Feature, Freight News, Logistics

London Gateway starts work on new site but loses M&S development

[ May 20, 2014   //   ]

DP World has awarded Buckingham Group the contract to build the Common User Facility at London Gateway Logistics Park. With ground preparation and infrastructure development complete, Buckingham Group is now mobilising to start construction, with the new logistics centre planned for completion in early 2015. The 375,000sq ft centre will be built in two phases.

DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem described it as “a highly significant milestone for both DP World London Gateway and London Gateway Logistics Park because it opens the doors for UK importers and exporters both large and small to shorten their supply chains and take advantage of the UK’s most modern port to bring their goods close to the major market of London and the South East.  It also offers customers a catalyst for collaboration and improved asset utilisation, with occupiers sharing warehousing and transportation, saving costs whilst improving their own customer service with shorter replenishment cycles.”

DP World London Gateway commercial director Peter Ward added that the facility could offer companies supplementary capacity or act as an ‘incubator opportunity’ to build up critical mass from an initial smaller presence. “For businesses with existing commitments and infrastructure, the Common User Facility allows London Gateway to be added to distribution networks as a strategic de-vanning and collection point, particularly beneficial for those serving the South East and currently facing empty backhaul. With the rapidly changing multi-channel retail landscape, the introduction of a Common User Facility at London Gateway Logistics Park will support increased agility and flexibility of customers’ supply chains.”

With 9m sq ft of warehousing and office accommodation, the London Gateway Logistics Park will be the largest of its kind in Europe. The Common User Facility will offer 24/7 operation, and the benefit of shared labour and materials handling equipment. The facility will include cross-docking, storage, distribution and multi-user ‘pay-as-you-go’ services.

But there was also disappointment for the new London port after retailer Marks & Spencer announced that it would not proceed with a major planned logistics facility there, instead opting to develop its inland distribution facilities including the new facility at Castle Donington opened last May.

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