London Gateway’s first warehouse begins Ops

london gateway WHLondon Gateway Logistics Park’s first warehouse began operating last week, with the Common User Facility set to be 60% allocated within the next few months, owner DP World said.

Graeme Clark, implementation director for London Gateway, told delegates at Multimodal that the multi-year project to build the port and its logistics infrastructure had entered a new phase of its implementation, urging supply chain companies and retailers to buy into the facility before their competitors do.

Phase 1 of the 386,000 sq ft multipurpose cargo-handling centre sees the opening of 185,000 sq ft complete with 15,000 rack positions. Operated on DP World’s behalf by Southampton-based Import Services, it will provide logistics services and activities on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis, ranging from basic devanning to cross-docking, storage and value-added activities such as pick-and-pack, labelling, pre-retail and distribution.

Mike Thomas, client services director at Import Services, said around 60% had already been taken up with 3PL business.

“We also have a chunk that is going to be well facilitated for cross-dock container traffic through the port,” he said.

“High-value fulfilment is core, but cross-docking is key too. We got the keys yesterday and we will be moving product into that building from next week onwards.”

Meanwhile, Clark said DP World’s 30,000 sqm (316,000 square foot) joint distribution facility with Prologis was expected to be ready by September, co-managed and marketed by the two organisations. He said that the aim is for it to be a single-user facility, with Clarke expecting its tenant would more likely be a 3PL than a retailer or other shipper.

He said there had been interest from lots of people in facilities within London Gateway Logistics Park.

“If you think of the top 20 companies, retailers, online retailers, and the people who serve them, they have all been there and none of them has said this is not for me. As this grows, I would anticipate that they will all want to be here.”

He said as supply chains evolved, due to new business models, customers needs were changing, which may mean facility providers may need to be more flexible too.

“We can be as flexible as we need to,” he said. “If someone wants to invest in a building, or if they want to make a commitment for five years or 25 years, we can talk with them about that.”

He said that this may include e-commerce companies, and some had already shown an interest.

“But they like to keep their powder dry,” he said.


(Source: Lloyd’s Loading List)

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