The port facilities in Essex lie right between two of the busiest, and therefore most expensive ports in the South. I don’t need to elaborate too much on the cost of doing business in London. Land prices for any use are exorbitant, and labour prices don’t lag much behind. As a result, warehouse storage and distribution from London’s port facilities are just too expensive for all but the highest-margin goods.
Years ago, many warehousing and distribution houses moved north to Felixstowe for just this reason. At the time, Felixstowe was not a busy port, convenient to London and most of the South by road and rail, and had a ample supply of reasonably priced land and labour. But that was years ago. Felixstowe now is running at near its full warehousing capacity, and as a result it costs nearly as much to do business there as in London. Any savings are offset by the need to transport most of your goods into London itself.
So why should the small businessman consider Essex warehousing?
Shouldering aside the giants running out of London or Felixstowe would cost so much you could be running at a loss, and working out of a warehousing & distribution facility farther north or west takes too long and ends up being nearly as expensive. The answer is Essex.
Essex’s port facilities, including warehouse capacity, have been underutilised for years. But why? It lies cheek-by-jowl with London itself, much closer to the centre of population than Felixstowe. Its prices are substantially lower than either, and those warehousing and distribution companies operating there could easily expand operations to suit even very large customers. Could it be that Essex is just too unfashionable?
The time for considering factors like that passed years ago. As margins fall all over the shipping and transport sector, businesses need to take another look at Essex as a distribution hub for the South. They simply can’t afford not to any more.