Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Warehousing Body Opens to Retailers and Manufacturers Not Just 3PLs and Logistics Suppliers

UKWA Welcomes Household Names to the Association
Shipping News Feature
UK – Originally established as a trade body for the third party warehousing and logistics sector, the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) membership has, until now, only been open to those companies that provide outsourced third party logistics (3PL) services together with suppliers of products and equipment used by the warehousing industry. As we mentioned in a piece last week now UKWA membership is no longer restricted to companies operating in these traditional trade sectors. Essentially this means companies that undertake warehousing and logistics tasks but for whom such operations do not represent their core business, such as retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers, are now free to join the association.

John Lewis, Homebase and Claire’s Accessories are among the first retail companies to sign up to UKWA’s new membership category which allows retailers and manufacturers who manage their own logistics and supply chain operations ‘in house’ to become part of the association. UKWA’s chief executive officer, Peter Ward, reinforced his comments last week, saying:

“The decision to ‘open our doors’ to companies whose primary business is not logistics has been driven by the demands of retailers and manufacturing companies who want access to the best practice advice and knowledge that UKWA can provide.

“Brexit aside, the logistics sector is facing a period of unprecedented and rapid change and it is important that companies in the retail and manufacturing space are able to work with UKWA and its 3PL members as we all strive to shape Britain’s supply chains and respond to the many opportunities that lie ahead, while managing the prevailing risks of uncertainty.

“By opening up its membership criteria, UKWA will become a forum where retailers, manufacturers and 3PL service suppliers can exchange ideas and this can only benefit the development of the modern supply chain.”

Direct delivery from retail hubs is changing the face of traditional warehousing and, as we reported last week, spearheading this initiative, and as part of the growing influence of the sector on UKWA’s activities, John Munnelly, head of operations at John Lewis Partnership’s Magna Park logistics centre, has joined UKWA’s management board.

Photo: Some idea of the size and scope of John Lewis’ semi-automated warehousing operations can be gauged by this shot, or on line videos like this one.