A recent study carried out by property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton’s has claimed that the UK is running out of commercial warehouse space.
An apparent shortage of logistical warehousing space could put internet retailers under pressure by 2020, according to their research.
The report even went as far as to say that if the current developments of retailers continued at its elevated rate then the available warehouse space in the UK wouldn’t be enough to contain the current growth and demand.
The report concluded that a significant increase in construction over the next two to four years would be needed in order to fill the void.
Rental Warehousing Space
There are new warehouses being developed all the time, however the amount of space that is planned for the next few years just isn’t capable of sustaining the growth and increasing technological demands of internet retailers. The demands of the customers has largely contributed to the increase on e-commerce retailers, as they look to service their clients more efficiently.
In line with these findings, the British Retail Consortium also confirmed that online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 10.7% compared to the same period in 2015, so there is certainly an indication that the findings may not be without foundation.
So what’s the Solution?
Should the findings put forward come to fruition, then how do logistics firms cope with the lack of space available?
The solution could be simple: learn to work within a space restricted environment.
Traditionally, products have been distributed to retailers in bulk, utilising pallets and cases, however the smaller spaces may prevent the use of large and heavy items.
How to Implement a Solution…
Automation contributes to the minimisation of manual procedures, resulting in more accurate orders, improved economics, lower labour costs and worker travel times, fewer returns, and space saved by operating with a smaller footprint.
Recent investments in automation by e-commerce companies has been driven by a desire to improve picking, packing and shipping, with the focus of eradicating so many mistakes in the picking process.
The recent upsurge in customer demand, particularly in the online retail sector, has forced online retailers to think outside the box. However, given the lack of available space, the latest investments have been designed to stream line the processes and ensure that these companies can service their customers without mistakes, whilst also learning how to work effectively within a confined space.