Warehousing Construction Market Report - UK 2014-2018 Analysis

  • ID: 3046133
  • November 2014
  • Region: United Kingdom
  • 66 Pages
  • AMA Research
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After several years of decline, warehouse construction activity has increased significantly in 2013/14, reflecting strong demand from the internet retail sector.


  • Bericote
  • DP Ports
  • Gazeley
  • Prologis
  • MORE

This report should be of particular interest to developers, occupiers, logistics companies and construction professionals and provides a comprehensive review of the warehouse property sector. Key areas in the report:

- An overall review of the UK warehouse sector with forecasts for development over the next few years.
- A review of warehouse occupiers by end sector - retail, logistics, B2C and manufacturing sectors.
- Assessment of warehouse construction output, together with forecasts for growth up to 2018.
- New developments - Rail Freight Interchanges, DIRFT III, London Gateway etc.
- Review of the key issues of demand, availability, take-up rates, rents and speculative construction for the regional warehouse markets in Greater London, South East & East, South West & Wales, East & West Midlands etc.

Areas of particular interest:

- Review of the warehouse development/construction pipeline across the UK - key schemes currently under construction and those expected to complete during 2018.

- Review of impact of changing retail patterns - rise in e-commerce and online shopping and its impact on distribution networks - focus READ MORE >

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  • Bericote
  • DP Ports
  • Gazeley
  • Prologis
  • MORE

1. Introduction

2. Summary And Future Prospects

3. The Warehouse Market In The Uk
3.1 The Warehousing Sector In The Uk
3.2 Warehouse Occupiers By End Sector
3.2.1 Retail Warehousing
3.3 Warehouse Take-Up Levels
3.4 Warehouse Availability
3.5 Rental Levels
3.6 Distribution Of Freight
3.6.1 Road Freight
3.6.2 Rail Freight
3.6.3 Ports & Waterways
3.6.4 Air Freight
3.7 Regional Analysis Of The Warehousing Sector
3.7.1 Greater London
3.7.2 South East & East
3.7.3 South West & Wales
3.7.4 Midlands
3.7.5 North & Scotland
3.8 Outlook For The Warehouse Sector

4. Construction Market For Warehouses
4.1 Construction Market Overview
4.1.1 Value Of Output To 2018 - Construction New Work
4.1.2 Output By Sector
4.2 Contractors Output In The Warehousing Sector
4.3 Warehousing - New Development Pipeline
4.3.1 Speculative Development
4.3.2 Regional Pipeline

5. Key Issues Affecting The Warehouse Sector
5.1 Outlook For The Uk Economy
5.1.1 Economic Indicators
5.1.2 Manufacturing Output
5.1.3 Retail Sales And Consumer Spending
5.2 Environmental And Legislative Drivers
5.2.1 Energy Performance Of Buildings Directive
5.2.2 Empty Rates Relief
5.3 E Commerce And Warehousing
5.4 Land And Planning

6. Construction Market Supply In The Warehousing Sector
6.1 Overview
6.2 Key Contractor Profiles
6.2.1 Bowmer & Kirkland
6.2.2 Buckingham Construction
6.2.3 Chalcroft
6.2.4 Clugston Group
6.2.5 Henry Boot
6.2.6 John Sisk & Son
6.2.7 Mclaren Construction
6.2.8 Midas Group
6.2.9 Simons Group
6.2.10 Volker Fitzpatrick

