Seventy years on, Kent going strong
The removals and relocations industry has been drastically changed by Covid but Kent Removals and Storage is confident about its future, with an increased focus on storage solutions and a major investment program which includes the development of a multi-million dollar facility in Townsville.
The removals and relocations sector was one of the earliest to be impacted by Covid and changes in the way people live and work will continue to challenge the sector, with industry consolidation expected.
For Kent, though, the future looks bright. Even prior to 2020, the company was reading the changing trends and getting ahead of the market. Its new Townsville facility will quadruple its footprint in the region, provide jobs for up to 40 locals during the building phase, and dramatically increase its storage offering. It is one of several targeted real estate investments which form part of Kent’s national expansion program, designed to increase storage capacity and service new growth regions.
Kent CEO Stephen Alves says the new 6,947sqm site has been built for growth, recognising both the potential of the region and the increasing demand for new storage solutions.
“We’re proud to say that Kent has invented smarter systems for making removals, relocations and storage better for customers, including large clients like the defence forces, state government and major corporates, who have been a big part of our story in Townsville.
“We’ve invested heavily in technology and new ideas, and in particular we are proud to be the first company offering a new approach to containerised storage.”
Stephen says that in a typical storage scenario, people have to pack and unpack their belongings up to four times, and often have concerns about how well their possessions will survive all this rearranging. Kent has introduced a service where a sealed, safe, clean container is delivered to the customer, packed once, then collected and moved offsite for storage.
“It gets packed once and unpacked once, when the customer is ready. That means less time, less energy wasted and less potential for damage to goods stored,” Stephen says. “And because the stored items are in a container, they need to be moved, they can just go, as is.”
With its own extensive internal data pointing to continued strong growth for containerised and other storage solutions, Kent has recently increased storage capacity across its owned sites by about 50,000 cubic metres at sites in Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Darwin and Townsville. Already Kent is the largest operator in container storage, with 5,000 containers on its books.
Townsville branch manager for Kent, Jason Flynn, says the expansion in his region will create the largest removal location outside south east Queensland.
“We’ve chosen a location just a few kilometres from our existing site, which is ideally situated close to the rail hub. The size and scale of this project, which represents a pretty large project for a private company in this area, reflects the vitality of this region. We’re proud to be working with a local contractor who has committed to employing a local crew.”
Phoenix Constructions Director Nathan Evennett says the business is excited to be working on the project.
“We are proud to have been selected by one of the largest removalist companies in Australia to carry out the design and construction of this new project which will only enhance their footprint in the Townsville and North Queensland region. It is great that Kent is investing in a local principal contractor and local trade contractors and suppliers.”