Cold storage accounts for 12% of all warehouse space in the UK, a report from Savills and the Cold Chain Federation has revealed.
According to the report, there are 678 warehouse units with cold storage space over 50,000 sq ft in the UK, equating to 134m sq ft of space with 29% of this space located in Yorkshire and the North West. A further 22 cold storage units equating to 16.7m sq ft of space are currently under construction or being fitted out by occupiers.
Savills and the Cold Chain Federation said that both Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic have led to “a significant emphasis on supply chain resilience and the shift from a ‘just in time’ to a ‘just in case’ model”.
Both Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic have placed significant emphasis on supply chain resilience and the shift from a ‘just in time’ to a ‘just in case’ model. Consequently, having a clearer picture of cold storage capacity will be essential to understanding the role it can play in meeting consumer demand, which will help to manage current and ongoing economic uncertainties.
Kevin Mofid, head of industrial research at Savills, said: “Recent macro events have proven the importance of knowing just how much capacity the UK has when it comes to cold storage and what’s clear is that right now we simply don’t have enough to cater for growing demand. However, the data gleaned from this report is a step in the right direction when it comes to tackling some of these problems, in particular the lack of supply that the industry currently faces.”
Shane Brennan, chief executive of the Cold Chain Federation, added: “The UK cold storage sector is buoyant and growing, it has seen plenty of international investment in recent years and the challenges of Covid and Brexit stockpiling have underlined just how vital this service is to national food supply.
“In an era of change, this report marks the start of a Cold Chain Federation programme to build crucial insight into the existing UK cold storage estate and the opportunities it presents for investors, operators and customers now, and in the net zero economy of the future.”