Schoeller Allibert UK has indicated that a ‘perfect storm’ is brewing in the UK warehousing and logistics sector, irrespective of Brexit.

As adoption of e-commerce continues to accelerate in 2021 due to the pandemic, a general undersupply of warehousing property and lack of domestic manufacturing capacity in the returnable transit packaging (RTP) industry will see the warehousing and logistics sector set for unprecedented challenges in the next few months.

It’s clear that the long-term impact of the pandemic is likely to see online shopping become the norm for consumers. Online retail growth is already creating significant pressure on the industry to efficiently meet demand.

On top of this, while the warehousing market itself was already buoyant before the public health crisis hit the UK, a general undersupply of warehousing property in the key logistics hotspots of The Midlands and The South has seen demand outstrip supply, resulting in capacity expansion challenges and cost pressures. Established leading online retailers, supermarket chains and third party logistics operators, alongside the NHS, are all seeking to rapidly increase their distribution capabilities to respond to the UK’s challenges.

From our position in the supply chain, we can see that the returnable packaging systems used to support the sector are critically under capacity from a UK manufacturing perspective. Even with significant investment in 2021, this is unlikely to come on stream before 2022, creating further pressure for systems integrators and supply chain operators to meet demand. All of this is essentially creating a perfect storm for the industry!

In 2020, Schoeller Allibert announced a multi-million-pound investment in its Winsford, UK business to expand capacity and create new flexible automation to help meet the challenges of the industry. In addition, the company has announced several new product launches designed for system integrators supporting its expansion in the e-commerce sector.

Clearly Brexit is challenging enough, but the warehousing and logistics sector is being hit from all sides. At Schoeller Allibert, we are working with a range of clients and systems integrators in the UK to deliver the latest RTP technology which provides the cost down, efficiency and sustainability gains they require. We are also expanding capacity to meet the needs of the UK market with domestically produced solutions avoiding the Brexit problems faced by many.