Demand for warehouse construction soars

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Demand for online buying drove the worth of warehouse-construction projects to much than treble past year.

The warehouse and logistics manufacture was worthy £5.59bn successful 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). That represents a grounds precocious since the ONS started measuring the sector's worth successful 1985. It besides dwarfed the £2.29bn assemblage worth successful 2020, having jumped by astir 150 per cent.

Contractors specialising successful the concern assemblage thrived past year, with Winvic predicting that the warehouse roar would origin its turnover to astir double successful the twelvemonth ending 31 January 2021. That would instrumentality its turnover to astir £1bn.

The contractor scooped a £58m occupation to make a 600,000 quadrate ft warehouse for Segro successful Kettering, and a £45m warehousing task successful Northampton for Newlands Development, measuring 820,000 quadrate feet successful total.

Construction Products Association economics manager Noble Francis said the operation assemblage was benefitting "from a semipermanent inclination towards warehouses and a much caller large structural displacement to warehouses, too".

The inclination towards online buying implicit the past 15 years led to the archetypal summation successful demand, helium said. Data from the ONS suggests the worth of the assemblage started to summation successful 2012, earlier the immense leap successful worth betwixt 2020 and 2021.

"The much caller displacement has occurred since the archetypal [COVID] lockdown successful March 2020, and with a higher proportionality of bureau workers spending much clip moving from location than pre-pandemic – and with retail having been closed for immoderate parts of the past 2 years – determination person been surges successful request for online buying and, consequently, concern warehousing space," helium added.

"In addition, the planetary proviso concatenation issues that galore manufacturers person faced successful the past 2 years means that galore firms person been looking to summation warehouse abstraction for stocks to woody with immoderate further proviso issues."

Francis forecast that the roar would proceed into 2023.

Property improvement and operation steadfast Henry Boot’s fiscal show successful 2021 was besides bolstered by the precocious demand, which led it to get onshore successful Welwyn Garden City, Rainham and Manchester implicit the people of the year.

In October, a associated task led by the Berkeley Group pledged that it would develop the archetypal multistorey warehouse successful the UK, again for Segro. The six-storey warehouse (pictured) is planned for westbound London.

Contractors based oregon progressive successful the UK person besides been joined by planetary players successful the warehousing manufacture implicit the past fewer years. In 2020, planetary logistics steadfast Prologis said that it would plough astir £1.5bn into the development of zero-carbon warehouses successful England.