PODS (company)

PODS, or Portable On Demand Storage, is a moving and storage company. It was founded in 1998 and is based in Clearwater, Florida.[2]

PODS is owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.[3]

History

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.[4]

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.[5]

In 2005, PODS grossed over $200 million in revenue, and was still privately owned.[2] By then, the company was franchised in 45 states, and logged 2,500 pickups and deliveries a day.[2]

Between 2005 and August 2009, PODS service expanded to include 48 states, as well as Australia and Canada.[6]

A POD being lifted for placement on the back of a flatbed truck

In February 2007, PODS was acquired by Bahrain-based investment firm Arcapita for $451.4 million.[7]

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.[6]

In June 2010, PODS announced the sale of the first franchise in the United Kingdom.[8]

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.[9]

In February 2015, Arcapita finalized the sale of PODS for more than $1B to the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.[10]

Business model

PODS container at sporting event.

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.[2] The units and warehouse are owned by local franchisees.[11] 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.[12]

Disaster recovery

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.[2][13]

References

  1. ^ "Pods.com WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools". WHOIS. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  2. ^ a b c d e "PODS taking a chunk out of moving and storage market". USA Today. Associated Press. August 4, 2006. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  3. ^ "Canadian pension fund buys PODS". Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Invasion of the PODS". Business Report. May 6, 2002. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  5. ^ "PODS lands equity financing". Tampa Bay Business Journal.
  6. ^ a b Staff (August 4, 2009). "PODS allies with UniGroup's United Van Lines, Mayflower Transit". Tampa Bay Business Journal. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  7. ^ "Arcapita acquires US company for $451m". Gulf Daily News. February 27, 2008. Retrieved September 24, 2009.
  8. ^ "PODS Portable Storage Opens First U.K. Franchise". Inside Self-Storage. June 28, 2010.
  9. ^ Susan Thurston (September 25, 2014). "PODS wins $62 million award in trademark infringement lawsuit against U-Haul". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  10. ^ "Bahrain's Arcapita inks $1bn deal to sell US asset". Arabian Business. 2015-02-07. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  11. ^ Fowler, Melissa (June 27, 2003). "Packing in the PODS". Business Courier. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  12. ^ Hamblen, Matt (March 17, 2007). "PODS picks GPS for tracking workers, storage containers". ComputerWorld. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  13. ^ Vervoorn, Tina (August 15, 2008). "Moving and storage firm PODS, Inc. celebrates millionth delivery". California Chronicle. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2009.

External links