Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Freight Forwarders Prepare for Brexit and Pandemic Demands on Warehouse Space

Online Shopping and an Uncertain Future Prompts Logistics Evolution
Shipping News Feature

UK – With Brexit fast approaching, coupled with the continuing pandemic the factors which affect the need for storage capacity are currently in a fluid state, and around the country plans to provide extra space are being formulated amongst the logistics community.

First port of call for many will be the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) which has members the length and breadth of the country. The lobby group’s Search the Market facility enables potential customers to take a look at what the 700+ companies listed have available in their area.

London and the South East is one region likely to be hit by a paucity of available space in the coming weeks and one UKWA member, international freight forwarder W.E. Deane, has freed up 3000 pallet spaces at their Head Office in Barking in order to further accommodate the perceived increased demand for space.

As demand continues to overtake supply at an unprecedented rate, a recurring trend of businesses struggling to source warehouse capacity is beginning to have a serious effect on industries up and down the country. W.E. Deane has taken the view to free up space in order to help businesses meet with continued in demand caused by a hike in e-commerce volumes, nationwide panic buying and intense stockpiling as a result of the looming no-deal Brexit decision on 31 December.

The company, formed in 1963, has sites across the UK, Europe and South Africa but the changing times has meant an evolution from the traditional forwarder to a firm prepared to take on full warehousing, pick and pack, distribution and fulfilment services to meet the demands of the modern logistics market. Re-equipping the head office facility with narrow aisle racking has freed up more space to allow expansion.

According to Robert Falconer, Managing Director of W.E. Deane, the increasingly-likely decision of an impending no-deal Brexit has generated forecasts of nationwide stockpiling of raw materials, adding to forecasts that the current shortfall of UK warehousing isn’t likely to subside anytime soon. He commented:

“With an estimated 25% of the UK now shopping online, storage space is now out a premium. We are in the midst of a nationwide capacity crunch. Statistics show that e-commerce is set to continue to rise. It is also highly likely that we are on the cusp of a further panic buying trend placing further pressure on the supply chains, with businesses stockpiling goods in order to cope with these increased volumes.

“With businesses stockpiling raw materials in the preparation for a no-deal Brexit, the UK’s warehousing capacity is therefore likely to be stretched thin, which may force companies to outsource their warehouse and storage operations. In preparation for these scenarios W.E. Deane has taken the strategic decision to free up a 3000 additional pallet spaces in the hope that it may help to alleviate capacity issues in the surrounding region.”