Welcome to our new-year edition where the action in the environmental and e-commerce sectors is giving much food for thought, especially for the latter now that the Brexit seems settled, so that business can now plan with more confidence.

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First up, congratulations must surely go to Amco Services International (front page) UK, European and international warehousing and logistics experts, for achieving record results in 2019 and some great new business contracts in time for this year. A specialist in the automotive, manufacturing and engineering sectors, Amco began life 36 years ago as a specialist shipping and freight forwarder for Formula One teams, and in the last three years alone notched up 53% growth. Understanding the needs of this market, they drew such international marques like Denso JLR, BMW, Ford, GM, Nissan and Toyota, among others. Today, spread over 24 UK sites, Amco has 400,000ft2 of warehousing (HMRC bonded) working 365 days a year 24/7. That, and understanding the needs of your clients, is true dedication for any winning team.

Why not also check out what leading 3PL provider, Wincanton, is doing to ratchet up the pace towards a cleaner transport system. In a recent contract with Adidas it is providing an all-electric Daimler FUSO e-Canter 7.5 tonne truck for the Wincanton-operated Adidas distribution centre at Trafford Park, Manchester. It can cover 120 miles on one charge with a 4.5 tonne payload, making it ideally suited for urban deliveries.

Network Director at Wincanton, Andy de Vere, said: “This new vehicle shows that Wincanton is thinking differently about logistics and addressing the challenges we are all facing. Interest in these vehicles is a key part of Wincanton’s innovation roadmap and its growth plan for the future of urban distribution. In March 2018 it became the first UK 3PL to introduce production level electric vehicles to its fleet with five FUSO eCanters for deliveries in inner London.”

The robust pace towards e-commerce is now well known but perhaps less so is the accelerating pace towards wholly dedicated e-warehouses and distribution centres where costs can be much lower than the hybrid centres that still account for the majority of e-fulfilment operations. This is one of the findings published by analysts, Retail Economics, referred to by Martin Whitworth, head of commercial property at Gotelee solicitors.

According to a recent report, online shopping could double its retail market share by 2028, up from a fifth at present, creating a significant impact on logistics. As an example, the commercial team at Gotelee were acquainted with the changing nature of logistics by Steven Basey-Fisher, MD of Century Logistics, centred in the East Anglia region. He explained that there was huge potential for growth in the region. “In January we begin our vendor flex arrangement with Amazon whereby they take space in our warehouse to store, pack and ship goods. It makes sense for goods to be accessed from as many different points in the country, rather than just the historic golden triangle of the Midlands. There are about 30 companies working this arrangement with Amazon. Central hubs are not up to the job,” believes Mr Basey-Fisher.

The result of all this upheaval is that a new breed of shed is being designed explicitly for the demands of online shopping and even an entire logistics e-fulfilment park is being developed along the A14 in Suffolk, a UK first. This means that the traditional companies need to take notice to ensure they are not left behind.

Here’s to a great 2020!!

James Surridge

Publishing Editor

james@warehousenews.co.uk