Forever changes

29 May 2021

A one-stop loading bay solution partner is the best bet to cope with the growth in demand for distribution centres and warehousing, says Paul Tulley.

The exponential growth in the requirement for distribution centres and warehousing in the UK has been driven mainly by changes in consumer habits, accelerated by the Covid pandemic. This together with companies seeking long term solutions to maximise the efficiency of their supply chains post Brexit means that this trend looks unlikely to change with demand remaining high into the foreseeable future.

Research carried out by commercial real estate agents Cushman & Wakefield shows that the third quarter of 2020 was the busiest on record with 16 million sq ft of space transacted, nearly double the ten-year average for Q3 of 8 million sq ft. Alongside the demand for new facilities is also the need to refurbish existing sites and the requirement to ensure all aspects of existing operations are running to their full potential.

With 87% of consumers having made an online purchase during 2020 (Statista), large retailers appear to be driving demand to keep pace with the boom in e-commerce. This is expected to continue, with the high street adopting a showroom focus for consumers to touch and feel products before purchasing online. As a result there will be an increased requirement for last-mile facilities, opening up the need for the refurbishment and re-purposing of existing sites, particularly the conversion of empty retail units.

Having over 80 years’ experience in the manufacture of industrial doors and loading technology, Hörmann is ideally placed to respond to this growth, not only being able to provide a complete range of equipment, but more importantly having the capability to offer a one-stop solution. 

With the experience and resources of a multi-national organisation to hand, Hörmann is able to provide a complete service from initial consultation through to design, installation, and long-term maintenance support - an all-encompassing support package setting it apart in the market. 

Our team of experts are on-hand to provide advice and support from the very beginning to ensure that the best possible options are selected to meet the needs of the project, whether it be large or small. Our team of project managers work on-site and are able to develop new ideas and solutions to suit specific operational requirements drawing on extensive knowledge.

For new build or refurbishment projects, Hörmann offer the most extensive product portfolio available on the market including dock levellers, loading houses, dock shelters and industrial doors. Whether it be off-the-shelf products or working with customers to develop specific solutions, the fact that we design, develop and manufacture all of the key components for our systems and doors in-house places us in a unique situation. This ensures the very highest standards both in terms of quality and inbuilt safety, together with the assurance that components have been designed and tested to work together. 

An experienced, wide-ranging view of the marketplace results in us keeping pace with changing requirements and we are able to respond with the rapid introduction of new products and updates. For example, our new Series 60 door offers the fastest operating sectional door on the market with an impressive opening speed of 1 m/s when installed with the new series WA 500 FU operator – designed and developed to work in perfect harmony. The increased speed of the 60 industrial sectional door offers the benefit of lower ventilation heat loss, and speeds up and streamlines internal processes. 

The Hörmann team will provide support from the planning stage, right up to the final building inspection. Assistance in reviewing calculations, detailed product drawings, specific site requirements and finalising all designs is all part of the partnership and service offered. Access to all necessary technical specifications and manuals is provided, alongside our online Architects Programme which can be used as a platform to obtain technical information. 

During installation we ensure timely delivery to site and we only work with fully trained partners that are ISO 9001 accredited and have received training at the Hörmann Academy. Also a designated Project Manager will provide on-site inspection at regular intervals throughout the installation process.

Second-to-none service, and maintenance is provided by our team of in-house service engineers who are all experts in their field. Working closely with clients our teams can provide up-to-date information and advice on how loading and door operations can be adapted to reduce the risk of downtime, accidents, or potential damage. If a certain type of fault is occurring frequently, our service engineers can work closely with clients and can draw on global experience to design and develop a bespoke solution. This is part of our commitment to building long term relationships with our customers throughout the whole lifetime of their logistics operation.

While our service engineers are the visible face of the service operation they are supported by a whole team behind the scenes – a large department working to ensure that on-site operations are fully supported. The launch of our Training Academy in 2019 is part of our commitment to support the next generation of engineers through free first-class training and support. 

There is no doubt that the continued growth in the market will present opportunities and challenges for all involved. Working with the right partner to achieve demanding objectives will be vital, with Hörmann able to provide the total package - exceptional guidance, support, products and after service, we make the real difference.

Paul Tulley, key account manager, Hörmann UK

For more information, visit