The New Distribution: Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Large Distribution Warehouse Premises in England and Wales

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

The New Distribution: Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Large Distribution Warehouse Premises in England and Wales


  • Paul Greenhalgh Department of Architecture and Built Environment, Northumbria University, UK
  • Helen M. King Department of Geography and Environmental Science, Northumbria University, UK
  • Kevin Muldoon-Smith Department of Architecture and Built Environment, Northumbria University, UK
  • Josephine Ellis Department of Architecture and Built Environment, Northumbria University, UK


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Abstract:  This research addresses the deficit of empirical investigation of changes in industrial and warehouse property markets in the UK. It uses business rates (rating list) data for England and Wales to reveal changes in the quantum and distribution of premises over the last decade. Spatio-temporal analysis using geographical information systems identifies where new industrial and warehouse premises have been developed and examines spatial changes in the distribution of premises between the two sectors. The research focuses on the development of new large distribution warehouses (LDWs) to investigate whether there is a new pattern of warehouse premises located in close proximity to junctions on the national highway network. Findings confirm the emergence of a dynamic distribution warehouse property market where “super sheds” have been developed in areas with high levels of multi-modal connectivity. The comprehensive spatio-temporal analysis of all industrial and warehouse premises in England and Wales reconfigures the previously recognised Midlands “Golden Triangle” of distribution warehouses to a “Golden Pointer” and reveals the emergence of a rival “Northern Dumbbell” of distribution warehouse premises in the North of England. Further analysis using isochrones confirms that 85% of the population of Great Britain is situated within four hours average heavy goods vehicle drive time of these two concentrations of super sheds and over 60% of all LDWs floorspace is within 30 minutes’ drive of intermodal rail freight interchanges.

Keywords:  distribution warehouses; drive time; England; GIS; industrial; logistics; motorways; multi-modal; spatio-temporal; Wales

Published:   23 September 2021


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v6i3.4222


© Paul Greenhalgh, Helen M. King, Kevin Muldoon-Smith, Josephine Ellis. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.