Home Retail Strategically-located warehousing is key for a better, faster, greener supply chain

Strategically-located warehousing is key for a better, faster, greener supply chain

by Ozva Admin

Today’s supply chains must be more agile than ever. While the last mile has long been one of the biggest challenges for urban logistics, the continued growth of e-commerce has highlighted the need for improved capacity, greater flexibility, and resilience.

Consumer expectations are also growing. They want everything faster, better, greener. They expect their groceries to arrive in fifteen minutes, their packages in 24 hours, and their chosen retailers and brands to be sustainable, all of which add pressure to the last mile. So how does this happen? The answer is to improve supply chains, and this starts with location.

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Faster: optimize the last mile

Now there is a direct correlation between consumption habits, customer demand and industrial storage. Facility location is key as it creates opportunities to streamline the last mile and achieve greater speed to market, ultimately improving consumer satisfaction, while addressing two primary challenges retailers face: cost and carbon emissions.

Transportation represents approx. 50 – 70 percent of a company’s total logistics spend, and while consumers want fast and sustainable delivery, they are often unwilling to pay more for them. By bringing products to large consumer populations, retailers can significantly reduce transportation costs, protecting their margins and competitive advantage at a time of increasing delivery volumes and distances traveled.

At Goodman, we offer high-spec, sustainable properties in urban locations that bring our clients closer to consumers around the world. Here in the UK, the demand for strategically located storage space is high. In London and the South East alone, this reached a record 9.2 million square feet in 2021 – an increase of 16.4% year-on-year – as companies restructured their supply chains and invested in moving warehouses to where they are needed most.

Goodman’s Purfleet Retail Park is an excellent example. Located half a mile from junction 30/31 of the M25, the 343,281-square-foot warehouse is just 16 miles from central London, accommodating 21 million consumers within a two-hour journey time.[1] Fast connections to the national motorway network, excellent freight links and proximity to three international ports also make the location ideal for increasing supply chain efficiencies and supporting on-demand deliveries.

Better: serve consumers wherever they are

As the lines between physical and digital retail continue to blur, retailers are adapting their logistics networks to cater for all forms of fulfillment, and location can play a role.

Barclays expects further growth from ‘Click and Collect’, with nine out of ten retailers plans to invest in these services over the next five years. This growth, coupled with the need for convenient returns and positive in-store experiences, means that retailers must be able to fulfill orders anywhere, anytime.

Investing in warehouses and distribution facilities close to urban centers provides faster access to key transportation infrastructure and reduces transit times. By allowing stock to move faster, retailers can replenish store inventory more quickly, increasing efficiencies in their supply chains.

Greener: location and sustainability

The location also provides an opportunity to improve the environmental performance of retailers.

By locating essential infrastructure, such as warehouses and logistics centers, close to consumers, we help our customers operate more sustainably by reducing delivery miles and carbon emissions. This is particularly important as sustainability grows in importance to consumers when making purchasing decisions.

With more global cities creating Low Emission Zones to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion, electric delivery fleets are a necessity for those who serve consumers and stores located in these areas. This often requires on-site charging points and good connectivity to the external charging infrastructure.

One client looking to realize the sustainability benefits of the location is Mission Produce, a world leader in avocado marketing and distribution, which is opening its first UK facility at Goodman’s Crossways Commercial Park in Dartford, Kent. The park’s strategic location, just off junction 1a of the M25, offers quick access to London and the national motorway network, putting 11.7 million consumers within a 60-minute commute.[1]. The state-of-the-art ripening, packing and advancing distribution center is expected to help streamline import logistics and reduce transit times to UK customers, all while supporting Mission Produce to decarbonise its operations and supply chain .

Retail is changing rapidly. Storage in the right location can meet the challenge faster, better and greener and help retailers meet consumers’ need for speed and value in a sustainable way.

Charles Crossland is Managing Director of Goodman UK.

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