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Warehousing and logistics is booming says BNP Paribas

02 November 2015

Warehousing and logistics businesses have grown by 24% in just one year, with turnover hitting £11.8 billion, up from £9.5 billion last year as the online shopping revolution picks up pace, according to BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions.

This is an increase of two-thirds (66%) compared to five years ago, when total turnover in the sector was £7.1 billion.

BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions says the rapid growth of "fast fashion” online retailers such as ASOS and Boohoo is a key factor behind the rise.

With fashion retailers re-stocking constantly instead of planning for two seasons a year, supply chains need to be as quick in responding to orders as possible. This means that at any one time, there is less stock held in store than was traditionally the case, and more stock at different points of the supply chain.

BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions points out that the shift online is intensifying in the food sector too, with supermarket Aldi recently announcing the launch of its new online shopping service.

The faster turnover of warehouse stock means that warehousing businesses need to increase investment in equipment such as forklift trucks to handle the volume of goods entering and leaving. Innovative new technologies are also becoming an increasingly important competitive advantage for both retailers and warehousing and logistics companies.

Some of the technologies being adopted include:


·         Driverless vehicles which rely on software and sensor-based guidance systems to move loads around warehouses and onto road transport.


·         Computers which can be mounted onto vehicles and hand-held or wearable mobile devices which enable real-time inventory updates and allow interaction with stock-picking or asset tracking systems.


·         The use of microchipped tags which transmit product information contactlessly through radio waves, rather than traditional barcodes which need to be manually scanned, improving goods handling and tracking.

Tristan Watkins, UK country manager for BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions says: "As e-commerce continues to expand exponentially, the warehousing sector is booming.

"Efficient warehousing solutions are also crucial to ensuring that the shift online really pays for retailers. Automation in warehousing helps them to improve productivity by keeping headcount and costs low.”