We caught up with Ian Keilty, Managing Director of Retail & Consumer at Wincanton, to discuss this new on-demand platform and what it means for the future of warehousing.
Can you explain what oneVASTwarehouse is and how to use it?
oneVASTwarehouse is about collaboration. It’s an online platform that matches buyers and sellers of warehouse space across the UK. It’s designed to link those looking for storage and those looking to generate revenue from their underutilised space.
We have over 30m sq. ft. of available space listed now, which is made up of Wincanton’s property portfolio and that of its partners, as well as third-party businesses advertising through the platform.
Talk us through the selling side of oneVASTwarehouse
Third-party businesses can advertise their excess storage space through the platform. This could be a section of their warehouse, an area of racking or even an entire facility.
All businesses, whether they are a supermarket, consumer goods company or manufacturer, will have peaks and troughs in demand. While one user needs more space, another may need less. By working collaboratively with other businesses through a platform like oneVASTwarehouse, sellers can generate a new revenue stream that works around their own business needs.
Tell us how oneVASTwarehouse is combatting the shortage of warehouse space ahead of October’s Brexit deadline
Many warehouses are running at, or close to, capacity at the moment following the stockpiling activities of early 2019.
Because of this, we’re in the midst of an unprecedented demand for storage space, which is likely to have significant knock-on effects for the coming 31 October Brexit deadline. This deadline will coincide with peak season for retailers and the logistics industry; the run-up to Christmas, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
To address this, the industry needs better visibility of where there is space and how it can best be used. We need to think differently about how we share warehousing space and the services which support it. And that’s where oneVASTwarehouse comes in.
With warehouse owners and operators able to sell their underused space to those that need it, the platform is opening up resources that would otherwise have been unavailable; at the time they’re most needed.
A collaborative approach will help more businesses find the space they need.
How did oneVASTwarehouse start?
We’ve been able to build oneVASTwarehouse by working with a start-up business that came through our W2 Labs programme. Working with them to share expertise, we’ve been able to bring a new business to market at pace; which is essential in modern logistics.
We are committed to finding new ways to address the industry’s biggest challenges and make an impact for our customers.
What is your vision for oneVASTwarehouse?
We see oneVASTwarehouse as an easy-to-use platform that links businesses across the industry. There are mutual benefits for those looking to buy and sell space, so putting the two together makes sense.
There are other flexible, on-demand warehousing platforms, but oneVASTwarehouse aims to put everything in one place. If you’re buying storage, you can find the right location and the right amount of space, and organise transportation through Wincanton’s fleet of around 3,500 LGVs all through one platform. As well as this, you can purchase additional 3PL wraparound services, such as ‘pick and pack’.
In short, we will be bringing a complete collection, storage and delivery solution to the market and sharing it with customers and competitors in a very open way as the platform continues to develop.