our position as a leader in our industry.

10,000th Container Sold

After eight years of dedicated efforts, relentless growth, and expansion, 1st Containers reached a monumental milestone—the sale of our 10,000th container. This achievement stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment to excellence and the relentless pursuit of our vision.

The sale of our 10,000th container was not merely a numerical feat but a symbol of the trust and confidence placed in us by our clients. It’s a reflection of the relationships we’ve built, the quality of our products and services, and the dedication of our team members who strive for excellence every day.

Acquisition of L.C.S

In a strategic move to facilitate our rapid expansion, 1st Containers made a significant acquisition by purchasing L.C.S, a reputable self-storage and skip repair company. This strategic decision was driven by our commitment to enhancing our capabilities and serving our customers more efficiently.

The acquisition of L.C.S brought a wealth of expertise and resources to the 1st Containers group. Leveraging the specialised knowledge and experience of L.C.S, we were able to streamline our operations, improve service offerings, and further strengthen our position in the market.

Supporting the NHS in Storing PPE during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we at 1st Containers were honored to assist the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom by swiftly providing shipping containers for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) storage. Between 2020 and 2021, we delivered over 4,500 containers across the UK, making a significant contribution to the NHS’s efforts in ensuring the safety of healthcare workers and effective crisis management. We are very proud of our ability to act quickly during such a difficult period.

Introduction of ‘ISTU’ Prefix Containers
Introduction of ‘ISTU’ Prefix Containers

In July 2021, 1st Containers proudly unveiled a new milestone in our commitment to excellence—the introduction of our ‘ISTU’ prefix containers. These containers, bearing the distinctive ISTU prefix, signify the pinnacle of quality and reliability synonymous with the 1st Containers brand.

Registered under the prestigious BIC (Bureau International des Containers) code for 1st Containers, the ISTU prefix containers represent a culmination of our dedication to providing only the finest solutions to our customers.

Partnership with Global Container Solutions & Appointment of GCS Director Andrew Day to 1st Containers Board
Partnership with Global Container Solutions & Appointment of GCS Director Andrew Day to 1st Containers Board

In a strategic move to further enhance our global presence and service offerings, 1st Containers forged a partnership with Global Container Solutions (GCS), a renowned leader known for their quality services and exceptional efficiency in the ever-evolving container markets.

With over 60 years of combined experience in the container sales and One Way SOC (Shipper Owned Container) markets, the GCS team brings unparalleled expertise and industry knowledge to the table. Their proven track record in supplying containers to diverse regions around the world positions them as valuable allies in our pursuit of excellence.

As part of this partnership, Andrew Day, Director of Global Container Solutions, joined the 1st Containers board. Andrew’s wealth of experience and strategic insights further strengthens our leadership team, enabling us to navigate the complexities of the global market landscape with confidence and foresight.

Rebranding for a New Era
Rebranding for a New Era

After 18 years of remarkable growth and resilience, 1st Containers embarked on a transformative journey—a rebranding initiative to reflect the evolution and success of our business. As we emerged stronger from the challenges posed by the pandemic, we recognised the need for a fresh identity to propel us into the next decade of innovation and growth.

The decision to rebrand was driven by our commitment to staying ahead of the curve and adapting to the changing needs of our customers. Our business had evolved significantly since its inception, expanding our offerings, diversifying our client base, and embracing new technologies. It was time for our brand identity to reflect the dynamic and forward-thinking nature of our organisation.

1stContainers.co.uk relaunched
1stContainers.co.uk relaunched

Our old website served us well, but eventually you need to embrace new technologies to serve your customers better. The new website is faster, more packed with content and easier to navigate.

Acquisition of Flintham Cabins
Acquisition of Flintham Cabins

At the end of 2024, 1st Containers expands its family by acquiring Flintham Cabins, a seasoned business with 25 years of experience specialising in steel and site cabins. This strategic move comes after years of close collaboration between the two companies on various projects. Flintham Cabins’ expertise in cabin production perfectly complements 1st Containers’ existing conversion capabilities, promising a fruitful partnership for the future.

Acquisition of Ace & Northern Containers
Acquisition of Ace & Northern Containers

In the early months of 2024, 1st Containers wasted no time in expanding its family further with the addition of the Ace Group of companies. This conglomerate includes Ace Containers, Northern Containers, and Ace Self Storage, collectively boasting nearly 25 years of success in container sales in the northern regions of England. Led by a dynamic father and son duo, the Ace Group brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the 1st Containers group, and strengthening our

Tilbury Depot Opens
1st Containers Tilbury Depot

18 years after the inauguration 1/4 acre site in Rainham back in 2006, we were thrilled to announce the expansion of our footprint with the opening of our 15th dedicated depot, strategically located in Tilbury.

This development represents a monumental achievement in our growth trajectory and underscores our unwavering dedication to delivering exceptional container services to our valued customers. The decision to establish a presence at Tilbury Port was carefully deliberated, driven by its cutting-edge lifting facilities, extended operating hours, and fully concreted floor, all geared towards optimising operational efficiency and ensuring swift turnaround times for our clients.

With our newest and largest depot yet, we’re poised to meet the evolving needs of our clientele while solidifying our position as a leader in the industry.

Celebrating 20 Years of Excellence: A Heartfelt Thank You

As we celebrate two decades of growth, innovation, and success, we extend our deepest gratitude to our valued customers, dedicated staff, and trusted partners who have been integral to our journey.

Over the past 20 years, we have overcome challenges, embraced opportunities, and forged lasting relationships that have propelled us forward. Together, we have built a legacy of excellence, resilience, and unwavering commitment to our shared goals.

To our customers, thank you for your trust, loyalty, and continued support. Your satisfaction and success are at the heart of everything we do, and we are honored to serve you. It is your partnership that drives us to continually raise the bar and exceed expectations.

To our staff, thank you for your hard work, passion, and dedication. Your tireless efforts and unwavering commitment have been the driving force behind our achievements. Together, we have built a culture of excellence, collaboration, and innovation that sets us apart.

To our partners, thank you for your collaboration, expertise, and unwavering support. Your guidance and collaboration have been instrumental in our success, enabling us to navigate challenges and seize opportunities with confidence.

As we look ahead to the next 20 years and beyond, we are excited to continue our journey of growth, innovation, and excellence. Together, we will build upon the foundation we have laid and embrace the future with optimism, determination, and a shared sense of purpose.

Here’s to 20 years of achievement, and to many more years of success, partnership, and mutual prosperity. Thank you for being part of our story.