Chart 1: Warehouse Completions By Type (Purpose Built Vs. Speculative) 2008 – 2014 (Million Sq. Ft.)
Chart 2: Take Up Of New Warehousing By Sector 2014 – By End Use Sector (Logistics, Food, Other Retail, Freight/Parcel, Motor Etc)
Chart 3: Retail Warehouse Development Pipeline (Million Sq. Ft) 2008 – 2014: Proposed, With Consent, Under Construction
Chart 4: Take Up Of Warehouse Space In The Uk 2009 – 2013 Grade A/Second Hand (M Sq. Ft)
Table 5: Uk Warehouse Market - Recent Major Take-Up Transactions – Client/Location/Floor Area
Chart 6: Availability/Supply Of Warehouse Space In The Uk - Grade A / Second Hand 2009 – 2013 (M Sq. Ft)
Table 7: Warehouse Property Availability By Region 2013 Floor Space (M Sq. Ft.)
Chart 8: Domestic Freight Transport By Mode 2010-11 (%)
Table 9: Uk Warehousing Market – Regional Analysis – Availability, Space Take-Up, Space Under Construction And Rental Values
Chart 10: Value Of Non-Domestic Construction Output 2009 – 2018 By Value (£Bn At Current Prices)
Chart 11: Non-Residential Construction Output Analysis By Sector 2014 - % By Value
Table 12: Contractors Output In The Warehousing Sector – Public, Private Sector 2007-2018 (£M)
Chart 13: Value Of Warehousing Construction Output 2002-2018 (£Bn)
Chart 14: Speculative Warehouse Floor-Space Under Construction 2007 – 2014 (Sq. Ft.)
Chart 15: Speculative Warehouse Floor-Space Under Construction By Region 2014
Table 16: Principal Speculative Warehouse Schemes Under Construction By Region 2014 Scheme, Size, Developer, Status, Completion Date
Chart 17: Manufacturing Output – All Industries July 2013 – July 2014 (% Change)
Table 18: Performance Of Uk Retail Market 2008– 2018 (Retail Turnover £Bn)
Chart 19: Retail And Consumer Price Index (Rpi & Cpi Inflation): 2011 - 2018 (% Change)
Chart 20: Online Retail Spending In The Uk 2008 - 2018 (£Bn)
Table 21: Leading Contractors Share Of Industrial & Warehousing Construction Work In 2013-14 (£M)
Table 22: Leading Contractors In The Warehousing Sector - Key Contractors, Sectors Of Activity, Key Clients/Projects

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  • Bericote
  • DP Ports
  • Gazeley
  • Prologis
  • MORE

After years of decline, confidence is starting to return to the warehouse market as developers respond to an improving economy, recovering levels of manufacturing and current high levels of demand for warehouse property. Improving market sentiment and a pick-up in economic activity has seen total demand for warehousing floor-space across all regions improve with take-up rising by around 28% in 2013.

The balance of development has tipped back in favour of purpose built or ‘build to suit’ warehouse space. In 2014, many developers and occupiers active in the logistics and industrial sector remain relatively cautious and, as a result, new construction continues to be driven mainly by built-to-suit activity. In 2014, speculative development rose to around 2.1m sq. ft. from just 0.7m sq. ft. recorded at the same point in 2013, but still significantly down on the peak recorded in 2007 and 2008.

The market for warehouse property continues to be the strongest sector within the industrial construction market. Rents have been steadily rising in prime locations and the market is now beginning to expand from the traditional distribution areas of Heathrow and the Midlands to include regional locations in the South, South East, the North West and Scotland. This reflects changing patterns of distribution, driven by a combination of rising transport costs and occupier demand for cheaper locations.

There continues to be good demand for larger distribution properties both from retailers and third-party logistics operators due to an acute lack of available space. This trend is likely to continue with the growth of internet shopping as retailers distribute their online sales from retail warehouse space. In addition, as internet sales continue to rise, they are anticipated to lead to a major change in the logistics market, as retailers invest in major warehouses developments purely for internet sales.

A two-tier system has now been established in the UK warehousing sector, with more, smaller distribution centres close to urban markets being developed to fulfill express deliveries, which are, in turn, supported by remote and larger distribution centres purely for internet sales through which to replenish smaller urban warehouse hubs.

In terms of occupiers, retailers continued to drive the warehousing market in 2014, committing to large pre-lets and the importance of the sector is likely to continue through 2014 and 2015, driven by discount grocery retailers, such as Lidl and Aldi who continue to acquire more regional distribution centres to support their expansion plans. The manufacturing sector now accounts for a larger part of the warehousing market than in previous years, with increasing occupier demand now driven by a slight upturn in manufacturing output and, in particular, growth in the automotive export market.

