The future’s bright for logistics. Industry insights from Property Week’s Industrial and Logistics Conference 2018


Verdion was pleased to sponsor this year’s Industrial and Logistics Conference. Attended by occupiers, developers, investors, local government and consultants, keynote and breakout sessions offered insight about the future of the sector, highlighted opportunities, areas for improvement and gave advice for undertaking successful development.

While the occupier base for warehouse space has always been diverse, Michael Hughes, Verdion’s CEO, predicted that end-users needs are very quickly evolving, becoming more specific, complex and technology-focused. This is resulting in a variety of exciting opportunities for those investors and developers that are significantly agile and technically focused.

Michael Hughes said: “The landscape isn’t the same as before. Industrial developers are moving into realms they wouldn’t have thought possible 10 years ago.”

Verdion’s Chief Technical Officer, Peter Peeters, talked about the trend towards bespoke logistics space. He explained that warehouses of the future will be technologically advanced and will provide solutions to keep up with increasing consumer demand.

He said: “UK developers need to learn from their counterparts in Europe, which utilise smart energy saving strategies and time efficient systems to benefit the occupier.

“Tenants will also play an increasingly prevalent role in the design process, determining exactly what they want from their warehouse.”

During the ‘Transport infrastructure’ breakout session, Michael Hughes pointed to Verdion’s iPort Rail site in Doncaster as an exciting outcome of the boom in rail freight and a truly multi-modal logistics offering for the UK. He and his fellow panellists recognised the need for Government to invest in better infrastructure to enable more rail freight. They also openly encouraged the creation of more hubs like iPort Rail. The consensus was that there was no reason why different providers couldn’t work together to ensure an increasingly efficient service for customers everywhere.

The overall take-out from the two-day event was that it’s never been a better time for those in the industrial and logistics sector. We need to keep an eye on Brexit and be ready to adapt, we need to stay abreast of changes in the retail sector and consumer demand, and we need to be agile and responsive to occupier needs.