Speed to market

John Clements, Executive Director

As the logistics boom continues, securing the right space is getting harder. Speculatively developed units offer ready availability, but they’re not always right for a long-term commitment, and the best sites – often in gateway or corridor locations – face fierce competition. Now built to suit space is seeing a resurgence.

At Verdion’s iPort multimodal logistics hub in South Yorkshire, the final building in its most recent tranche of speculative space is now let and the team is focusing on speed to market for bespoke space too, shaving several months off delivery times by creating development-ready sites for units up to 74,000 sq m.

The 800-acre site has capacity for 6 million sq ft of 24/7 logistics space in total, with 52MVA power and a strong local workforce with over 5,000 people expected to be employed here on completion.

Speculative space is exactly right for many companies, but the benefits of build to suit are not talked about enough in this race for space. Especially as technology is advancing, an established business with complex systems often finds that a high-quality real estate specification significantly improves operations. Ecommerce is here to stay so investing time in the right premises, including expansion space, can make very good sense.

iPort benefits from Verdion’s European experience, bringing in leading edge design and construction techniques from across the continent. Even for speculative warehouses the attention to detail is impressive. The way that concrete floors are specified, the column placement, even the 2.4m concrete plinth that surrounds each building, all are designed to increase durability and make daily operations as smooth as possible. Yards are 55m deep and gates are wider than usual – every detail improves each occupier’s bottom line.

Environmental impact is particularly important. All buildings are constructed to very high environmental standards, all with EPC rating A and certified as BREEAM Very Good. Roofs are ready to house solar panels in line with occupiers’ operational requirements and each new unit has infrastructure for EV charging. The iPort estate itself is also a pleasant working environment for employees with 400 acres of land dedicated as green areas including wetlands and wildlife havens.

This goes further for warehousing that is built to business’ own specifications. Since it was founded in 2010, Verdion has delivered three mega-warehouses for Amazon – two at iPort, the other completed early near Dortmund – as well as bespoke manufacturing and distribution facilities for blue chip companies in sectors from pharmaceuticals and hazardous goods to automotive and dairy supplies, bicycles and fashion.

Our technical team works directly with clients to design and specify each building in line with their requirements, bringing 20+ years’ experience and leading edge thinking to the table. This process is helped further by infrastructure and services being put into place early and the ground prepared ready for building to start as quickly as possible.

And it’s this final point that is the most important. The team’s philosophy at iPort always comes back to two essential factors: what do customers need to do business as effectively as possible in the current economic climate, and how can Verdion help them to deliver it.