United Kingdom Warehousing and Distribution Logistics Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022-2027)

The United Kingdom warehousing and distribution logistics market is segmented by End User (Manufacturing, Consumer Goods, Food and Beverage, Retail, Healthcare, and Other End Users). The report offers market size and forecasts for the United Kingdom warehousing and distribution logistics market in value (USD Billion) for all the above segments.

Market Snapshot

United Kingdom Warehousing and Distribution Logistics Market - Market Summary
Study Period: 2018-2027
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: >7 %

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Market Overview

The UK warehousing and distribution logistics market is expected to witness a CAGR of 7% during the forecast period.

As COVID-19 made its way around the world, global supply systems were disrupted, throwing supply and demand entirely out of balance. As a result, warehouses and distribution centers were all affected in the United Kingdom. However, the pandemic's impact has forced new assessments of and action on everything from the degree of automation and advanced software required. Industry revenue is expected to expand during the forecast period backed by the easing of lockdown restrictions, improving economic conditions, and therefore boosting demand in the market.

The United Kingdom is experiencing a record-breaking boom in the construction of massive sheds to serve the soaring increase of internet shopping during the pandemic. Nearly 37 million square feet (3.4 million square meters) of warehouse space was slated for construction in 2021, up from 23 million square feet in 2020 and 21 million square feet in 2019.

E-commerce continues to drive demand for warehouse expansion, but new warehouses are also needed to support the development of innovative technologies and sustainable energy. The UK warehousing sector is anticipated to continue strong for the foreseeable future.

Scope of the Report

Warehousing primarily refers to the storage of goods, which are to be transported, whether inbound or outbound and is one of the major segments of the rapidly growing industry. Distribution is related to the management of the flow of goods between the point of origin to the point of consumption. The core objective of the warehouse and distribution logistics sector is to send the right product to the right destination on time, on budget, and with end-to-end visibility. The UK warehousing and distribution logistics market is segmented by End User (Manufacturing, Consumer Goods, Food and Beverage, Retail, Healthcare, and Other End Users). The report offers market size and forecasts for the UK warehousing and distribution logistics market in value (USD Billion) for all the above segments. The report also covers the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic on the market.

By End User
Consumer Goods
Food and Beverage
Other End Users

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Key Market Trends

E-commerce Growth Driving the Warehouse Development

In 2021, 40 million square feet of new warehouse space in developments larger than 50,000 square feet was completed, up from the 20 million square feet finished in 2020. This indicates that retailers' long-term strategic planning in response to e-commerce expansion has resulted in an increase in development activities.

Vacant warehousing remains low in the UK, with only 46 million square feet of space available, or 10 months' worth of supply at current take-up rates. Due to strong demand, the availability of space, particularly high-quality space, decreased throughout the course of 2021, fueling development.

In 2020, online sales accounted for 27.9% of total retail sales, while e-commerce penetration rates hit a new high of 36.3% in January 2021. Retailers and distribution companies have reacted by aggressively scaling up their operations and expanding delivery services, with warehouse take-up exceeding 50 million square feet in 2020.

According to estimates, every USD 1.1 billion in online sales requires 1.36 million square feet of warehouse space. Online sales increased by USD 37.83 billion Y-o-Y in 2020 and are expected to further increase by USD 45.6 billion over the next four years, demanding more warehouse capacity.

United Kingdom Warehousing and Distribution Logistics Market - Driving Factor Trend

Increased Use of Warehouse Automation

In the United Kingdom, the adoption of automation in warehouses and distribution centers has accelerated due to rising e-commerce activity and the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brexit resulted in a massive departure of EU nationals employed in the UK logistics industry. There is currently a scarcity of trained Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers and Material Handling Equipment (MHE) operators within the space. Industries continue to count on automation to meet demand with their limited workforces.

The situation with the UK labor shortages is said to have worsened in the last 18 months as a result of challenges associated with the pandemic. This, combined with an increase in e-commerce activity, has prompted more industries to adopt automation technology to increase productivity while maintaining social distance.

