The “crippling” impact of London’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) has forced logistics firm Perishable Movements Limited (PML) to move some of its operations out of London to Kent, the company said this week.

PML, which employs 100 staff, has begun a phased move this week into a 100,000 sq ft satellite site at Lympne Distribution Park.

It said the new £3.5m site offers an alternative route in and out of Heathrow which avoids the Greater London LEZ zone and its charges.

Announcing the move, the logistics firm slammed London Mayor Sadiq Khan for failing to respond to an impassioned letter MD Mike Parr (pictured) sent earlier this year warning that the LEZ would force businesses out of London.

In a statement the logistics firm said: “Following the ensuing radio silence post a letter to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan challenging the crippling effect that extending the Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) will have on its business, global perishable cargo specialist Perishable Movements Ltd (PML) has taken the decision to move some of its operations out to Kent.”

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PML said it also plans to apply for HMRC and DEFRA-approved Border Control Post (BCP) status to enable a faster transit of consignments out of the Port of Dover which will extend the shelf life of temperature sensitive cargo - PML’s core business - by up to four hours.

PML is spending £1m refurbishing the facility and plans to open the site in around 16 weeks’ time. It has two cold stores, 14 dock levellers, parking for up to 60 trailers. The warehouse will handle daily consignments of food for packing, loading and unloading and has the capacity to process between 80 and 100 truck movements a day.

PML will begin to process ambient cargo at the facility in around 18 months’ time. It said the move will create around 30 new office and warehouse jobs.

Commenting on the move, Parr said, “This is a massive step for PML and once again demonstrates our commitment to spearheading new initiatives which challenge the status quo. The new site is located just two miles from Junction 11 of the M20 and really couldn’t offer a more desirable location.

“In addition to proximity to the ports and Heathrow, we anticipate that haulage drivers will also appreciate the efficient and seamless service we will be able to deliver, enabling them to leave the trailer onsite while they take a rest break, as opposed to sitting in a queue worrying about the lengthy delays which could seriously impact on the condition of their perishable cargo.

“This will be a totally unique facility – there is nothing else that compares with it in the area and we are excited to be the force behind such a major industry development.”