One of Wales’s fastest-growing companies is expanding its operations in Flintshire by opening new and larger premises in Flint.
Self-storage company Lock Stock, one of the UK’s largest containerised storage company, has moved its Flint operation from nearby Bagillt to Flint’s Aber Park industrial estate.
The move by the Denbigh-based family company involved a major logistics operation which took two days as 99 shipping containers were trucked two miles on flat-bed trailers from Bagillt to the new site.
There Lock Stock have taken the capacity up to 160 containers, all smartly painted in the company’s dark green livery, on a newly-bought site which is being landscaped and planted.
Operations Supervisor Stuart Bowker has overseen the move and he said: “It has been a very involved process and, although we are very careful with moving containers which hold people’s property, we always offer all our customers the opportunity to move their goods themselves if they wish.
“Most are happy to let us take the strain though and we use contractors we have worked with before and who are sensitive to the needs of the operation.
“The new premises are owned by us and so offer a permanent site which also has a much larger capacity for the many companies and customers who have stored their goods in Bagillt.
“The new yard is bigger, more secure and easier to access, both from the town centre and from the A55 which is just two miles away.”
The shipping containers used by Lock Stock are a by-product of the UK’s trade with China – most are Chinese-built and have made the 12,000-mile seven-week sea journey via the Suez Canal.
They come in three sizes, 10 feet, 20 feet and 40 feet and all are eight feet wide by eight feet high with capacities from 640 cubic feet to 2,560 cubic feet.
The company currently has 16 sites across North and Mid Wales and the Border Counties and also operates a van-hire business, Take Stock, from its three main hubs at Llandudno, Chester and Rhyl – they also sell fireworks at Chester and Llandudno.
Office Manager Rhian Powell added: “We take great care with the layout at our sites and actually use computer generated modelling to assess plans and make sure we have the right mix of sizes and that each container can be accessed easily by vehicle.
“Each site has 24-hour access and our containers are used for a variety of purposes from furniture storage for people moving house to tools and equipment for businesses to prized possessions and even leisure equipment such as jet skis and boats.
“They are ideal for those moving house and that does account for up to 60 per cent of our business but they are also ideal for businesses which need extra space for stock or tools and equipment to allow them to grow.”
Lock Stock currently has 2,200 containers at its sites – stacked end on end they would tower over 16,000 feet, four and a half times higher than Snowdon, and with a total storage capacity of over three million cubic feet.
They have plans to strengthen their position as one of the UK’s biggest container storage company with new sites currently in the pipeline and with a target of 3,000 containers by the end of 2017.
The have sites from Bangor along the North Wales coast at Llandudno and Rhyl, on the Dee at Flint and Chester and inland at their headquarters on the Colomendy Industrial Estate in Denbigh, Mold, Newtown in Powys, Wrexham and Oswestry and Shrewsbury in Shropshire.
Lock Stock, which employs 16 staff, was launched in 1998 by brothers Nick and Shon Powell as an off-shoot of the family’s well-known Craig Bragdy ceramic design and installation company.
Nick Powell said: “We bought shipping containers to store tiles and clay and other local businesses asked about renting containers from us for storage.
“It soon became clear that there was a real demand for self-storage both for business customers and for the general public and we have grown to meet that demand.
“The containers bring cargo from China on a one-way trip to the UK so they are virtually new and they’re great pieces of kit, built to withstand 30 years in all weathers in the salt air and high seas of the oceans.
“They can withstand that and being bounced about by cranes with up to 25 tons of goods inside so a gentle retirement in the mild climate of North Wales is no problem to them and they provide a wonderfully secure and permanent storage facility for a lifetime.
“We estimate that we have had over 2,125 companies use us over the years with 627 businesses currently using us, ranging from small one-man operations to giant, household names.
“Our sites are safe and the containers are waterproof, neatly painted and easily accessible.”
For more information about Lock Stock go to http://www.lockstock.biz/