Three years after it first opened, Europa Worldwide Group, has invested £2,000,000 into a reconfiguration programme at its 1Hub, based at Albion Road, Dartford as part of its preparation for Brexit.
The development was already part of the leading logistics supplier’s long-term strategy to expand the site as the company experienced growth, but with Brexit fast approaching, the European Road transit hub work has been advanced.
Europa’s £30million 1Hub, which employs 341 people, is the company’s largest single investment in its history – centralising its European road freight to create the UK’s largest European groupage hub. The building is split into two areas, providing third party warehousing and European transit shed operations.
The new investment to further develop the 26,368m² facility, which is big enough to house seven football pitches, focuses on the European Road transit hub. The reconfiguration includes a staged expansion of the racking and an extension of the transit zone, creating 75 per cent more racked transit space.
Dan Cook, operations director for Europa, said: “When we originally designed the building in 2015, we included plans to expand the site. Due to the current political situation, we’ve now decided to speed up the re-development, specifically of the European transit hub area, to ensure we can continue to deliver an efficient, quality service for our customers.”
With an increase in short-term storage space required, the racking footprint within the site is expanding across both ground level and vertically, creating extra space for its European Road customers. Since its launch, 1Hub has increased the number of its European consignments by 64 per cent, from 22,000 to 36,000 per month.
Dan Cook continues: “The strategy to expand capacity at our 1Hub facility will create more space for freight that may become slowed down by the clearance process and also provide security against gridlock of volume post Brexit. It is just one of the many ways in which we are preparing for all possible outcomes.”
Further benefits include an increase in the number of level access canopy doors and loading docks, increasing speed and efficiency across the company.
The reconfiguration was an intricate operation, taking three months to complete. In order to facilitate the extension, the racking had to be dismantled and re-fitted. To avoid any disruption during this period, operations were closely monitored.
When launched, Europa’s 1Hub centralised the company’s European road freight, with a network of 13 regional branches trunking directly into the hub. A huge success, the facility has improved efficiencies, increased payloads, driven down overseas distribution costs and built daily services to its European partner depots to reduce transit times and improve quality.