It is not just labor that is in short supply, the United Kingdom is struggling for space, with more distribution centers needed to meet the demand created by an e-commerce boom and the grocery sector. With the scarcity of land and labor, automation is becoming even more valuable to UK warehousing firms.

United Kingdom Warehousing and Distribution Logistics Market - Driving Factor Trend

Competitive Landscape

The UK warehousing and distribution logistics market is highly fragmented, with the domination of global and regional players. Some of the major players include DHL, DB Schenker, and CEVA Logistics. With a high number of companies operating in the market, the competition is very high. To gain a competitive edge over others, many players have started inducing new technologies like supply chain integration. The market is highly competitive, with players competing and partnering to gain a substantial market share.

Recent Developments

November 2021: DB Schenker (a global logistics Company) announced a new partnership with Volta Trucks (a company that manufactures and provides services for zero-emissions electric trucks) to accelerate the transition to an all-electric urban vehicle fleet. DB Schenker pre-ordered nearly 1,500 full-electric Volta Zero vehicles, the most significant order for large zero-emission trucks. As part of the partnership, DB Schenker will use the first prototype of Volta Zero Trucks in real distribution conditions in the spring and summer of 2022.

May 2021: CEVA Logistics (a global logistics and supply chain company) completed a successful Zero Defects Start-up for the full Omni-channel distribution of sports apparel products of Under Armour (an American sports equipment company that manufactures footwear, sports, and casual apparel) in the United Kingdom. This follows CEVA’s implementation of Under Armour’s United Kingdom e-commerce business as part of an ongoing, multi-year contract.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Deliverables

    2. 1.2 Study Assumptions

    3. 1.3 Scope of the Study


    1. 2.1 Analysis Methodology

    2. 2.2 Research Phases



    1. 4.1 Current Market Scenario

    2. 4.2 Value Chain / Supply Chain Analysis

    3. 4.3 Technological Developments in Warehousing

    4. 4.4 Government Regulations

    5. 4.5 Insights into Warehousing Rents

    6. 4.6 Insights into General Warehousing

    7. 4.7 Insights into Dangerous Goods Warehousing

    8. 4.8 Insights into Refrigerated Warehousing

    9. 4.9 Insights into Effects of E-commerce Growth

    10. 4.10 Insights into Free Zones and Industrial Parks

    11. 4.11 Impact of COVID-19 on the Market


    1. 5.1 Market Drivers

    2. 5.2 Market Restraints

    3. 5.3 Market Opportunities

    4. 5.4 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 5.4.1 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      2. 5.4.2 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      3. 5.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 5.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 5.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 6.1 By End User

      1. 6.1.1 Manufacturing

      2. 6.1.2 Consumer Goods

      3. 6.1.3 Food and Beverage

      4. 6.1.4 Retail

      5. 6.1.5 Healthcare

      6. 6.1.6 Other End Users


    1. 7.1 Market Concentration overpower

    2. 7.2 Company Profiles

      1. 7.2.1 DHL

      2. 7.2.2 Kuehne + Nagel

      3. 7.2.3 CEVA Logistics

      4. 7.2.4 DB Schenker

      5. 7.2.5 Rhenus Logistics

      6. 7.2.6 Wincanton PLC

      7. 7.2.7 Yusen Logistics

      8. 7.2.8 Fullers Logistics

      9. 7.2.9 Apex Logistics

      10. 7.2.10 Expeditors

      11. 7.2.11 CDL Logistics

      12. 7.2.12 Whistl*

    3. *List Not Exhaustive

  9. 9. APPENDIX

    1. 9.1 Macroeconomic Indicators (GDP Distribution, by Activity, and Insights on Capital Inflows)

    2. 9.2 External Trade Statistics - Exports and Imports

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Frequently Asked Questions

The United Kingdom Warehousing and Distribution Logistics Market market is studied from 2018 - 2027.

The United Kingdom Warehousing and Distribution Logistics Market is growing at a CAGR of >7% over the next 5 years.

DHL Group, CEVA Logistics, Kuehne+Nagel, DB Schenker, Rhenus Logistics are the major companies operating in United Kingdom Warehousing and Distribution Logistics Market.

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