In another milestone in the development of its London Gateway Logistics Park, DP World has announced Buckingham Group has been awarded the contract to build the Common User Facility (CUF).
Following a period of ground preparation and development of key infrastructure by DP World, Buckingham Group is now mobilising to start construction, with the new logistics centre planned for completion in Q1 2015. The 375,000 square foot multi-purpose specialist cargo handling centre will be built in two phases and will be fully integrated with the new deep-sea container port DP World London Gateway.
DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said:
"This is a highly significant milestone for both DP World London Gateway and London Gateway Logistics Park because it opens the doors for UK importers and exporters both large and small to shorten their supply chains and take advantage of the UK’s most modern port to bring their goods close to the major market of London and the South East. It also offers customers a catalyst for collaboration and improved asset utilisation, with occupiers sharing warehousing and transportation, saving costs whilst improving their own customer service with shorter replenishment cycles."
DP World London Gateway CEO Simon Moore said:
"Discussions with leading retailers confirm that many have a substantial proportion of their UK store footprint within 50 miles of London Gateway where the combination of population density, high disposable income and consumer spend drives a significant percentage of UK sales. The potential supply chain cost savings in terms of primary and secondary distribution for occupiers of the London Gateway Logistics Park are compelling."
DP World London Gateway Commercial Director Peter Ward said:
"The Common User Facility is an attractive proposition for both SMEs and larger businesses with supplementary capacity and an ‘incubator opportunity’ to build up critical mass from an initial smaller presence. For businesses with existing commitments and infrastructure, the Common User Facility allows London Gateway to be added to distribution networks as a strategic de-vanning and collection point, particularly beneficial for those serving the South East and currently facing issues of empty backhaul. With the rapidly changing multi-channel retail landscape, the introduction of a Common User Facility at London Gateway Logistics Park will support increased agility and flexibility of customers’ supply chains."
DHL Supply Chain Transport Policy and Strategy Director Hugh Basham welcomed the Common User Facility: "We can definitely see the benefit of the Common User Facility, as an entry point for a number of customers and as an enabler of multi-brand collaboration for ‘milk-run’ deliveries to the capital."
Arcadia’s Martin Jones, Head of Global Logistics, said, "The offering at London Gateway is certainly of interest".
Roger Williams, CEO, UK Warehousing Association, which represents 650 member companies, said, "London Gateway is spectacularly well-located. I have no doubt London Gateway will have a major role to play in shaping future supply chain planning, delivering cost savings and efficiencies to benefit logistics providers and their customers. It’s great news for UKWA members, for the logistics industry, and for the UK."
With nine million square foot of warehousing and office accommodation, the London Gateway Logistics Park will be the largest of its kind in Europe. The Common User Facility will offer 24/7 operation, and the benefit of shared labour and materials handling equipment. The facility will include cross-docking, storage, distribution and multi-user ‘pay-as-you-go’ services.
The Common User Facility will have direct connection to Britain’s new port, a major competitive advantage will be the ability to increase reliability as London Gateway port can operate in bad weather such as high wind conditions. During periods of bad weather in early 2014, DP World London Gateway was the only deep-sea container port that remained open.
B&Q’s Head of International Supply Chain, Dean Hawkridge, commented at the time on the ability of the port to provide more reliability, "Importers order stock months in advance with an expected date for goods to be on the shelf. It is difficult to predict if and when weather issues may cause delays but the impact can generate problems along supply chains, with backlogs taking days to clear after a port’s operations are halted. DP World London Gateway’s ability to continue operating when other ports have stopped operations when bad weather occurs is welcome news, as shippers are seeking reliability for deliveries to go as planned."