Europa Road has announced that it is centralising its European road freight by creating 1hub at its newly opened £30million, 26,368 square metre Dartford site. The launch of this 1hub concept on 1st August creates the UK’s largest European groupage hub, with all Europa Road's network of 10 regional branches around the UK, trunking directly into that hub.
Europa believes that this change puts the business on target to become the clear market leader for groupage business between the UK and Europe. The team believes that the new operating model will ultimately change the market place for UK/ European groupage distribution.
Andrew Baxter, Managing Director of Europa Worldwide Group said:
"The launch of this 1hub concept will result in improved efficiencies as additional trunking or collection costs for northern freight are fully offset by reduced international line haul costs. However, by centralising all our volume in 1hub, we will be able to increase payloads and operate direct line services to more European hubs, which will drive down overseas distribution costs.
"In addition, this move means we will be able to build daily services to all our European partner depots, which will reduce transit times and improve quality.”
Europa believes that the dramatic simplification in its operational infrastructure will enable it to reduce operational and overhead costs.
"No other company operates a domestic network with direct trunks to the whole of the UK, from the east side of London. We estimate Dartford is the gateway between the UK and the continent for 95 per cent of groupage business; it is therefore the perfect hub location for European freight. These economic and transit time benefits cannot be replicated by national hubs based in the midlands.
“This is a critical issue for the pallet networks, which will continue to limit their progress in the European groupage market. Taking a pallet from London to Birmingham and then to Paris, means two things, higher prices, and slower transit times. This is not a model that will succeed in the long term.
“Most of our competitors have operating models with regional hubs, so we believe we have an unprecedented opportunity to steal a march on them which is why we have built the UK's largest European groupage hub. Our objective is to become the clear market leader for groupage business between the UK and Europe during 2017; we believe that this move puts us on target to achieve that goal.”
1hub will also put more destinations within a "next day" window than midlands hubs - as well as making two-day destinations really two days rather than three days. This, coupled with double-manned trucks, makes the case for using Europa even more compelling believes Baxter.
As of the 1st August, Europa will close its northern hub operations in Birmingham – but its Birmingham sales branch, seafreight office and local distribution will be unaffected by the change. Europa’s Birmingham logistics operation will expand into the space vacated by the road freight operation.
- Europa, which Baxter bought in August 2013, employs more than 500 people across 13 sites in the UK and Hong Kong and is represented in 100 countries
- As well as its successful road freight operation, Europa Worldwide also provides specialist air, sea, warehouse and showfreight services
- 1hub already supports 350 direct jobs
- 290,047 sq ft facility
- Designed to achieve a minimum BREAAM 2011 ‘very good’ accreditation and the best EPC rating possible for its size
- 204,294 sq ft of dedicated warehouse and logistics space, split equally between warehouse logistics and European transit operations
- Total racked storage capacity of 25,000 pallet spaces
- Racking built to accommodate pallets up to 8 levels and installed with in-rack sprinklers
- An additional 28,450 sq ft, split over 2 mezzanine floors will be dedicated to pick and pack and assembly activities
- Strategically located off junction 1A of the M25 with excellent road connections with the A2, A20, A13, the Channel Tunnel and the A2/M2 to the Port of Dover
- Europa’s customer, Sahara Presentation Systems PLC, the UK’s market leading manufacturer and distributor of audio-visual (AV) presentation products, will occupy 8,000 square feet of office space and almost 3,000 warehouse pallet spaces at the new site