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Heathrow express courier anticipates imports influx

Heathrow Airport’s sole onsite express courier, CFL said it expects its imports in the run up to Christmas to be up almost one third (30%) compared to last year.

CFL, which is owned by industry companies including Fed Ex, DHL, UPS and Virgin and operates the UK’s only dedicated multi-user express handling facility, said that India is an increasingly important source of express shipments into the UK.

According to the Department for Business and Trade, total UK imports from India amounted to £22.3bn in the four quarters to the end of the second quarter of 2023, an increase of almost 24% compared to the same four quarters last year, pointed out CFL.

Matthew Ware, chief excutive at CFL, said: “Indian express import volumes have grown by around 30% year-on-year, and show no signs of slowing down. India is becoming one of the most important import markets for the UK and we are uniquely well placed to meet this growing demand.

Ware added: “This anticipated boost in pre-Christmas imports has led to us adapt our working practices and invest in new IT systems, in order to maintain our best-in-class delivery times.”

As well as a surge in imports, the approach of Christmas is driving up anticipated December export volumes, which CFL expects to be around 50% higher than the rest of the year.

The strength of the pound, currently at its highest level against the dollar for 15 months, is a significant factor.

Ware said: “On some days, including Black Friday and the ten days before Christmas, volumes can be two or three higher than other times of the year.”

AIPUT expands 

Elsewhere in the Heathrow area, AIPUT (Airport Industrial Property Unit Trust) has been granted planning permission for a new 67,000 sq ft GEA (Gross External Area) industrial warehouse building at its Radius Park industrial campus.

The ‘RP6’ warehouse will be a consolidation of two previous warehouse buildings at AIPUT’s 16-acre Radius Park campus, close to the airport.

The building will be stripped back to the structural steel and floor slab to create a new high quality, sustainable and flexible single warehouse building.

The new warehouse has been designed to achieve EPC A+ energy sustainability performance, incorporating roof-mounted photovoltaic panels and other low and zero carbon technologies designed to minimise both embodied and operational carbon.

Additionally, large areas of sustainably sourced timber cladding will be used on the new building. The finished warehouse is projected to achieve a minimum of BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and EPC ‘A+’ ratings.

RP6 represents the latest step in the delivery of AIPUT’s Pathway to Net Zero strategy, which seeks to decarbonise the fund’s operations and its entire logistics real asset portfolio by 2040.

Subject to the timing of final legal agreements, AIPUT hopes that the new RP6 warehouse will be ready for tenant occupation by Q4 2024.  The fund’s existing customers at its Radius Park campus include ASC Cargo, Brinks, Customs Clearance Limited, ECMS Global and Gate Gourmet.

Heathrow cargo tunnel set to re-open

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