Sea Box, Inc.
Jim Brennan started his career working for a company leasing trailers and shipping containers. In 1982, when the economy was slumping, Brennan found himself unemployed. And so he started Sea Box, Inc. in February of 1983. “My motivation was simple,” said Brennan, “I needed to generate income and I needed to do it fast. I knew the container business; there was a comfort level and I took a chance.”
Initially, he was buying and selling used containers to exporters. In a little over a year he saved up enough money to buy tools and hire staff. As the export market began to dwindle in the late 1980’s, Brennan found that customers were asking him to make modifications to the containers. “I just like saying yes to the customer,” said Brennan. “I have an engineering background and I like the challenge of meeting our customers’ needs.”
One weekend the U.S. Army called Brennan looking to get 300 shipping containers delivered to Fort Riley, Kansas by the following week. The containers were needed to move equipment in support of the Gulf War. Brennan worked the phones and his contacts and placed bids on containers in 36 cities, hired 150 drivers and delivered the containers on time.
A big break for the company came in 2004, when Sea Box received a requirements contract worth $435 million from the Department of Defense to provide as many as 138,000 steel containers. In 1995, the company received a $475,000 SBA-backed loan. The loan was used for working capital to help grow the business. Within 5 years Brennan paid the loan off.
From its humble beginnings in 1983 with Brennan as its sole employee, the company today has more than 184 employees and more than $105 million in annual sales. In addition to working with all branches of the military, Sea Box’s private sector customers include Dell, Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp., and Raytheon Company.