Amazon’s fast growth impacting UK warehouse availability

Delegates at a logistics conference in Birmingham were told that Amazon is having a real impact on the availability of warehouse space in the UK. Its rapid growth is causing major supply and demand issues.

Speaking at a UK Warehouse Association (UKWA) seminar earlier this week, Mark Thornton, Marketing Director of omnichannel and e-commerce technology provider Maginus, said that Amazon currently own 13 fulfilment centres and 22 delivery stations in the UK, and expects to be complemented by an additional million square-feet of warehousing later this year.

“In 2016, 25% of the available warehouse space in the entire country was taken up by Amazon, which led to a 71% reduction in total available space in the country, and that has had an obvious effect on the rest of the market,” he said.

“Rents have subsequently increased for everyone and, in some places, have gone up by 20%.”

Speaking at the same seminar, John Eynon, Managing Director of Southampton-headquartered Import Services, said that one of the most important impacts of Amazon’s growth in the UK is that it has “raised the expectation of the consumer, although there are still plenty of opportunities for other retailers.”

Eynon added that there is also an expectation of the 3PLs working for the e-commerce giant to emulate the same high-service standards.

During the question and answer session, the panel was asked to give their views on the possible challenges posed by disruptive technologies such as crowdsourced on-demand delivery service providers such as Uber Rush.

Enyon suggested caution: “It’s very easy to get a cheap courier – what you need is a good quality point of delivery, and I am not sure I would trust Uber with that.”  
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