Our History, B.C.
We Were Container Fabricators
In 1999, Mike Frank opened a business that transformed Commercial ISO Shipping Containers into just about anything you could imagine. Things like of ces, living spaces, command centers, hotel rooms, high-end retail stores, event marketing attractions, etc. His clients included the U.S. Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines, Air Force, Coca-Cola, Patron Tequila, and Mobile Storage Group, the second largest commercial portable storage company in the U.S. at the time.
With expertise in the container business, Mike always looked for other container uses. He noticed PODS Enterprises Inc. that designed their own type of containers with a unique system to deliver and retrieve. PODS was really the first to develop a container system specically built for a residential customer. Mike explored alternatives that led to his development of the system we know as COWS.
Mike hired a company to create his new residential container system, then purchased that company in 2007. He created the entire COWS-Container On Wheels® brand, completely improved the engineering of the initial system and created COWS-USA, LLC. David Nathan was involved in the acquired business and was hired to help build the new COWS business. With a good container and a simple delivery system COWS began selling unbranded containers to the Self Storage Industry. After 14 months, the industry asked for guidance on how to maximize the use of containers. This led to the creation of the COWS Dealership Program introduced at the 2009 Inside Self Storage Expo, in Las Vegas, where we signed our first two dealers.
COWS started in a 3500 sq.ft. shop in Philadelphia, in 2007. Now our corporate headquarters (The Barn) is a 110,000 sq.ft. facility near Homestead, Florida. We are proud of COWS' growth, but even more proud of the positive impact on our Dealers.
After studying the residential container industry, we thought we could invent a better delivery system.
So we did...and we kept it simple and cost effective!
Making the Delivery System simpler
Before COWS, mobile storage providers used very expensive and complicated container delivery systems. Many involved big commercial trucks and fancy hydraulic machines. Some of these original systems are based on modified boat lifts, believing the container needed to stay level while loading it on the truck. Sounds smart, right? But is the container still level when the truck drives up a hill, or stops hard, or takes a corner at 25 mph? The answer: If the goods within the container are not properly secured, prior to transporting the container, load shift is a real possibility no matter which delivery system you use.
Making the Delivery System affordable
For a small operator, the investment and the upkeep of these delivery trucks make the entry into the residential container business prohibitive. These trucks can cost $75,000 and higher, and does not include the price of upkeep and maintenance. The COWS Delivery Trailer solves this very expensive cost barrier while providing the same capabilities to deliver and retrieve full or empty containers. The COWS patent pending Delivery Trailer is the right price and the right tool to get the job done.
We wanted to build a better container!
...and We did!
Beyond COWS, there are two types of residential containers.
- Steel framed containers
- Wooden boxes
Most steel framed containers are manufactured overseas. The wood containers are made in the U.S. but not strong enough to put up with the handling or the climate.
All COWS are born in the USA! COWS is a good old-fashioned steel fabrication company. We believe that we are the only mobile storage company that manufactures our own containers.
At first we just sold them.
Adding containers to an existing business?
It ain't as easy as it looks!
COWS was the first company to exclusively target the sale of containers to self-storage facilities and moving companies. We believed that it was a natural fit for these folks to benefit from integrating containers into their existing operations.
Within a year of selling containers, we found an increasing number of our customers were coming to us asking for help on the best uses of containers and how best to actually make money using the COWS within their existing businesses.
These customers loved the COWS Brand and wanted our help with:
- Using the Brand on a local level to create awareness
- Developing a local marketing plan to make their business unique and stand out amongst their local competition in the self storage or moving business
- Providing sales training
- Just overall help!
We learned that adding containers to an existing company wasn't as easy as it looked for our customers. But help was on the way...
Our customers wanted help making money with COWS!
Regardless of whether a company added 6, 16, or 36 COWS, it required a lot of time and money to "figure out how to use them."
THE PROBLEM: These quantities of containers do not generate enough revenue to grow by trial and error. But if we provided training to help companies during the startup period, that would give them the direction for a fast and successful experience.
This is when The COWS dealership program was born!
We spent the time and money to develop a "plug and play" program to help a self-storage or moving company succeed using COWS, fast.
Every COWS dealer works with a Dealership Growth Manager, an expert in training and the implementation of COWS proprietary marketing programs. They help dealers reach new customers, solve problems and make money.
Every dealer gets a Handbook for your Basic Dealership. It's a "How To" book for adding mobile storage to an existing moving or storage company.
Our customers knew that adding mobile storage was key to keeping pace with their industries, but they didn't have time to figure out the tricks of the trade. The COWS Dealership Program solved that problem. In fact, several of our old customers that bought the original blank containers, have joined the Herd, converting their containers to fully adorned COWS.