The new Willbox site in north Southampton was formally opened by company Chairman Eric Williams on 1st August.
For the last 19 years, Willbox has been headquartered in Millbrook, just outside Southampton’s Dock Gate 20. The company shared the site with Williams Shipping’s Transport, Cargo and Marine Lubricants divisions. However, all of these divisions have seen significant recent expansion and the site was becoming restrictive. In the last five years Willbox alone Willbox has increased its turnover from £500k to £4.6m.
In mid 2018 Willbox began to relocate its operations to a new site in Nursling in north Southampton. Work began on new offices in early 2019.
When it came to creating on-site buildings, there was only one logical choice: to create a bespoke structure out of containers.
Willbox’s in-house customisation team handled the project in between client work. The main office space consists of four 20’ and 32′ containers linked by corridors to provide a reception, office, meeting room and kitchen with oven and plumbing. The main building provides space for the sales and administrative teams. Satellite buildings, also constructed from shipping containers, include toilet / shower blocks, site offices, drivers’ tea room and even an on-site gym.
The buildings were repainted black, to differentiate them from the stacks of container stocks they are surrounded by, and decking and landscaping was added to create a more welcoming appearance. Although the site has been in use since April, it wasn’t until July that the construction work was finally completed.
Room to expand
Overall, the new site covers nearly 2 acres. As well as the offices, on-site parking and customization enclosure, the site can accommodate stocks of up to 600 containers and site cabins, giving Willbox greater capacity and the ability to hold a wider range of stock.
The site is on the outskirts of Southampton close to the M271, making it much easier for HGV drivers to access and avoiding heavy traffic areas around the city centre.
In addition, moving out of Millbrook has also freed up half an acre of yard space for Williams Shipping to utilise.
The facility was formally opened by Eric Williams, who is Chairman of Willbox and the Williams Shipping Group, and Chris Williams, Director of Willbox on 1st August 2019.
Pictured: Eric Williams with Willbox Director Chris Williams, and the Willbox office team.