Earlier this year, we welcomed the UK’s leading drinks storage and logistics firm, London City Bond, to St. Modwen Park Burton.
We chatted to David Hogg, Sales Director, to discuss its preparations leading up to the festive season and to learn more about the importance of a well-located warehouse.
Tell us a bit more about your business
LCB is the largest, privately owned, operator of Tax Warehouses (Bonded warehouses) in the UK. Although its roots can be traced back to 1870, it has been in existence in its current format for just over 30 years. We operate from 13 different locations throughout the UK and have over 2 million sq ft of warehousing available. At any given time, we have over 8 million cases of wine & spirits in storage for a wide range of both 1,500 trade and 6,500 private customers in more than 70 countries. During the peak season we will deliver over 23,000 orders per week throughout the UK.
Why is Christmas such a busy/important time of the year?
The month of December is particularly busy as Christmas parties move into full swing! Some of our main trade customers supply the major supermarket chains and we will be flat our delivering full containers into their RDCs (Regional Distribution Centres) – normally on a just in time basis as they operate extremely tight stock control systems.
How important is it for your warehouses to be well located?
Since LCB operates its own delivery fleet of over 300 vehicles daily, it is important to be well located and close to our customers. Our network of trunk vehicles, which operate overnight, ensures that our local delivery fleets are well placed to make the final deliveries to our customers, in line with our published delivery schedules. We also want to encourage greener credentials so eliminating stem mileage, as much as possible, means that we can “do our bit” for the environment.
Burton-upon-Trent was primarily chosen as a location due to us already having two other sites in Burton, and therefore the close proximity of St. Modwen Park Burton fitted in well with our trunking arrangements. It also meant that we could draw upon existing, experienced, staff to help get the facility up and running. Burton is also a pretty central location with good road links in all directions.
Where are the clients that you serve from Burton located?
Whilst we operate a local delivery fleet from our warehouse at St. Modwen Park Burton, which services the Midlands and North Wales areas, we do also service supermarket RDCs from the site – again, mainly in the Midlands area.
Tell us about the unique storage conditions that the products you distribute are kept under.
Some products do not require any special storage conditions and can easily be stored in ambient conditions, such as those at St. Modwen Park Burton. However, others may require temperature and humidity control, for example, the storage of fine wines or those held for long term investment purposes. We have our main fine wines storage warehouse – Vinotheque – also in Burton-upon-Trent. This is fully temperature controlled and houses over half a million cases of fine wines.
Are you increasing stock levels over the festive period?
Traditionally, our customers do “stock up” in readiness for Christmas but this year we have also seen the added complexities associated with Brexit, which has resulted in the need for even more warehousing space! Changes in the wine regulations further afield have also had an effect of increasing stock levels – hence the overflow of wines into St. Modwen Park Burton!
Will you be hiring additional people over the festive period?
We do take on some temporary staff during the festive period, but do also rely on our experienced workforce working overtime to cope with the demand.
When you look for space, do you look for scalability?
We have grown in size quite considerably over the past few years, and whilst it has worked well to have sites in various parts of the country, it does present us with additional challenges when trying to link up all sites to our distribution network. Therefore, having a site that is scalable is always an advantage, or at least, an adjacent unit that could more easily be incorporated into our network.
What attracted you to St. Modwen Park Burton?
A mixture of the location of the building, its availability and the readiness of the agent to work with us alongside St Modwen to secure an early occupation on a long lease – and at an acceptable cost!
To learn more about St. Modwen Park Burton, please click here.