If you’ve recently received an Amazon delivery or have just popped in an Amazon order, Hi-Level Mezzanines is playing its part in getting your parcel to you.
And it’s not just the case with Amazon. In a list of the UK’s top online stores published by data company Statista, we were proud to see four of our clients feature: alongside Amazon in first place came Tesco (third), Next (sixth) and Ocado (seventh). Other e-commerce giants we have worked with include ASOS, one of the world’s leading online fashion retailers, and snack business Graze.
Investing in mezzanines
Since the pandemic these brands have been investing heavily in new warehouses, distribution and sortation centres, often installing mezzanines to make the very best use of their space . ASOS, one of the world’s leading online fashion retailers, has invested in building a £90m state-of-the-art fulfilment centre in Lichfield, Staffordshire, employing 2,000 people. Our client Ocado chose a 346,132 ft2 speculatively developed warehouse in Luton as its next Customer Fulfilment Centre.
Marks and Spencer, another Hi-Level Mezzanines client, has created a new automated warehouse within its existing distribution centre in Bradford, specifically to grow its online business. Its capacity? Dispatch of more than 35,000 items of clothing a day. The company said its e-commerce operation had “never been more important”.
Putting a mezzanine into e-commerce premises allows growing retailers to expand upwards instead of outwards, saving the costs and inconvenience of moving into new buildings. A mezzanine is the answer for companies diversifying or needing greater efficiency. A mezzanine floor can double, triple or quadruple usable space, and can be engineered to take any load. Mezzanines can hold storage shelving or racking, office space and robotics and are customised for every client. Our revolutionary robot-ready Hi-Tile flooring has been purposely designed to withstand the weight and wear of automation.
In fact, Warehouse & Logistics News notes how e-fulfilment is driving the growth of warehouse automation, with investment in both expanding established brands and start-ups. Automation is becoming commonplace, it reports, with the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the warehouse automation industry as a whole, including robotics, likely to exceed 10% by 2030.
This is a booming, demanding sector, and Hi-Level Mezzanines has proved it is up to the automation challenge.
Installing bespoke mezzanine solutions for Amazon sites
According to business bible Forbes, Amazon accounts for 37.8% of e-commerce sales, the highest market share of all e-commerce companies. But did you know that Amazon first arrived in the UK in 1998 when it bought the web domain bookpages.co.uk? The company’s extraordinary growth since means it now runs more than 20 state-of- the-art fulfilment and distribution centres across the country and has invested a total of more than £56bn since 2010.
Hi-Level is extremely proud to have been part of the story for nearly 20 years by designing, manufacturing and installing bespoke mezzanine solutions at multiple Amazon sites, completing over 25 projects since 2006. These projects have included:
- a bespoke three-tier mezzanine walkway structure that would interlock with a recently installed racking system
- a large single-tier structure maximising the amount of cold and dry food that a unit could store. Nearly 50% of the floor was lowered to accommodate the insulation
- an open support structure for a site’s extensive conveyor system, as well as 22 supportive mezzanines for its other various sortation systems.
Amazon’s partners continue to work with Hi-Level Mezzanines because of our unrivalled experience within the sector (with a collective +200 years’ experience across Hi-Level’s personnel), the technical expertise of our Structural Engineers, ongoing commitment to health and safety, and our continuous dedication to raising the standards of the industry.
Online retail shows no signs of slowing down. The global e-commerce market is expected to total $6.3 trillion this year, says Forbes, rising again to over $8.1 trillion by 2026. E-commerce sales are expected to grow 10% this year, with 20% of retail purchases taking place online.
What makes mezzanines for e-commerce special?
Mezzanines are extremely versatile and we can design a system for a wide variety of uses. What most projects have in common, however, is that fulfilment and sortation is all about speed. Design and construction programmes are condensed so that transforming a warehouse from an empty shell to fully automated operation is achieved in 26 weeks.
It’s akin to the way that Amazon itself has crunched delivery times. Before the internet, customers would wait 28 days for delivery; then it became a week, then next day. Now delivery is within the hour in certain postcodes (something we facilitated in our work on an Amazon Fresh facility in north London).
Hi-Level Mezzanines provides mezzanine floors of the highest quality in the industry, yet remaining competitively priced thanks to the expertise of our team of qualified structural engineers, innovative digital design process and advanced solutions.
For 30 years we have been creating space for amazing things to happen.