NewCold looks for additional premises as Brexit heralds' storage opportunities for the UK

Potential customs clearance delays and the consequent increase in demand for UK warehousing for buffer stocks has led frozen distribition specialist NewCold to investigate possibilities for a new UK site.

According to NewCold country director Jon Miles the movement of goods from central European hubs into the UK will become more complex if, as expected, the UK leaves the Customs Union.

“Currently, it is possible for a food producer to store product in a warehouse close to the coast in Belgium or France and deliver directly into UK distribution centres within acceptable lead times," he said. "However, a recent study by Imperial College London has indicated that even an additional two-minute stop at customs checkpoints could lead to the final 40 miles of the journey to the Channel Tunnel taking five hours.

"The time and risk associated with these increased journey times will mean that the most obvious solution is to store the products closer to the market in the UK.”

NewCold is soon to add 600,000 cu m of fully-automated deep-frozen storage and handling capacity to its Wakefield site.

“Frozen food handling in the UK is already in peak demand,” said Miles. “We have developed the Wakefield facility in line with the projected long-term requirements of our key customers, and positive market outlook.

"Kantar World panel reported volume up by 2% in 2018, and this annual growth is expected to continue for at least the next five years. Phase two of the Wakefield site expansion lifts our capacity to 143,000 pallets but even so, we expect to be 70% full by June 2018. Add this to the increase in storage demand which is likely to be caused by Brexit and it is clear to see why we need to make provision for an additional UK facility.”

NewCold’s fleet has also been recently increased to 50 tractor units and 75 temperature-controlled trailers.