A new £23 million distribution centre is to be built on the Port of Southampton strengthening Southampton’s port-centric logistics capacity.

In partnership with ABP in Southampton, Import Services, the leading port-centric logistics company in the UK, has broken ground on the new 200,000 sq ft warehouse with construction company Midas. This new facility will adjoin Import Services’ existing distribution hub, which will double operational capacity.

The warehouse has been designed to BREEAM ‘excellent’ sustainability standard in close collaboration with port owner ABP and once complete will also feature a further £2.5million roof mounted solar array investment from ABP. This solar panel installation will more than double the existing solar power generated on the port.

The port-centric location and close proximity to the container port ensures the most optimum route to market alleviating the need to transport containers inland to distribution centres cutting time, cost and carbon from supply chains. This investment from ABP and Import Services will ensure the company’s operational set-up continues to enable future developments in the sector responding to customers’ needs.

This new port-side logistics centre will enable Import Services, which is a subsidiary of Xpediator, a leading provider of freight management services across the UK and Europe, to hold stock under bond for order processing and distribution across the UK, continental Europe and global markets. The 24 new access doors plus VNA pallet storage configuration plus state-of-the-art equipment and systems are designed to boost throughput for containers and road vehicles.

The construction which is expected to complete next Spring will create new jobs for the local community and will also lead to improved pedestrian and cycle routes in the area.

Mike Thomas, Client Services Director at Import Services, said: “Import Services’ new distribution centre will be just 100 metres away from where the deep sea container ships dock. With this new facility plus technologically advanced equipment, our teams will be able to process containers efficiently, process orders and deliver straight to the point of demand.

“Reducing the amount of carbon generated by the logistics industry is front of mind in our thinking. We know port-centric distribution can reduce supply chain emissions and the use of back-haul working with retailers can realise further carbon reductions. Our port-centric model, with this new distribution centre, will allow us to take important steps forward in tackling time, cost and carbon, the three key components of supply chains, as we head into the 2020’s.”

Stephen Blyth, CEO of Xpediator, said: “Historically, Import Services have not always had the capacity to meet demand, this new facility will not only enable us to meet the demand but also capture additional market share by being able to offer superior technologically advanced services. The timing of this expansion could also work favourably with the UK’s move outside of the European Union.”

The distribution centre is located at the Western Docks of the Port of Southampton, which is owned by ABP. Once opened, it will employ an additional 35 people.

ABP’s Head of Commercial and Property Clive Thomas said: “We were pleased to work with Import Services on this investment to expand their operations on the port. Following the previous expansion in 2015, we are delighted to continue to our long-standing relationship of investing to support a key port customer and to ensure that port-centric operations continues to deliver the most environmentally conscious, effective and efficient part of a logistics supply chain.

From left to right: Joe Atkinson, Project Engineer, Associated British Ports, Mike Thomas, Client Services Director, Import Services Ltd, Roger Loveless, Operations Director, Import Services Ltd, Will Jeffrey, Head of Engineering Projects, Associated British Ports, Stephen Blyth, Chief Executive Officer, Xpediator Plc, Robert Ross, Chief Financial Officer, Xpediator Plc, Clive Thomas, Head of Commercial and Property, Associated British Ports, Michael Harrington, Senior Project Manager, Midas Construction Ltd.

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We’re delighted to be working with Import Services, having seen first-hand the advantages of their port-centric location and in-depth retail knowledge

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“Our previous experience with other logistics firms made us focus upon the importance of finding a contractor with a management team which can maintain a true ‘hands on’ approach”.

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‘The strength of our relationship with Import Services is based on their information systems.’

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“You have provided us with a robust start to the year with the consistent shipping of high numbers, your output was hard, fast and relentless, thank you very much.”

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