Growing demand for warehousing in the UK is leading to a potential shortage of prime sites for logistics operations in key locations such as Yorkshire, which has seen the largest recorded take up of available space to June 2014 since the start of the downturn in 2007.
This significant knock-on effect of the economic recovery is a result of companies becoming more confident of investing in supply chain facilities, increasing demand from third party logistics providers and the continuing expansion plans of e-retailers seeking additional capacity for their customer fulfilment centres. These factors are leading to a sharp fall in supply levels.
In addition the recent boost for manufacturing on Humberside, such as Siemens and Associated British Ports’ investment in Green Port Hull, which will include a new offshore wind turbine and blade factories on the Humber Estuary, is expected to see a substantial supply chains become established in the wider North of England.
A scarcity in available warehousing space of 100,000 square feet and upwards along the M62 corridor could possibly lead to more speculative development in the region as the economy strengthens as firms seek out sites offering quick and easy distribution of their products through motorways, ports and rail freight.
A leading provider of warehouses in the North of England, Onward Holdings Ltd, has reported brisk business after unveiling a new purpose-built complex in the heart of Yorkshire close to the major motorway networks such as the A1 and M1.
The company is experiencing a leap in enquiries for space at its Willowbridge Lane facility on the outskirts of Leeds from a diverse range of businesses seeking high quality warehousing and distribution management logistics in the area.
Units at the Onward Holdings site have already been taken by a leading packaging company and a third party logistics provider acting for a well-known high street retailer, with a food storage firm poised to move into one of the remaining spaces.
Onward Holdings director, Neil Storey, said: “The most important question when looking for warehousing space is location, location, location. The upturn in business confidence is very encouraging for the Yorkshire and Humber region. This will impact on available warehousing space in hubs close to motorway networks, ports and rail freight depots.
“Flexibility is also key. Do you need managed or non-managed storage, bulk and rack, long or short-term agreements. Clients should be able to pick from a range of different warehouse sizes and arrangements. For food requirements the warehouse must offer hygienic and ambient conditions, ensuring the product is maintained to the highest of standards from delivery to despatch.”
Onward Holdings has made significant investment in its site to offer a range of services. It has been equipped with a plethora of fork lifts that can handle pallets, IBCs and other items up to three tonnes, whilst for those with non-rigid packaging, the warehouse can individually handball sacks and cartons up to 50kg in weight on to pallets.
These complement the warehouse’s flexibility, which allows for racked and bulked storage space for up to 5,000 pallets with two dock level loading doors and several ground level loading doors, including covered loading bays, to facilitate the handling of products such as food related items and various pallet handling solutions.
Offering a choice of long and short-term leases, the remaining available units range from 30,000 to over 100,000 square feet, suitable for both durable cargo and ambient food storage, these 24/7 secure monitored premises are ideal for those seeking either space rental or handling and picking services as well as product presentation for end events.
Willowbridge Lane is within easy reach of the northern container ports, Doncaster Airport and the railway freight network via the nearby Wakefield Europort. According to Onward Holdings around 80% of the UK’s population is accessible in four hours, making the site ideal for bulk distribution items.
West Yorkshire-based Onward Holdings is a family-run business which specialises in operating highly competitively priced industrial warehousing and retail parks. Promotion of the site is being undertaken by Andrew Miller Chartered Surveyors of Sheffield.