The Brexit episode hasn’t been much fun for Britain’s warehouses, facing the need to build up stocks ahead of the anticipated bottleneck at our ports and the problem of where to store them.

At least Britain’s businesses have been able to turn to temporary buildings as a flexible way to manage their short-term space needs without the delay or expense of finding conventional buildings or the inconvenience and disruption of moving.

Specialist multi-temperature supply chain operator Oakland International, who supply chilled, frozen and ambient food to the UK and Ireland’s major supermarket chains, turned to Spaciotempo for a solution to the need to expand their capacity for short-term stock holding on behalf of customers.

Oakland International Chief Executive and Co-Founder Dean Attwell told WLN: “During the uncertainty around Brexit, the need for our customers to extend their existing stockholding with us has become an everyday requirement. I saw Spaciotempo semi-permanent buildings during a visit to a customer in Ireland and could picture it working for our Redditch facility, particularly because of its classification as a non-permanent construction.”

Spaciotempo took just 14 days to install the building, so Oakland could begin using the additional space in a short space of time, with the option to purchase the building outright at the end of the contract. Unlike Oakland, car seat manufacturer Britax didn’t have Brexit angst but they too wanted to make best use of their existing space and save on off-site storage.

Britax gained over 10,000 sq ft of on-site warehousing with a 65 metres long temporary building from Aganto. Incidentally Aganto is also helping businesses develop in another way, by sponsoring the Best New Member Award at this year’s UKWA Awards, which goes to the UKWA member showing the highest professional standards of warehousing since joining the Association.

As well as rapid installation, another benefit of temporary buildings is that they can be fixed to a variety of hard surfaces, including concrete, tarmac, hard core or block paving. But the best benefits of these structures are their longevity and the ability to transfer them to other locations. As recently reported, the Port of Tilbury is still reaping the benefits of a 30-year-old Rubb warehouse, which has been brought back to life several times to support the relocation goals of Tilbury Port planners and a long-term customer.

The original temporary warehouse, a 30m twin span x 102m long structure, was constructed in 1990 and located at Berth 42, Port of Tilbury. Ten years later, the structure was relocated to Berth 45 and extended to 138m long to accommodate a new customer in a long-term contract. At that point the warehouse configuration was a drive-through facility with openings in the gable. After the customer moved out, in 2015 the structure was dismantled by a third party and put into storage.

In the latest incarnation, instead of building a new warehouse to relocate Tilbury’s long-term road and rail logistics customer Maritime, port officials called in Rubb to adapt the warehouse to a 30m twin span x 78m long structure, to support Maritime’s relocation and current business needs. It’s an impressive story.

BILL REDMOND

Features Editor