UK warehouse sector has doubled in size

The number of UK businesses classified as transport and storage has grown by 89% between 2011 and 2021

Brexit, the pandemic and a rise in online shopping have caused the UK warehousing sector to almost double in size over the past decade, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The number of UK business premises classified as transport and storage was 89% higher in 2021 than in 2011, and 21% higher than in 2019.

However, the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) said that the omission of big retailers from the figures meant that the report underestimates the size of the warehousing market and its growth. This includes Amazon, who are looking to build five new warehouses and create more than 10,000 jobs in the near future.

Companies are calling for more government support for the sector, which is responsible for 3.8 million jobs, and contributes £232 billion in gross value added (GVA). Productivity is expected to increase by 29% between 2025 and 2039.

The report also confirmed industry views that the demand for logistics space in England has been underestimated in planning policy terms for a decade. Future demand could be at least 29% higher than the levels seen recently.

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