Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Warehouse Specialist Issues White Paper as a Guide to Maintaining Supply Chains of the Future

As the Pandemic Affects All Aspects of Logistics Do We Need a Changing Approach to Storage?
Shipping News Feature

UK – With the Covid-19 pandemic infecting every part of business life companies are having to estimate and recalculate their needs for the future, often with no clear idea of exactly what will be required to maintain a functioning, profitable operation. Now one leading organisation in the sphere of warehousing has published a white paper giving its view of how to minimise such uncertainty to aid logistics groups to maintain reliable supply chains.

The white paper, published by Bis Henderson Space, looks into how the reduction in both supply and demand has reconfigured how companies need to react to an uncertain market. The radical changes seen in some sectors, as with the heightened demand for more eCommerce and products in the health grocery sectors, whilst others have faltered, seeing ordered stock arriving in quantity but remaining unsold.

The document also refers to the report from property consultants, JLL, entitled ‘Covid-19: Global Real Estate Implications’ which concludes the disease will ‘likely elevate the issue of supply chain risk mitigation and resilience’, seriously impacting the industrial and logistics property sector worldwide. This will result in ‘near sourcing’ and create a heightened demand for instant space.

Bis Henderson point out that its own experiences indicate the changing demand, with a variation in requirements for space from different industry sectors. Add to this the differing types of storage, from ‘deep, dark’ to pick and pack etc. and the problems of planning for the future are apparent. Real estate developers are always likely to go for the main chance, even whilst accepting changing times. At this current moment this means pandering to the online retail community and developing new properties accordingly.

The paper touches on other influences, floods, tsunamis and so on, whilst inevitably Brexit gets a look in. The report says for many, if not most, firms there is currently in place a ‘core capacity’ strategy with excesses simply covered by costly emergency storage on a short term basis. Bis Henderson, as a vested interest, naturally recommends the use in future of a ‘space broker’ to identify peaks and troughs in advance and purchase warehousing accordingly.

This policy reflects those recommended by such as the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) which has a host of members all well versed in matching storage requirements to a variety of customer needs. Through services such as its Search the Market programme clients can find suitable brokers with excess space in the geographical area they are concerned with.

The one thing certain in this current situation is uncertainty. Those logistics outfits that can undertake a thorough and accurate review of their warehousing needs in these changing time will avoid the extra costs and shortfalls that the demand for instant warehousing all too often brings.

Photo: Image courtesy of Bis Henderson Space.