Tuesday 25th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Not just another cover-up

This year has been one of the hottest years on record, putting more pressure on areas of the UK already at risk from water shortages. Central London was faced with electricity ‘brown-outs’ last month, caused in part, by the over use of air-conditioning and an already stretched network.

The heatwave has not been bad for all business areas however, Magners cider has seen a huge increase in demand, not just in the UK, but in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, Japan and the Middle East.

The C&C Group, one of Ireland’s largest manufacturers and distributors of food and drink, says it was taken by surprise by the sudden rush of demand. Its existing stock holding area was completely inadequate for the escalating production levels, so needed to find an urgent solution for extra storage space.

John Hayes, head of logistics at the Tipperary site, considered hiring off-site space but decided against it, having experienced difficulties in controlling the stock and the additional expense in transport costs.

TempAstor provided 7,500 sq m of additional warehousing space made up of five buildings, 30m wide by 50m long and 6m high, each gutter-linked together. Included within the building specification was a double-skinned air-filled PVC Polyester coated roof and UPVC wall panels, both assisting with insulation.

The buildings also included twelve personnel fire doors, five electric roller shutter doors and 135 40 watt mercury lights. TempAstor says the hire contract is initially for two years and C&C will have the opportunity to renew it after that.

“Choosing the temporary building solution with TempAstor provided us with the precise amount of required space within the very short lead time of six weeks. Furthermore, we saved significant costs on the project by not having to rent off-site space.”

Variation might be able to teach NASA a thing or two when it comes to how you use space, with a very different kind of space programme.

Since the company’s launch last year, Variation’s “space programme” has so far turned over £1 million. The new project is a matchmaking scheme, that brings together companies in need of extra warehousing space and those who have dead space, which is not actually earning anything.

Variation says it has a growing list of high profile clients, who now see it as an essential part of their logistics resource, both on a regular and ad hoc basis.


Variation is the brainchild of Bill Howie and partner Graham Williams, both once from Tibbett & Britten, who together have some 50 years senior management experience working in the logistics industry and supply chain management.

Howie and Williams realised that millions of square feet of warehouse space across the UK lies idle- both in complete sites and part-filled warehousing. They also realised that this space represented a potential income loss to operators of around half a billion pounds a year, income which could potentially go directly to the bottom line.

Howie says: “The matchmaking idea was so obvious that we couldn’t understand why it wasn’t already being done. Our initial success has shown that there is real demand for flexible warehouse space -both short or long term -which wasn’t being met before, and this despite the fact that, however successful, every large warehouse operator has pockets of empty space all the time.

“We simply make that space earn its keep – adding to the bottom line for logistics operators in a new way, without any increase in costs. This is not just good housekeeping this is a new income stream.

“We are logistics specialists, not property agents – and our experience and knowledge of the marketplace mean that for our clients we can find, negotiate and manage those pockets of space which have not been available before.

“Our web-based location system and dedicated call centre also means that we can match clients’ space needs using several different operators if necessary, but still with a single point of contact, designing truly cost effective solutions, for both long and short term needs.”

Paul Harris of AVC is using Variation to maximise his warehouse space: “Frankly the space has always been there and we just didn’t have the resource to market it, our sales team has to concentrate on generating long term large contracts.

“Using Variation to sell otherwise dead areas of space means that our warehouses can operate more cost effectively without adding to the workload of our team. What is more, everyone benefits from Variation finding a customer for space that could otherwise be under-utilised.”

Jeff Dobbin of PZ Cussons has bought space using the system. He says: “Variation has filled a real gap in the marketplace not just by taking the hassle out of trying to find space off our shoulders, but in organising things so that we only need one point of contact, even when the solution may require contracts with several warehouse operators.”

Bolt-on structures

Mar-key Marquees has launched a specialist building called the “Bolt-On” structure. These are linked to existing trading floors and buildings by use of a heavy duty aluminium sealed frame and subsequently anchored to both the ground and main building. Natural light is allowed in by the use of a 20 per cent Kingspan translucent roof system and walling, relative ambient air temperature is maintained by the inclusion of three adjustable roof mounted air vents. It also has tinted laminated glass windows. The structure was built at the Goodmayes Tesco Superstore in Romford, Essex. Such “Bolt On” structures collectively provide a practical, flexible and cost effective alternative to traditional builds.

Aganto recently supplied Progression Presswork with a 15m by 25m by 4.2m high non-insulated structure, to provide covered storage for high value tooling parts at the company’s Market Drayton site. Aganto says that, as the parts are used in high precision engineering applications, it is imperative they are protected from the elements to prevent corrosion.

The structure has an industrial aluminium frame and security steel-clad side walls, along with a tensioned PVC roof system. There are two electric steel roller shutter doors – one situated in the gable and one along the eave – which provides access for the forklifts used to move the tooling parts.

Progression Presswork needed the extra storage space because of increased business at the facility and one of the main considerations was the tight timescale in which it needed to gain the additional space. Aganto was able to meet this need and supplied and erected the building in a very short time.

As well as benefiting from a speedy solution, by opting for the Aganto structure, Progression Presswork is now able to get economical and efficient use from an area of yard that was previously going to waste. The company has also avoided the costs and timescales associated with a new permanent building.

Aganto says it can provide clear span structures from five to 30m wide, with eave heights up to 6.2m, depending on the requirements of the application. As well as conducting an annual check-up on each structure, Aganto says that it provides an emergency call out service as part of its aftersales service.

Aganto has also provided a temporary structure to Land Clean, which specialises in the cleaning and decontamination of land, at one of its current sites in Northern England. Land Clean uses a mobile thermal desorption plant, a machine that processes and cleans contaminated soil by a process of burning and sterilisation.

Aganto supplied a structure to house the contaminated soil excavated from site prior being treated with lime and dried to a suitable condition before being processed through the plant – after which it was ready for back fill to the area where it was first excavated. This eradicated the need for earth to be disposed of via land fill providing an environmental programme of decontamination.

Based on Land Clean’s specifications, the structures provided by Aganto comprised of two 15 x 40 x 4.2m gutter-linked structures complete with roller shutter doors enabling access for plant and lorries.

Steve Rogers of Land Clean says: “The structures increased productivity on site to such an extent that we have asked Aganto to extend the current warehouses by a further 15 x 35 x 4.2m to cope with additional material.”


Haltec, a European supplier of temporary storage systems, has recently completed a project for Mobenn Hire Services in Cheltenham. Using Aluflex, an aluminium structure with steel cladding and a tarpaulin roof, the structure was 15 x 25 x 3.5m.

The project includes one pedestrian door and a roller shutter door. Mobenn required additional temporary storage space for its warehouse and distribution centre in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

The structure has been rented initially for 12 months. Haltec says it was the best option in terms of cost, short lead-times and responsiveness.