Why Are So Many Warehouses in the United Kingdom?

Why Are So Many Warehouses in the United Kingdom?

The UK warehousing is the booming industry throughout the country.  The main reasons for this are found in the changes in the consumer behaviour. We see a great shift in the way the goods are purchased and customized warehousing storage solutions have already stepped beyond storage only. Today, there are large fulfillment centers in the UK which need to carry out orders providing lots of new complicated services.

The main changes we’ve observed are in the size of warehouses and distribution centres. Larger premises are becoming more and more common in order to satisfy the demands of the contemporary customer and provide better 3PL fulfillment. The UK warehouse list includes lots of locations but what are the largest?

It is impossible to ignore the Amazon centres. They have some of them throughout Britain but their largest complex (in fact, the largest in the country) is located in Dunfermline, Scotland. Just imagine the site of 1.32 million sq. ft. and you’ll get an idea of its dimensions. It equals 14 football fields and it fits the e-commerce giant with 469.8 billion USD sales in 2021, doesn’t it?

The other big fulfilment warehouses in the UK are

  • Shaw National Distribution Centre in Lancashire (1 million sq. ft.)
  • Tesco Distribution Centre in Reading (900,000 sq. ft.)
  • Constellation Park in Bristol (858,000 sq. ft.)

According to the UK warehousing association (UKWA), a trend towards bigger complexes demonstrates an astonishing rise. Why? More storage space means more flexibility in case of an emergency and simplifies logistics for the fulfillment companies in the UK.

Some Numbers

Do you know the number of the fulfillment centers in the UK? This question is interesting but hard to answer as no trusted sources seem to collect this data. But there is some UK warehousing statistics we can be aware of.

UKWA, the Britain’s leading trade organisation for the logistics sector, has more than 900 members with 1500 individual units making up 420 million sq. ft. of property. But the fact is that the big networks of operators are constantly developing and expanding. For example, some sources cautiously mention “more than 30” Amazon centers while in December 2021 a number of 54 locations was mentioned.

In fact, the number of warehouse and transport hubs across Britain has nearly doubled over the last decade. What is the reason for this rapid growth? Experts see it in supply chains transformations caused by online shopping which is consistently taking over the traditional brick-and-mortar shops. E-commerce fulfilment in the UK simplifies the retail business for online business owners and this boosts the entire industry.

Types of Warehouses

Warehouses differ not only in size. They may be classified according to different parameters: by the type of ownership, services offered there, functions, etc. Basically, you may often come across three types of warehouses

  • namely warehouses
  • distribution centres
  • fulfilment centres

and can easily be confused by these terms. Let’s explain briefly the difference between them.


This is a storage facility for your operations in your supply chain. In a warehouse, pick and pack, and some other simple operations are possible, but generally, this is a place where you store your goods.

Fulfilment Center

The scope of operations in such centers is much wider. Their main three functions are

  • receiving and storing your goods
  • fulfilling orders for your clients
  • packing and delivering parcels to the place of their final destination

Distribution Center

The main thing about it is that distribution centers do not deliver goods directly to customers. Instead, they serve as a transit point for goods to change the way you transport them.

H&H Is Always Near

Located in South Oxfordshire, our company provides a full range of cargo transportation and logistics services. You can always rely on us and take advantage of our

  • favourable location
  • rich experience
  • recognised industry accreditations and certificates
  • good customer service