Wincanton and IKEA host Prime Minister at new Dartford Distribution Centre
Wincanton and IKEA hosted UK Prime Minister, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, at their new 452,000 sq ft customer distribution centre in Dartford yesterday for his latest PM Connect town hall event. Located at the former Littlebrook Power Station site near the Dartford Crossing and M25, the multi-million-pound distribution centre has the capacity to deliver almost one million orders annually.
As the popularity of online shopping continues to grow, the new facility will enable faster, more sustainable home deliveries to IKEA customers across London and the southeast of England – with many reaching customers within 24 hours of an order being placed.
Investment in Dartford is the latest milestone in IKEA’s ongoing UK expansion through new city stores, Plan and Order Points, the development of existing stores and new fulfilment and delivery capabilities – supporting ambitious plans to make shopping at IKEA more convenient and sustainable than ever before.
The new distribution centre is also enabling a significant reduction in CO2 emissions and is operated by 100% renewable energy. This has seen Wincanton purchase 30 electric home delivery vehicles to support IKEA’s goal of reaching 100% zero emission last mile deliveries by 2025. The new fleet is expected to save Wincanton 1,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year, across just over 10,000 journeys per annum. A further 25 electric vehicles will be added to the fleet later this year.
The Prime Minister enjoyed a tour of the distribution centre, which has a storage capacity of 35,000 m3 – equal to over 77,000 flatpack BILLY bookcases. The launch of the facility has created over 300 local jobs for British logistics firm and longstanding IKEA service provider, Wincanton.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“IKEA and Wincanton’s expansion in the UK and their incredible new distribution centre in Dartford represents a huge vote of confidence in our economy. And with more people buying online here than in the US, I’m committed to harnessing innovation and technology to support this thriving industry – which is creating hundreds of interesting jobs, spreading opportunity and powering growth. I was delighted to meet future leaders of the companies who will continue to unlock opportunity and drive progress in the years ahead.”
Jakob Bertilsson, County Customer Fulfilment Manager, IKEA UK, said:
“For a number of years we have been transforming our business to make IKEA more affordable, accessible and sustainable, however our customers choose to shop with us. Today, with over a third of our sales taking place online, this new multi-million-pound distribution centre in Dartford marks the latest milestone in our continued investment in the UK. Alongside a £4.5m investment in nationwide charging infrastructure, the facility will enable us to reach our goal that by 2025 all customer deliveries will be made by EV.”
To enable IKEA’s 100% zero emission ‘last mile’ deliveries commitment, it will install 28 rapid HGV chargers at the distribution centre to power up HGVs while loading and unloading IKEA goods in under an hour. Additionally, 60 overnight chargers are set to be installed.
James Wroath, CEO of Wincanton, said:
“As one of the UK’s leading supply chain experts, we are proud of the role we play in driving our customers’ growth ambitions and keeping critical parts of the economy moving. In partnership with IKEA, this important new site in Dartford enables us to deliver exceptional service for its customers. At the heart of this is our joint commitment to lead innovation across the sector, to create 300 more jobs and a more sustainable supply chain wherever possible. Our multimillion-pound investment in electric vehicles for home delivery services is a perfect example of that.”