“The Midlands is a vibrant market with plenty of scope to respond to the changing structural and legislative requirements of the logistics industry,” says Stuart Mair, of Birmingham agent Knight Frank. “The drive towards consolidation spearheaded by major retailers’ intent on rationalising their accommodation and transportation needs, means the phenomenon of ever larger and higher warehouses in the region is unlikely to abate.”
Supermarket operators and national stores such as B&Q, Morrisons and Debenhams, seeking to benefit from significant economies of scale with sheds up to 93,000sq m (one million sq ft) in size, suggest that the growth of the regional distribution centre (RDC) and the national distribution centre (NDC) is set to continue. This represents a doubling of the average floorplate specification over the past five years.
In this context, the Midlands’ first place position in the distribution league is unassailable – there are after all few places that cannot be reached from such a central location within a drive time of four or five hours courtesy of the motorway network.
Much has been made in the press lately of the impending Working Time Directive (WTD) and its