PODS was founded in 1998 by Peter Warhurst who was looking to expand his family's storage business. He invented PODS containers, as well as a hydraulic lift system that enables operators to easily deliver and transport the units, which he named PODZILLA.
In 2003, PODS received an equity investment of $15M from the Hunt Private Equity Group, along with a $25M senior credit facility from Congress Financial Corp.
Between 2005 and August 2009, PODS service expanded to include 48 states, as well as Australia and Canada.
In August 2009, PODS and moving services holding company UniGroup reached an agreement to share services. Under the agreement, PODS would have access to the packing and loading services of UniGroup's United Van Lines and Mayflower Transit businesses, while UniGroup could access 138,000 PODS moving and storage containers.
In June 2010, PODS announced the sale of the first franchise in the United Kingdom.
In 2012, PODS sued fellow transportation carrier U-Haul International in U.S. District Court for trademark infringement, claiming that U-Haul "improperly and unlawfully" used the word "pods" to describe its U-Box product. On September 25, 2014, a jury ruled that U-Haul had infringed on PODS' trademarks, causing confusion and damaging business for PODS. The jury found that U-Haul unjustly profited from mentioning the term on its marketing and advertising materials and started using the word only after PODS became famous as a brand name in the moving and storage industry. The jury awarded PODS $62 million in damages.
In February 2015, Arcapita finalized the sale of PODS for more than $1B to the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.
PODS operates by delivering a storage container to its customers' location, which the customer packs themselves. The units can then be stored at a warehouse or delivered to another location. The units and warehouse are owned by local franchisees. As of 2007, PODS was working with telecommunications carrier Sprint Nextel to use wireless GPS to track trucks in the fleet and to give directions for deliveries.
PODS assists communities experiencing emergency situations, such as assisting in recovery efforts during the Malibu fires, the Midwest flooding in Iowa, as well as providing units for storm victims of Hurricane Katrina.
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