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Are old car parks the cavalry we’ve been waiting for?

09 December 2020

There has long been a crisis in UK warehousing. The sustained growth of eCommerce throughout the last ten years has changed the dynamics of logistics in the UK profoundly, creating a demand for warehousing and delivery space close to centres of population that has not been easily met.

This might be about to get a bit easier. The pandemic has accelerated eComm even further but it has also accelerated trends such as home working, brought commuting into question and is helping to nudge people away from driving into cities, much like tightening regs on car emissions.

Looking at the future of urban transport (more bicycles, and shared ownership of electric vehicles perhaps?) the single occupant car driving into the city is unlikely to be a central part of it.

A by-product of this is that city centre multi-storey car parks are unlikely to be as heavily utilised as before.

You might not spend much time thinking about car parks, but if you do for a second, you’ll realise they are often in prime urban locations.

So why not use this soon-to-be-dead space to help with last mile logistics?

This is in its early days, but we are already seeing initiatives in major capitals such as Berlin and London.

The London Wall Car Park in the City will see 39 car park scares repurposed as a last mile logistics hub to be operated by Amazon Logistics.

After all, what else should we use the old car parks for? More flats? Mushroom farming?

Urban logistics is certainly attracting investment, such as MARK recently raising 500 million euros to invest in sites across the EU.