Peter Ward, CEO of the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) has called on cargo owners to utilize available warehousing space rather than looking to government for help with quay rents and other port charges.

“Port charges are intended to keep cargo moving through the ports for good reason. An appeal to government for financial assistance to keep freight at the port is not only futile, it’s unhelpful in terms of keeping supply chains flowing,” he says. “There is still warehousing space available, albeit only some 10% of potential capacity, and UKWA has set up an Emergency Space Register specifically to assist cargo owners in identifying appropriate space quickly and cost-effectively.”

Ward adds that the issue is not about real estate and empty buildings, but fully equipped and serviced operational space, that can be taken up instantly on a plug-and-play basis.

“There are signs that the government is preparing to allow certain retailers – such as the large DIY sheds – to reopen at some point over the coming weeks. If that happens, obviously more warehousing space will become available as outbound flows recommence. Hopefully the government will give us sufficient time to plan for this, so that warehouse operators, drivers and so forth can be brought back from furlough into the workforce as soon as possible.”

However, if space does runs out, UKWA will also be able to support cargo owners in locating inland off dock storage facilities for fully loaded containers.

The key point, says Ward, is that should off dock storage be required, members can provide this under UKWA terms and conditions.

“There are real commercial risks to storing goods, in terms of ownership and liability, that should not be the responsibility of ports or shipping lines” he explains. “Once cleared through customs, loaded containers can be stored by our members under UKWA legal contracts which state that the ownership, insurance liability and risk sit with the cargo owner. We are keen to work together with all parties to offer a solution for cargo owners that also helps terminals and shipping lines keep boxes moving, while protecting them from unnecessary commercial risk.”

UK Warehousing Association

The UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) is Britain’s leading trade organisation representing the warehousing and third-party logistics (3PL) sector. The association’s 800+ member companies operate some 12 million square metres of warehousing from around 2000 depots across the UK.
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Simon Acres Group has expanded its team with the addition of Andrew Wright, who takes on board the new role of operations manager.

Andrew, who has a background in business management to include recruitment, logistics and warehousing, was appointed on 26 February. He will be working with principal director Simon Acres to drive forward the growth of the business.

“I am excited to join the team at Simon Acres Group, it is a dynamic and fast growing company, with a growing diverse range of services, designed to support merchant and KBB retailers,” says Andrew.

Simon Acres added, “We are delighted Andrew has joined us. We are still planning ahead for business growth this year, despite the challenging times ahead.

“Our team of experienced consultants are all focused on providing an expanded service and robust support to our clients, helping them navigate the ever-changing working environment that we all find ourselves in.”

Simon Acres Group Ltd has launched a smart finance solution that will provide valuable support to retailers, as they negotiate new ways of doing business to deal with COVID-19.

The ‘businesses to business introduction’ package works differently to other finance options, making it a simple to understand offer that is easy to implement, without the need for FCA accreditation.

“We had already received a lot of interest in our finance solution when we soft launched it last month,” says director Simon Acres. “In the current circumstances it is now even more valuable, as a tool that will support increased sales conversions with higher project values.

“The key difference of our offer is that the individual customer finances themselves at the point of sale in the showroom. The transparent offer is made with variable interest-bearing options, and via a portal, an instant decision is made with funds then deposited to the customer. The customer simply purchases via the retailer’s standard terms and conditions.

“Retailers can access this service with no fuss and will be fully supported with POS and training. Because the finance is arranged direct with the consumer, there is no time lag for the retailer and cash flow remains uninterrupted.

“These are unprecedented times for us all. It remains our focus to support retailers and merchants as best we can, offering them solutions and tools to maintain business if they are working from home, or hit the ground running when branches or showrooms resume trading.”

To receive more information on the smart finance solution, please visit

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