Throughout the UK, from the Port of Tyne to the Port of Tilbury, plans are in place to invest and expand infrastructure and new warehouse space to accommodate growing business to UK shores.

Port of Blyth is set to make a £12m investment in new warehouses and port infrastructure after a second consecutive year of record financial figures. Through the fast-growing development of offshore energy related activities, the Port is now viewed as ‘one of the UK’s fastest growing Trust Ports’. Adapting to the changing environment of growing business is going to be key for the Port of Blyth expansion, with new warehousing a hot topic.

Further south Tilbury2, which is well on course to being operational in the summer of 2020, will have a new large storage area designed for a fast paced changing logistical environment. To support the expansion, national rail and road connections will be developed to the port. The Port of Tilbury has said that the warehouse expansion is needed to be able to handle the demand of construction materials and an increase in ferry traffic carrying consumer goods, food and drink and steel between Europe and the UK.

As well as a warehouse for Amazon UK, which is set to be operational by autumn 2018, other warehouses are needed at the port’s second extension site. Planning for the future, and the type of warehouse selected is very important. Many companies that will be using these facilities require great flexibility to support any changes to their business and operational needs. Under these circumstances, traditional fixed warehouses often aren’t as cost-effective in the long term.

An alternative and sustainable forward planning solution to this ever-changing environment is a long-term, semi-permanent fabric structure. This type of warehouse helps save on costs and is able to adapt to the changing requirements of the end user.

Port warehouse specialist Rubb Buildings has been working alongside Belfast Harbour for many years and the harbour has found that, when costing against a traditional shed, that a Rubb fabric warehouses easily has a 30+ years life span and that this modular designed fabric building is easily relocatable and extendable.

The driving demand is for #AlternativeSolutions: cost effective, large span buildings that will accommodate materials storage and handling, while meeting the highest of standards with regard to materials used. There is also a high demand for custom designed structures to suit onsite requirements.

Benefits of fabric clad port and marine buildings include flexibility of design, speed of project completion and low running costs due to the virtually maintenance free nature of the structure and naturally bright interior.

Structural Engineer Dale Robinson explains: “Rubb fabric port buildings are manufactured using the highest quality steel, hot dip galvanized to strengthen and protect the frame from corrosion. They are clad with a PVDF coated fabric which offers a high resistance to algae and fungal growth, with excellent self-cleaning properties, ensuring minimal maintenance is required. These facilities can be used to store a wide range of materials.”