The owner of a warehouse and distribution facility in Pontypool is reporting record demand for space in their 250,000 sqft warehouse and distribution centre and has created eight new roles as a direct result.
Almost all the available space in the secure E-Warehousing facility on Mamhilad Business Park has been leased to a mixture of retail and industrial clients.
The uncertainty caused by Brexit, the threat of tariffs on imported goods from China and the removal of the Severn Bridge Tolls which has made transportation and storage costs in the region considerably cheaper than those just over the border are, in the opinion of Paul Seward, managing director of E-Warehousing, the primary reasons for the increase in demand.
“Without getting into the politics of Brexit and the China situation, essentially businesses are concerned about the impact of these factors on the supply chains over the coming months,” explained Paul Seward. “Whilst we expect our retail clients to start building up their stocks for the Christmas season at this time of the year, we have seen a significant increase in the amount of stock they are storing in the warehouse and many are telling us that is to counter any potential future problems regarding importing goods from Europe and China.”
This is a national trend for warehouses throughout the UK with occupancy rates at near capacity across the board. The UK Warehousing Association reports that 75% of their members are unable to take on more business from new customers and 85% had received Brexit related enquiries.
Prices have increased accordingly which has led to companies looking further afield from the usual hotbeds for storage around the M25 corridor and major seaports. Paul Seward commented, “South Wales has always been very competitive in terms of storage fees but when the additional transportation costs have been factored in then the business case to use warehouses and distribution centres here was harder to justify. This isn’t the case now due to the previously mentioned reasons and the scrapping of the Severn Bridge tolls has also had a positive impact.”
The company is now bringing forward expansion plans and is currently looking for another unit in the region to provide bulk storage and distribution and to mirror the online order fulfilment services they currently provide in their Kenilworth offices.