While the logistics Golden Triangle in the Midlands is well known, at Hi-Level Mezzanines we’re working with clients in another hub for the warehouse sector that gets less attention but is also booming.
The North West has long been Britain’s industrial heartland and with strategic locations as well as excellent transport links, it is now attracting significant logistics business.
Manchester sits at the centre of the UK while Liverpool is a fulcrum of transatlantic trade. A lack of warehouse space and soaring rents are proving a challenge to growing companies, however.
Smart clients are installing mezzanines to maximise use of their existing space and avoid the costs and inconvenience of moving to new premises.
What makes the North West such a strong logistics hub?
Three examples demonstrate how the North West offers streamlined access across the UK and far beyond.
- Manchester Airport Freight Terminal is within a two-hour drive of two-thirds of the UK population, including major cities such as Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield and Wolverhampton. It has 650,000 sq. ft of warehouse space, handles 120,000 tonnes of freight and mail annually, and hosts a range of freight-forwarding firms, handling agents, transit-shed operators and warehouse businesses.
- Manchester Ship Canal sees 8m tonnes of cargo pass through its five terminals every year, from wind turbine blades to animal feed and biomass, from aggregates to metal, timber and chemicals. It is one of the UK’s most vibrant trading hubs, running 36 miles from the Mersey Estuary into the heart of Manchester.
- The Port of Liverpool is the best-connected container terminal in the UK with ten motorways within ten miles and a purpose-built rail terminal for onward transport. Handling 60 vessels a month, it is one of the world’s leading ports. According to operator Peel Ports, logistics companies take advantage of its strategic location, hinterland connectivity and close proximity to UK import and export markets to reduce cost, carbon and congestion.
How mezzanines avoid the capacity crunch
A capacity crunch is putting pressure on logistics businesses in the North West that are seeking to expand. “We had record levels of take up last year but supply is not keeping up with demand. There are not enough buildings coming through,” estate agent Savills told Logistics Manager magazine, while CBRE research showed vacant space in the region declining 16% in Q1 2023.
The North West is one of the most undersupplied markets in the UK in terms of warehouse space available and in the pipeline, with some rents up 20% year on year. Rents for typical 100,000 sq. ft facilities are around £9.50 per sq. ft, with rents projected to hit £10 for big box facilities over 100,000 sq. ft, and rents in prime areas such as Trafford Park around £11.25, Logistics Manager reported.
What’s more, securing land in the right locations in the North West has always been problematic and planning challenges often complex, with a dearth of sites suitable for large logistics development.
Why mezzanines are a game changer
Mezzanines can be a game changer. A mezzanine floor can double, triple, or quadruple usable space, and can be engineered to take any load. Hi-Level Mezzanines installs a range of bespoke mezzanines, from Amazon distribution centres to the clinical demands of medical facilities.
Using overhead space that would otherwise be wasted can maximise productivity, while having additional storage space on a mezzanine prevents supply chain disruption.
We have also pioneered Hi-Tile, a unique robot-ready flooring specifically for mezzanines and designed to meet the demands of automation.
Installing mezzanines in the North West
Hi-Level Mezzanines has designed and installed mezzanines across the UK. Two examples of North West mezzanines are:
- Our seamless work for Bullen Healthcare. This family-owned medical supply company approached us to design and install a mezzanine floor within its Liverpool warehouse. With the install completed overnight over six weeks, no disruption was caused to Bullen’s regular picking-and-packing routine, a major accomplishment for a live operating warehouse.
- Our ambitious project with Alliance Healthcare. We designed, built and installed three individual mezzanine floors for this market-leading pharmaceutical company in Preston, Lancashire. Our structures were designed to be uniquely shaped with specific steelwork arrangements to provide support over an existing conveyor system, an example of the complex briefs achieved by our qualified structural engineers.
If you’d like to know more about Hi-Level Mezzanines, get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01730 237 190. .