Storage Containers: The Answer to Britain’s Warehouse Woes

With an extraordinary boom in online shopping predicted in the coming years, it has been forecast by property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) that, by the year 2020, the UK will be short of  approximately 25 Million square feet of warehouse space.

National head of Industrial and Logistics at LSH, Steve Williams, highlighted this issue in LSH’s annual Industrial and Logistics Market Report, saying “Whilst we’ve seen new warehouses being developed over the past couple of years, the amount of new space being planned simply can’t keep pace with the demands of internet retailers and their distributors. Unless developers start building warehouses at a rate that we haven’t witnessed during the 20 years I’ve been working in the sector, or major occupiers like Amazon are prepared to wait 12 months for delivery by building it themselves, we could run out of logistics space before the end of the decade.”

This may seem surprising given that online shopping giants Amazon have 8 fulfilment centres based in the UK, totalling over 5 million square feet and clothing retailer ASOS has a warehouse equating to the size of 6 football pitches. But the problem is not just one of space; in an ever-competitive market, companies are also attempting to deliver products quicker and more efficiently, meaning more warehouses in more locations.

This problem stresses the need to either find an alternative to excessive amounts of warehouse space – or for consumers to abandon their growing addiction to E-Commerce. As the latter seems highly unlikely, one possible answer to the forthcoming shortage of permanent storage space is storage containers.

While making up the 25 million square feet deficit would take over 78,000 storage containers – which would initially suggest that this may not be a legitimate solution to the problem – the flexible and affordable nature of storage containers allows them to play an essential part filling both temporary and permanent demand.

In reality, neither storage containers nor warehouses are the sole answer to the UK’s cargo space concerns, and it is most likely necessary that both means are utilised in order to maximise the country’s storage capabilities.

If your e-commerce business requires additional storage and you’re worried about warehouse space shortage, the increase in warehouse pricing that is likely to accompany it, or the long term nature of warehousing contracts, contact Mobile Mini to find out how our secure storage containers provide a more flexible and affordable solution.