Tomorrow’s Warehouse: Analysis
roles, in a huge variety of sectors throughout the UK.
We’ve supplemented this with advice from some of the
UK’s top logistics experts.
Before we start, let’s note when the data was
collected. This is important because the situation is fast-moving.
We carried out this survey of our readers in late
May and early June.
Such is the pace of this pandemic that had we carried
out the survey a month earlier or a month later, it may
well have produced quite different results.
The situation in late May and early June was that we
had experienced just over two months of lockdown, but
the Government was starting to talk seriously about
moving beyond it. Dominic Cummings gave his press
briefing on May 25, and deaths had fallen from a peak
of around a 1,000 a day in April to the low hundreds per
day. At the end of May the Chancellor announced that
companies would have to pay a greater share in the
Government furlough scheme.
In this context, we asked our readers how they had
adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic. Respondents could
tick more than one answer for this question and it gives
us an idea of the spread of measures implemented in
the wake of Covid-19. As is to be expected, 91% of
respondents said social distancing had been applied,
while 71% had furloughed staff, and 21% had closed
down part of their operations. On the flip-side, a very
significant minority of firms were busier than ever (24%)
and making investments (12%).
This has been backed up in one-to-one conversations
with logistics professionals. Mark Young, Leeds site
operations manager for Britvic said they implemented a
range of measures including social distancing, more
frequent cleaning, temperature checks and face masks
for staff who chose to wear them.
'In logistics we always need to adapt to changes and
opportunities,' he says. 'As a supply site we are doing
this while working with our 3PL haulier to make sure we
have the right amount of storage and resources to
deliver what our customers want, on time and in full.'
Gary Twynholm, global logistics manager at
Mountain Warehouse told us how they are reacting to
'From a supply chain point of view, we first started to
feel the impacts in early Feb as we saw disruptions to
production and shipping from China. We bought
additional hardware and staff who were able to work
from home, were doing so from 10th March.
'By the time the UK went into lockdown on 23rd
March, we could see the patterns from other regions
and were well placed to react.'
Its UK warehouse was ready to switch from an omni-channel
approach to an eComm pureplay.
Gary adds: 'Pick walks were re-mapped, processes
refined and shift patterns altered to use all 24 hours of
• 43% of those surveyed are now more likely to invest
in warehouse automation.
• 91% have applied social distancing to their
• 80% of those surveyed have changed their
warehouse linemarking or are considering doing so.
• 94% think the UK should become more self-reliant in
manufactured goods and components.