United Rentals, Stamford, Conn., the world’s largest equipment rental provider, is celebrating a milestone anniversary this year: 25 years in business, serving customers and communities across North America, and within the last five years, globally.
Through acquisitions, organic growth and strategic mergers, United Rentals currently has 1,331 rental locations in North America, 13 in Europe, 28 in Australia and 18 in New Zealand. United Rentals operates in 49 states and every Canadian province.
Overall, the company has 21,600 employees to serve construction and industrial customers, utilities, municipalities and more.
The company attributes growth over the last quarter of a century to a customer-centric strategy that drives its investments in people, rental fleet, operations, technology, service capabilities and a universal commitment to continuous innovation.
As a result, according to the outlook provided to analysts, United Rentals expects total revenue to be between $11.4 and $11.7 billion in 2022, a company record.
“We couldn’t be more proud of what our team has accomplished over the last 25 years, and look forward to what we do together in the next 25. We are leaning into our purpose to Work United™ to build a better future together. Our approach is to work together with our customers, communities and employees to find solutions with a shared commitment to safety, sustainability and productivity,” says Matt Flannery, president and CEO.
“We look forward to tackling the next 25 years together as a true partner,” Flannery says.
“The most important factor has been broad and diverse customer activity, which has fueled strong demand for our products and services across our footprint. Our team has done a great job serving our customers’ needs with solutions across both general and specialty rentals, which we view as an important differentiator,” he says.
Another factor has been the company’s expansion into specialty rental segments over the last several years, including the rental of solutions for trench safety, temporary power, power distribution, climate control, fluid solutions, disaster recovery, portable restrooms, tool management, mobile storage and related services, which has helped expand rental penetration into new areas.
“Our specialty capabilities position us to provide more efficient one-stop shopping solutions to complex projects many of our construction and industrial customers are working on. Specialty is such an important component to our strategy and to the work our customers do every day,” says David Scott, senior vice president of specialty operations.
“Our specialty businesses are an important part of our business because they provide high value to customers and position United Rentals as a true end-to-end solutions partner,” Scott says.
“We are continuously striving to find the most innovative, effective solutions to help our customers work safer and smarter. We recognized that many of our major customers had challenges that a robust and diverse rental fleet — coupled with our engineering and technology capabilities — could help solve,” says Dale Asplund, executive vice president and chief operating officer.
United Rentals also is taking a leadership role in advancing environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability practices, setting a goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity from its non-rental fleets, buildings and operations by 35 percent by 2030, from a 2018 baseline.
To reach that goal, the company has made, and will continue to make, improvements to operating procedures across its branch network, including route and load optimization for pickup and delivery trucks as well as retrofitting the lighting in 95 percent of its branches by 2025 and diverting 70 percent of its waste from landfills.
In addition, the company is investing in electric-powered vehicles and equipment for internal use and for its rental fleet to help customers reduce emissions through eco-conscious options.
“Our fleet is now more than 25 percent electric and we know many vendors are exploring alternatives such as hydrogen and hybrid, so we plan to work closely with manufacturers to figure out which options are most viable and meet the needs of our customers,” says Joli Gross, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, and leader of the company’s sustainability efforts.
“We want to provide long-term value to our customers and support their ongoing sustainability strategies, so we’re also investing in innovative solutions to help them drive smart decisions. As an example, we recently launched a new emissions tracking feature within our cloud-based fleet management software, Total Control®, that helps customers monitor and manage their environmental impact,” says Tony Leopold, senior vice president of strategy and digital.