DP World, one of the world's largest port operators, has started work on a new speculative warehouse at London Gateway’s port-centric logistics park amid higher demand from customers.
The company plans to fast track the completion of the 11,055 square metre green warehouse in the third quarter of 2023 after handling “a record volume of cargo” at its UK logistics hubs in the first half of the year, DP World said on Wednesday. It did not disclose the total investment in the project.
Demand for premium warehousing reached “unprecedented" levels in south-east England, the port operator said.
Between January and June, London Gateway recorded a throughput of 1,013,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a 10 per cent increase on the previous best half-yearly performance in the second half of 2021.
The strong performance contributed to a record volume of cargo for DP World’s ports in the UK, with a combined total of 1,937,000 TEUs when factoring in throughput at Southampton, Britain’s second largest container terminal, the company said.
“At the size of 400 football pitches, our rapidly expanding logistics park is the biggest of its kind in Europe and will become home to a workforce of around 12,000 within the next seven years,” said Oliver Treneman, park development director at DP World in the UK.
“The site’s outstanding road links, access to an adjacent rail terminal and proximity to both London and a deep-water port will cut transport costs for customers.”
Demand for warehouses has increased globally as e-commerce business grows in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Companies have boosted their investments in buying warehouses in the past two years, including Bahrain-based investment bank GFH Financial Group, among others.
DP World said four major new tenants have leased warehouses at London Gateway’s logistics park in the past 12 months.
Transmec and Magnum, two leading logistics businesses, also signed up earlier this year after London City Bond, a leading UK bonded warehousing provider, and Oasis Group, a secure information and data storage service provider, said they would set up base there.
DP World, which operates ports, terminals and logistics businesses on six continents, continues to make major investments in the UK as it looks to boost capacity at its ports.
Last year, it announced a £300 million ($340.08m) investment in a fourth berth at London Gateway, which will lift the capacity of the port by a third when it opens in 2024.
DP World reported a 52 per cent jump in its first-half profit to $721 million as revenue during the period rose 60 per cent to $7.9 billion, driven by higher cargo volumes.