Introducing Port One Logistics Park: Pioneering Sustainability Across Our Region

02 October 2023 - Steven Burgess

Located strategically along of the A14 at junction 52, Port One Logistics Park is a major step forward in the development of logistic park facilities in the UK. Projected to cover an expansive 4.5 million square feet in a couple of years, it promises not only cutting[1]edge storage solutions but also optimises accessibility along the A14 and A12 corridors, connecting the east coast ports to the heartbeat of UK trade. We spoke to Murray Gibson at Port One who explained more about the development.

What makes the design of Port One different to other storage facilities?

At the core of Port One’s allure lies its commitment to sustainable modern solutions. The purpose-built units have been meticulously crafted, to marry space and height, dwarfing the traditional four-tier storage model and unlocking capacity. Catering precisely to the needs of our diverse clientele allows business operations to run more efficiently; from customisable mezzanine levels to fluid layouts, every aspect of these units has been designed to meet evolving business needs.

Can you say something about the sustainability ethos you have developed at Port One?

We’ve tried to set up Port One as a trailblazer in sustainability, setting a new standard for environmentally conscious logistics. Acres of solar panels sit on our roofing and the surrounding landscape, providing 100% of our energy needs by ultimately generating 5.2 megawatts of green energy when fully developed. Charging stations for electric vehicles and forklifts are already in place and more are planned, to ensure the design is moving toward cleaner operations.

Our vision for Port One has had sustainability embedded at every stage of its design, planning and procurement. A business’s green credentials are not something that can be ignored, and we all need to make our move onto this sustainable path at a much faster pace. The beauty of Port One is that any new tenant will already be making giant leaps in sustainability simply by acquiring one of our warehouses as it comes as a pre-requisite.

Further investment has been made locally by planting 30,000 native trees as well as undertaking the regeneration and long-term management of nearby Great Blakenham Riverside Park to ensure it becomes a place where native flora and fauna can thrive. Rainwater is harvested to create rain gardens and wet woodland and 98% of their waste is recycled by a local company within a mile. What can’t be recycled from the site is used for waste to energy. Natural sustainability comes from the strategic location of Port One, meaning lorries will be travelling fewer miles between Port One, Felixstowe and Harwich. It is estimated that the reduction could be savings of 5 million miles every year.

Port One sits at the centre of the Freeport East Zone and will be able to take advantage of their plans to establish a Green Hydrogen Hub and integrating diverse sources of sustainable energy to fuel vehicles and equipment.

How will its location benefit the distribution network in the east of England?

Port One Logistics Park’s strategic location is not just key for avoiding the disruptions of bridge closures off the port, it ensures a seamless flow of goods once the trucks arrive at the Logistics Park, bypassing hurdles that often stymie distribution. This is reflected in the park’s design as a hub for e-commerce, as we have recognised the dynamic shift in consumer habits, with three-quarters of the site operating as a conduit for B2C commerce.

Port One Logistics Park forms an integral cog in our region’s trade ecosystem, bringing together retailers, freight-forwarders, warehousing stalwarts, and transport, all relying on Port One to catalyse their operations.

Can you say something about the challenges you overcame?

Like any other large-scale project there have been challenges to overcome, not least in dealing with the geography of the site. The ground was very uneven, in some places having thirty metre drops, which was a significant problem, given the millimetre-perfect structural requirements of the project. The solution came through moving over 500,000 m3 of soil and using eight different types of retaining structure to complete the nine buildings.

There were also climatic issues, as the building work took place over a very hot summer, which meant that construction workers had to start work at 4am so they could complete their working day before the temperatures became too hot to continue.

Are there plans to expand?

There are currently two new warehouses under construction, adding nearly half a million square feet to Port One’s estate and by the end of 2023 three more warehouses will join the park. Port One also has additional plans for secure, gated lorry parking facilities with top[1]tier amenities, demonstrating a commitment not only to goods and vehicles but to the lorry drivers, ensuring their comfort and safety.

How has the project impacted the local economy?

Port One Logistics Park reverberates with opportunity and its impact on the local community is palpable. This is echoed in the opening of a recruitment office on site, underlining the park’s commitment to local employment and growth. As rental costs escalate, Port One Logistics Park offers secure 24/7 access, clean and sustainable solutions, and increased capacity, coupled with the promise of 21st-century amenities at exceptional rates.

As it matures into a key part of the UK distribution infrastructure, Port One has emerged as a testament to the perseverance and pursuit of excellence within the logistics sector in our region. It’s a transformative project which promises a greener and more prosperous tomorrow for all who embrace its offering.

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