A new trade storage and office rental facility for the removals industry with easy access to the M1 and M25 has opened in Hertfordshire.
M1 Trade Storage Ltd provides moving companies with three-tier container storage, on-site fork lift services, flexible office rental, high-speed Internet, driver washroom facilities, access to waste recycling equipment and 9500sqft of parking.
Owner and founder of the new venture, John Koyanagi, said he is aiming to provide everything a removals company needs to operate without having to own or lease premises, which are becoming increasingly expensive and difficult to find, especially in the South East of England.
John is no stranger to the removals industry and still runs the family business, Koyanagi Worldwide - formally Koyanagi & Michael Gerson - which his father Kenji founded over forty years ago.
“We’ve worked closely with Michael Gerson for many years, specialising in the Japanese market, and until recently operated from their building in Potters Bar,” said John. “When Gerson’s announced they were going to relocate to Kent we decided to look for a new home so we could stay close to where most of our clients tend to live, in north London. We needed a warehouse of around 4000sqft where we could stack containers three to four high, but found it almost impossible to find something we could afford,” explained John.
After weeks of searching John found an excellent unit close to St. Albans, the trouble was, it was far larger than his company needed. However, John saw an opportunity. With the dramatic increase in Internet shopping, warehouse space is being snapped up by delivery companies meaning many smaller removal companies are being priced out of the market.
“I figured there was a need for a sort of WeWork type facility for the moving industry, where companies could operate without having to pay a fortune in rent for warehousing and office space,” said John. “It was a huge risk, but we decided to take the unit and use some of it for ourselves and rent the rest to other moving companies.”
It’s early days, but even before the official opening at the end of June, half the space had already been taken, so it looks like John’s gamble may well have paid off.
“I think there are lots of removals companies like ours who have been ‘cohabiting’ with larger organisations and now find themselves with nowhere to go,” said John. “I hope what we have done at M1 Trade Storage will help some of them to continue to prosper and perhaps even encourage others to get into the trade.”
Photo: John Koyanagi at the St Albans facility.