Monday, October 7, 2019

Promise of Huge Fulfilment Centre to Service eCommerce Needs from Busiest British Container Port

Ambitious Construction Plans to Suit Home Delivery Market by Local Firms
Shipping News Feature

UK – Suffolk it seems is set to take a higher supply chain profile, just days after the announcement that the Port of Great Yarmouth is making moves to raise its own position with regard to post Brexit trade comes another announcement, this time a major development squarely aimed at enticing more ecommerce business to the county.

Developer Curzon de Vere is charged with constructing a warehouse and distribution complex specifically aimed at on line shopping business. It says, with leases agreed and planning approved, Anglian Building Services Limited has commenced work on the first phase of the 60-acre site. Three units are set to be constructed within the next year. Curzon de Vere was, until recently a dormant company with one of the directors, Mr Larry Isherwood, resigning as a director of Anglian in August and taking a similar role with Curzon de Vere less than a month later. The two companies share an address in Colchester.

The Port One Logistics Park can claim to be the only built-to-suit development in the region, sitting as it does immediately next to the A14, the route which links the Port of Felixstowe to the UK’s urban centres. The first unit, of 143,000 square feet, has been designed for Ipswich-based FDS Corporation Limited, a Chinese fulfilment house operator which says it was quick to see the advantages of the ‘Port One’ location, Junction 52 of the A14 at Great Blakenham, and a short distance from the Port of Felixstowe. FDS General Manager and former director, Sheng Li, said:

“We are really pleased to be taking up this opportunity. The past three years has shown us how well our Suffolk location works for us and our growth has given us the confidence to look at a new facility.”

Other phases of development at Port One Logistics Park will provide additional buildings of between 50,000 and 700,000 square feet. They will follow similar design principles, assisted by planning consent for building heights of over 20 metres. Easy access to both east and westbound carriageways of the A14 are key feature of the site, which will be operational 24/7.

FDS chose another Suffolk company for its solutions architecture, Murray Gibson Associates Ltd, whose founder is a ports and logistics solutions specialist with more than 30 years’ supply chain experience, including over 27 years at Hutchison Ports, Port of Felixstowe operators. Murray Gibson himself points out:

“Port One Logistics Park enters the market in exactly the right place and at the right time. According to industry analysts Retail Economics, and demonstrated at this year’s United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) national conference, a further 44 million square feet of warehouse space needs to be built in the UK by the end of 2021, just to meet the demands of the online retail sector.

“Everything about the client and the site has been exceptional. It is very rarely that you get the opportunity of a completely clean sheet of paper on which to design an operation that not only exceeds the client’s original brief, but also ticks so many of the desirable supply chain features that this site in particular offers. Having perfected the internal layout and process flows, it was literally a case of wrapping the building around it. For once, it was designed from the inside out.

“By cutting out multiple distribution centres and stores and delivering direct to the consumer, retailing is now embedded in the processes that enable us to buy products on our computer, tablet or smart phone. Orders are picked, labelled and marshalled for dispatch by courier and delivery companies to our chosen destination, offering an ever-widening number of options to suit our individual lifestyles.

“Behind the scenes, nothing short of a mini-revolution has taken place, largely unseen, that ensures our online purchases arrive where we want them and when, leaving us to get on with our busy lives. [At this new development] a three-dimensional approach has enabled us to achieve a density of over 32,000 pallets of storage, nine-high with semi-automated locating.”