Take-up of warehouse space rose by 26% in 2013, driven by a stronger economy, improving consumer confidence and the continued demand for space from the e-commerce sector. After years of decline since the start of the global financial crisis, the warehouse sector is set to be a major beneficiary of the economic recovery. Confidence has already started to return and current levels of demand would suggest that take-up for 2014 take-up could exceed levels seen in 2010 and 2011.

However, due to a lack of suitable grade-A space, occupiers have been increasingly turning to the second hand market to fulfill requirements – take-up of grade-A space registered at just 13.5m sq. ft. in 2013, the lowest level recorded since 2005-06.

Going forward, demand will continue to be strongest in the mid-range warehousing sector, driven by growing requirements of parcel operators and other occupiers serving the e-commerce industry; demand in e-commerce is such that this size band of warehouse will continue to increase in importance over the short-medium term.

Availability levels of warehouse space stood at around 300m sq. ft. at the end of 2013, a fall of 17.5% on the previous year. Overall levels of supply declined as a result of a strong occupier market and the withdrawal of some lower quality stock from the market.

Despite the overall volume of availability increasing slightly in H1 2014 following the release of a number of large buildings and the completion of various warehouse refurbishments, an acute shortage of and strong demand for warehouse space are expected to be a feature of the warehouse market for the rest of 2014 and into 2015. In addition, land supply remains extremely limited further constraining market supply over the course of the next 18-24 months.

Developers have reported an increase in the number of occupiers switching from centralised distribution centres to a smaller, regional ‘hub’ model of warehouse. As the major supermarkets continue to improve their e-fulfilment networks and the need for quicker delivery times increases, competition for smaller, urban distribution hubs near cities, particularly in London – continues to grow. Food retailers are also adapting their logistics strategies for the convenience market.

On a regional basis, most areas of the UK have seen an increased level of activity in 2013 and 2014, with the traditional industrial markets in the Midlands and the North remaining the focus of activity. Greater London and the South East experienced rising activity in 2013 but take-up remained below trend levels in these markets due to supply constraints. In addition, the geographical bias of speculative development is weighted towards the Midlands, South East and the East of London, primarily driven by London’s Gateway Logistics Park.

After years of decline, warehouse construction is expected to have begun a steady recovery in 2014, in response to the economic recovery, an improving manufacturing sector, ongoing drive by retailers to streamline their supply chains and increased demand from logistics businesses serving the e-commerce industry. As a result, output is expected to grow by around 10% in 2014 and the warehouse sector as a whole is forecast to see a growth rate of around 25% over the next 5 years to reach £1.7bn in 2018. However, even by this date, warehouse construction is still expected to be 45% below its peak of £3.1bn in 2007.

One of the key drivers of warehouse demand and development going forward is likely to be the growth of e-commerce and internet retailing, which has enjoyed phenomenal growth in recent years and shows no sign of slowing down. Due to increased online sales, the UK ‘B2C’ parcel market is forecast to grow by almost 5% per year, with home delivery volumes also increasing by between 3.5 and 4% a year to 2018 and, as a result, it is expected that there will be a continuing shift to home deliveries with an emphasis on depots around large urban centres.

The switch from traditional store retailing to online retailing is likely to cause a significant structural change in the warehouse sector, changing the type of space required, with a two-tier market becoming established, with more, smaller distribution centres close to urban markets to fulfill express deliveries supported by remote and larger distribution centres purely for internet sales (known as ‘dark stores’) through which to replenish smaller urban warehouse hubs. This is leading to retailers needing delivery facilities in multiple locations and the warehouse market is expected to see more speculative development of sheds of less than 250,000 sq. ft. in the suburbs, close to good road networks. Here the demand is high and stock levels remain acutely low.

Beyond 2015 and up to 2018 the warehouse market is expected to grow year on year reflecting a recovery in the wider economy and the resulting effect on the industrial, manufacturing and retail sectors. However, the warehouse market continues to face a number of challenges including increased competition, increased expectations from customers, rising occupier costs and slender margins, an acute shortage of industrial land, particularly in locations close to major urban conurbations in some areas and planning delays.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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- Bericote
- DP Ports
- Gazeley
- Prologis

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


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