Heathrow Airport plans to establish four logistics hubs for offsite manufacturing. In April they invited bids from communities and companies to host the hubs as part of its wider supply chain management plans. At least one logistics hub will be in Scotland, under a deal agreed with the Scottish government.
The response to that invitation appears to have made an impression, with 121 bids received from all over the country. Pitches have come from both local authorities suggesting sites where a hub could be constructed and from organisations offering existing properties they own as potential locations.
Heathrow are looking to become the first major infrastructure project in the UK to use large scale logistics hubs, in the aim to build as much of the project off-site as possible. The logistics hubs will work by pre-assembling components off-site before transporting them in consolidated loads to Heathrow on a JIT (Just-In-Time) basis. A haulage exchange platform could help transport operators find back loads for their deliveries to Heathrow.
Heathrow Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Expanding Heathrow is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to really boost growth across Britain – and not just with more capacity at the nation’s hub airport, but from building it.
Over 100 communities across Britain have put themselves forward to host one of our pioneering logistics hubs and we couldn’t be more impressed by the applicants.
Together we’ll build an expanded Heathrow – boosting growth outside London, leaving a world-class construction legacy for the UK and delivering expansion faster, cheaper and with less impact on our local communities.”
The final four will be announced later this year with the successful candidates best demonstrating the positive economic impact a logistics hub in that location would make.