warehousing, handling & storage

loCal eXPertise Can Be KeY to seCuring warehousing sites

FlexIble apprOacH it is common knowledge that the Brexit stockpiling frenzy, rise of ecommerce and the major matter of a pandemic was, and still is, significantly impacting the logistics sector in the uK. as a result of these concurrences businesses that might have been looking to slim down or make their supply chains leaner, have been strengthening them instead by holding more inventory and that has led to unprecedented levels of warehousing occupation. in this perfect storm, the prime land available

to meet demand for warehousing is at a premium and is also in conflict with local authorities, which are being pressured by the government to free up more space for housing. this is making new building land difficult to purchase, especially the minimum four-acre sites required for the 60,000-80,000sq ft commercial market - and so is pushing up costs. this shortage of supply and high demand is

altering the focus toward acquiring land that has existing buildings on them – maybe rundown and dilapidated but priced according to their condition. For example, onward looks for anything suitable that comes up for sale as long as it has inherent improvement potential so that value can be added through modernisation.

lOcaTION IS key when looking for a site what should stand out? Firstly location, location, location. Preferably main road frontage with easy access to the motorway network and other transport links. But however well positioned, be aware of the micro environment. on the downside if it is surrounded by housing, you are likely to encounter the school run, while a busy and popular plot could also lead to vehicle congestion. Price is of course a significant factor. this is

where knowledge of the economic geography of a region is key – in the current climate 30 miles can alter land values by over 100 per cent. Beware of wading into a location you are not familiar with. onward’s portfolio of commercial properties is in the Yorkshire area, particularly the sought-after M62 corridor, where we know the values and that

Is your business struggling to find a suitable warehouse site? Is your supply chain stretched to breaking point because of a lack of parts or are you desperate to boost storage capacity? Thinking of trading up, down or out with your commercial property? Here Neil Storey, director of commercial property specialist Onward Holdings, spells out how local expertise can help businesses seeking to build resilience into their supply chains during these unprecedented times.

enables us to enter this market with confidence. however, if onward was tempted to purchase some units down south, it could easily get it wrong because it does not have familiarity. length of lease is another overriding issue. in

the past businesses have been shy about committing to a long-term view. this is changing because of the shortage of units, enabling landlords and owner occupiers to be a bit more forceful when it comes to negotiating. after a decade of short leases being the norm following the 2008 crash, five to 15-year leases are becoming more commonplace as businesses seek to secure the premises they need to grow, in an ever-decreasing pool of available stock.

DO NOT OverDevelOp resist the temptation to ‘over-egg’ a new development. discipline yourself not to crowd it out, but put something of institutional quality in place. when onward purchased a four-acre site on the green lane industrial estate in Featherstone it already had planning permission for small multiple industrial units: onward could have crammed a lot of units on the site – but the company was thinking bigger! it knew that the plot offered great access to the major transport links to all four corners of the uK making it an ideal location to develop a major logistics facility, hence the building of the Phoenix 66 warehouse.

16 June 2021 | FaCtorY&handlingsolutions

Purchasing a rundown plot and turning it into a high-quality warehouse takes considerable investment in time and money but onward recognised that there was a nationwide shortage of the size of unit that it planned to build. the company’s spec was to design a high-quality warehouse that would attract a blue-chip client – and it proved successful. despite CoVid restrictions and lockdowns

easing, bricks-and-mortar retail is still struggling to come back in vogue with consumers, as more and more goods are being purchased online and shipped directly to homes rather than taking different routes via the high street and out-of- town shopping developments. the competition with the residential sector and the likes of internet giants amazon expanding its fulfilment and logistics network is taking up capacity rapidly. the shortage of suitable warehousing is having a significant impact on the uK economy’s recovery from the CoVid-19 pandemic, especially for those businesses seeking storage solutions to protect their supply chain, whether caused by Brexit or an interruption to the flow of goods from China. however, using local commercial property expertise can help you source high-quality logistics facilities that will cater for backlogs and volume issues alike.

Onward Holdings

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