How Equipment Hire Became One Of The World's Largest Industries

Posted by Andrea Guzzoni on

We as a society tend to do things in temporary fashion these days. Whilst not always by choice, actually owning things - houses, cars, offices, iPhones, jobs - has become a concept of the past for many. Now, it’s all about hiring and renting, leasing and letting. This has naturally caused many industries to boom, one being the equipment hire industry - which for us, and likely you too, is a good thing. 

In the last few years the ERA (Equipment Rental Association) have reported year-on-year growth in each of the 15 countries it has conducted research. Equipment hire is quickly becoming one of the more dominant industries in the western world, which of course for many people are very happy about. But how exactly did this happen? And how is the market reacting? Two good questions with answers we’d like to know ourselves. We’ll go about answering them now…

How Exactly Did This Happen: A Few Points

1. Risk Reduction

In buying you are assuming total ownership. And if you have total ownership, you are solely and solemnly responsible for the maintenance of whatever you are buying, whether that’s chairs for an event or a building for an office or a car for your weekends or fleets for your logistics. If you hire, you aren’t. This minimised risk is astutely attractive for many. 

When you hire, whilst you maintain some liability, most likely scenarios are covered by insurance and the companies that you hire from. This has led to a rise in hire solutions for fleet management; civilian car ownership; a lean towards working in co-working spaces rather than having your own office.  

2.  The Cultivation of Culture

Events as a concept are on the rise, and events regularly entail hiring equipment, so that has had a correlating impact. The reason they’re on the rise can be put down to many things, but a big part of it is that companies are now seeing putting conferences, drinks, or whatever event they’ve organised as something deeper and more meaningful than a lead-generator. It began as a concept in Scandinavia, but what is gathering momentum here now is seeing events as a medium to generate culture. 

Many modern outfits place a lot of value into being more than a service for a customer. It’s like the lifestyle marketing boom in the 1960s, but on steroids. People buy into culture now. It’s the reason Huel is seen as a lifestyle choice, not a meal replacement beverage. Why Ubers are considered a concept, almost a part of youth culture, not just a taxi. Culture is what makes people download apps; tweet about the service; tell their friends. So naturally, it is what brands try and cultivate. This is often done via marketing, branding, and events. And events by nature include hiring equipment, so that has risen. 

3.  Sustainability

The world is heating up at an alarming rate and anyone who cares about the planet at all shares the thought that “something must be done”. This something varies from person-to-person, whether that means ditching plastic straws or attempting to fully live sustainably, there nonetheless has been a change in opinion if what is acceptable now. 

For companies, this change in opinion has manifested itself in hiring supplies (chairs, desks, electrical equipment) rather than buying. That way, the items have a longer life and when they as a company wants to upgrade, they simply send the items back to their owner rather than letting them gather dust or dispose of them entirely. It’s a greener way to do things, so many are doing it. 

Whilst there are possibly many other reasons as to why hiring is on an exponential rise, these three causes are what we see as having the biggest impact. 

How Is The Market Reacting?

Whilst many questions go unanswered regarding the equipment hire industry, one thing is abundantly clear: it is dated. And yes, here’s the time where we showboat a little. What we’re doing here at Rentuu is driving the industry forward. Easing your hire solutions with technological innovation, creating a new software which quickens and widens your search, eventually concluding with a thorough selection and price optimisation. We are a natural reaction to a booming industry: new technologies.

Outside of us, however, you’ll generally see more hire companies, each of which market themselves in response to the preceding causes of growth. “Remove risk from your company”, “be more sustainable and hire!”, etc. 

Plus, you’re probably a lot of quality and price improvement. As an industry becomes more and more competitive, many need a cause to stand out - some better their personal service and quality of items, others make their prices as little as possible, hoping that value will bring the crowds in. Either way, it’s more power to the consumer.  

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