Our nation’s capital is the central hub for storage and warehousing. Heathrow is of interest when it comes to looking at how the UK organizes and distributes cargo. The high volume of cargo being stored and shipped here is no surprise, but how does this effect other factors when it comes to the UKs storage and warehousing needs?

The UK in general experienced its strongest warehouse take up for several years recently. Around 2.4 million sq. ft. of floorspace was let in the second half of the year, twice as much as previous years, and a very good indicator that the industry isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

Order patterns, order volumes, speed of delivery and narrowing margins have meant that London has had to utilise capacity in the warehousing industry and focus on clever logistics to get a free-flowing service that all stakeholders can appreciate. Heathrow has already demonstrated how to implement these deliverables and become a functionally viable option on a global scale.

London has had plenty of investment over the last few years, with many seeing it as the perfect storage location or transhipment hub. With Heathrow close by any freight forwarder shipping smaller, precious cargo by air can reap the benefits of being close to one of the world’s largest and most active airports. It just so happens that it is also incredibly reliable and good for tracking your products whilst in storage. A win, win for any forwarder.

Consumer trends have led to warehousing and distribution becoming vital for London’s bustling economy. The new demand for internet procurement and global shipping, London’s proximity to ports, rail and other great transport links means that it has itself primed to be both a top importer and exporter. The only question is, where can we get more space and at what rapidly escalating cost?

An answer may lie with having bigger facilities just outside of London. With easy transport links into our capital to access the plethora of distribution methods, a more cost-effective and efficient method would be to take it slightly outside of the capital. This still has the benefit of being able to get your products next day, or even on the same day.

In a way, a call to action is required from the government and leading figures within warehousing and storage sector to further recognise the importance of the industry, and to deliver policy which facilitates the growth of space required for our industry to continue delivering.

Tim Dabbs, Head of Contract Logistics, NNR