20 Years of Falcon Structures: A Look Back and a Celebration

2023 marks the 20th anniversary of Falcon Structures! From pondering our 20 favorite things about Falcon to our 20 favorite projects, this year has certainly called for retrospection. 

Before we closed out this year of celebration with an anniversary party at our factory, we wanted to sit down with our CEO, Stephen Shang, for a look back at Falcon’s journey. How did two college buddies with an idea to sell containers in 2003 transform their company into the leading manufacturer of container-based structures?

20 Year Retrospective Video

 

Stephen and Brian Dieringer, our Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Products, founded Falcon Storage in 2003. Their first workspace was a spare room in Stephen’s condo near US Highway 183 and Duval Street in Austin, Texas. “We needed a place for all the containers that were coming in,” Stephen said. “And obviously you can’t put shipping containers in condos.”

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Milestones and Company Growth

“There were a lot of milestones over the years,” Stephen said. “But as I think back to some of the more significant ones, the first one would be in 2005.” That was the year Falcon reached $1,000,000 in revenue. “It showed us that we had actually built a real business that was getting traction in the marketplace.”

In 2007, Falcon was on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies. Stephen says making that list “isn’t too hard to do,” but by 2013, Falcon had been named to the list a total of six times. 

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What started as a container rental business transformed into a container modification business. Brian and Stephen both pulled from their engineering backgrounds and began modifying containers into usable structures, like offices and climate-controlled storage units. By 2015, it was clear Falcon was balancing two different businesses: container rentals and container modifications. PacVan (now United Rentals) purchased the rental side of the business that year, which freed up Falcon to pour more energy and resources into container manufacturing. 

Leaders of the Container-Based Structures Industry

Falcon takes its role as a pioneer in the container-based construction industry seriously. In 2016, Falcon's leadership formed an industry-wide task force to raise awareness and adoption of containers as building materials. By 2018, Falcon became the first in-house container structure manufacturer to receive an Evaluation Service Report (ESR) from the International Code Council (ICC), which approves Falcon's structurally sound containers for use in buildings. In 2021, shipping containers were included in the International Building Code for the first time. 

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Falcon continues to work with states to become certified in state modular building programs. The company has earned important certifications in California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee. This makes container construction easier for customers in those states since Falcon has conducted the work and research to meet their strict codes and standards. 

Geared Up for Growth

When it comes to growth, Falcon is prepared for more of it. As of right now, Falcon’s employee count is close to 100, with a throughput of about three containers per day. 

“In 2022, we doubled down and grew our factory by two X,” Stephen said. "So instead of just five acres, we’ve actually got close to ten acres or about 400,000 square feet of space.” 

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Falcon’s substantial design library and streamlined manufacturing processes set the company apart from others in the industry. With more space to increase the company’s capacity, Falcon can produce even more customized containers in a cost-effective and timely manner. Even as it grows, Falcon continues to harness the potential of modular construction.

Stephen shared his unique take on the purpose of business, and it’s not difficult to see why Falcon is a thriving company with a tight-knit culture. 

“What really is the purpose of business? I think it’s twofold. One is to help communities flourish… And two is to be able to give employees a platform to do really creative work.” Stephen said. “We give our employees an opportunity to be on the cutting edge of this industry and do things with containers that no one’s ever thought of.” 

Celebration at Falcon's Factory

The Falcon team came together to celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary recently at our factory. Under a bright fall Texas sky, the celebration was uniquely Falcon. 

Falcon 20th Anniversary Image Gallery

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Set in the recently expanded production yard, guests enjoyed live music, fierce rounds of cornhole, and delicious food and drinks. The party space was framed by dozens of customized containers in a variety of colors and floor plans: an all-black 40-foot generator enclosure, a bright orange office with custom windows, a forest green work-and-store unit, and more. These were the most meaningful party decorations - the finished products that came about from two decades of experience, hard work, and industry leadership. 

20th Anniversary Party Video

 

In a short speech to the employees, family, friends, and vendors gathered, Stephen shared his thoughts on Falcon’s journey. 

“One of the things we’ve been talking about is building a better world by pioneering the use of container-based structures. But when I really think about what building a better world is, it’s this. It’s the relationships, the community, it’s us all being together.”

With 20 years of growth behind us, the Falcon team is eager to maintain the hard-working, pioneer mentality and see where the next 20 years take the company. 

Do you have a modified shipping container project in mind? Reach out to our team at 512-131-1010 or email us at sales@falconstructures.com

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