Consumer behaviour is ever-changing in this modern, digital age. As such, businesses and companies are constantly expected to be able to keep up with demand. The Coronavirus pandemic has meant that more people than ever before are purchasing items online, in turn, putting an increasing amount of pressure on fulfilment and distribution centres across the country. Each of these fulfilment centres will use a wide range of different warehouse machinery and forklift trucks on a daily basis.
However, there are a number of them who have the space, resources and the workforce to be able to meet consumer needs and some of the biggest warehouses are located right here in the United Kingdom. So where are they, who owns them and just how vast are they?
Amazon Fulfilment Centre
Location: Dunfermline, Scotland
Size: 1m sq. ft.
There are many warehouses located throughout Britain, all of which are needed in order to keep up with growing demand for convenient, fast delivery times and quality products. However, this fulfilment centre is in fact the largest in the country, coming in at 1 million square foot – the equivalent of 14 football pitches. Amazon pack and subsequently deliver a vast number of packages here and ship them out to customers.
During exceptionally busy times, such as Christmas, it’s thought that this particular fulfilment centre handles a sale every 64 seconds, made possible thanks to their 1,000-strong workforce. But should demand increase even further over their busiest times, then they have been known to draft in extra, temporary staff.
Shaw National Distribution Centre
Location: Lancashire, England
Size: 1m sq. ft.
Currently occupied by Shop Direct, who own companies such as Very and Littlewoods, it’s no wonder that they need a warehouse of this size. Here, thousands of products are stored and shipped out to their many online customers, but this distribution centre also handles all returns that are made. To help deal with the high demand, at its peak, the centre will employ around 1,250 local workers, making it one the region’s largest private employers.
Location: Reading, England
Size: 900,000 sq. ft.
This distribution centre is used by one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains. Opening in 2013 on the site of an old brewery, this centre currently employs around 1,500 people.Set on approximately 58 acres of land, it’s rumoured that this premises needs its own Highway Code in order for the forklifts and other warehouse machinery to operate in and around the site.
The supermarket chain in question has around 6,800 stores located across the world and has a current workforce of around 450,000 people, so it’s no surprise that they need a site this big to deal with customer demand, both online and in-store.
Location: Bristol, England
Size: 858,000 sq. ft.
Constellation is one of the biggest distributors of beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages. Considered to be the largest warehouse in Bristol, Constellation Park claims to be storing around 57 million bottles of wine, from all over the world, in this particular distribution centre. However, this isn’t just a storage or distribution centre.
There is also a dedicated, onsite bottling facility, enabling an efficient bottling process as and when product arrives on the premises. Not only does this save money, but it also improves productivity throughout. So much so, it’s said that they can bottle up to 800 different wines a minute. During peak times, Constellation Park can process up to 35 lorries worth of stock a day, equating to around 6 million bottles of wine.
Morrisons Distribution Centre
Location: Sittingbourne, England
Size: 900,000 sq. ft.
Despite already having 6 distribution centres across the country, their premises in Sittingbourne is by far the largest. It’s so large, that if you were to walk down all of the aisles, you’d have travelled 7 miles. The warehouse has to be big, however, in order to be able to supply their many stores. This particular centre ships products out to over 86 shops located in the region, as well as supplying customers with goods who have bought their shopping online.
This distribution centre also provides stock for nearby warehouses, located in Willow Green and Latimer, meaning they’re delivering to a further 145 stores as well as their own. In order to meet the growing demand, they deploy around 200 lorries everyday from this facility.
Location: Lutterworth, England
Size: 8.3m sq. ft.
Although this isn’t a single warehouse, it doesn cover an exceptionally large area of land, in fact, it’s Europe’s largest distribution location currently. Sitting on 550 acres of land, housing around 29 different companies, it covers an extremely large area and employees countless numbers of people in order to function.
It’s technically referred to as a logistics park, so within it are impressive levels of logistics management, HGV circulation control and also 24-hour security, all of which help the park to run as smoothly as possible at all times.
It’s located in what experts call, ‘The Golden Triangle’. This is because, being at the centre of the country, it has access to infrastructure and major transport links, including railways and roads. It’s so successful that it has been dubbed the “blueprint” for large-scale logistics locations, globally. As such, a second location was opened in Milton Keynes due to how well Magna Park has been performing.
Prologis RFI DIRFT
Location: Rugby, England
Size: 7.86m sq. ft.
Much like Magna Park, this is a logistics centre that houses a number of warehouses for several companies and occupants, including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Eddie Sotbart and more. No matter what sector a business may be in, they’ll find what they need, logistically, from this centre.
They offer warehouses that vary greatly in size, from 100,000 square foot to 1 million square foot, making them major contenders in the warehousing and material handling game. This site is also multi-modal, meaning they have access to three freight rail terminals, the West Coast mainline and excellent road links.
As well as retail and transportation, this centre are also able to work with industries such as, but not limited to:
Multy Lift are material handling experts with over 35 years of experience in the industry. We’ll be able to provide you with warehouse machinery and equipment to meet your operational requirements and your budget. No matter what it is you need, our team of knowledgeable experts will be able to help. For more information about our products and services, get in touch with us today – we’re always on hand to help.