UK – Corrugated specialist, Lesters has invested £100k (US$118,710) in a second warehousing operation to help it cope with a 120% increase in orders.

The new warehouse is based in south Staffordshire where the company has fitted out the 25,000 sq. ft facility near its headquarters in Mount Road, Burntwood, with flexible racking.

This latest move, coupled with its existing Lesters Logistics facilities, means the company can now offer 47,000 sq. ft of storage space, 20,000 sq. ft of floor storage space and 3,000 pallet spaces.

It will help the firm bring the storage of its stocked items in-house, reducing lead times and ensuring even better customer service for clients in the aerospace, automotive, pharma, renewables and online shopping sectors.

Managing Director Billy Hutchinson said: “We have a three-year expansion plan that will see the business move to £25 million (US$29.68 million) of annual sales and getting more of our stock under our control is an important step in making that happen.

“It was previously outsourced and that didn’t give us the flexibility we needed, especially with more customers coming online by the day.

“Taking on the unit, a stone’s throw from our current factory, gives us a lot more space for our stocked items, as we are increasing our ability to offer more stock and serve options to clients. Supply chain challenges are a big talking point for our customers.”

Hutchinson explained that recent events and uncertainty have created a need for many UK businesses including Lesters to increase their security of supply for the critical packaging lines they require.

Lesters said the past 12 months had been transformative for the company, boosted by the surge in online shopping during the pandemic lockdowns which had seen turnover rise to £16 million (US$18.99 million) and its payroll increase to 60 people.

The company has invested £7 million (US$8.31 million) in the installation of new equipment and machinery which it said had enabled it to reduce lead times and increase capacity.

Mr. Hutchinson added: “We are exploring a way of creating our own ecosystem where we have full control over the whole of the packaging production process, from print ink and design, right through to distribution through Lesters Logistics in Nuneaton.

He added that the company was also focused on providing brands and retailers the choice to switch to material with the introduction of the Plastic Packaging Tax – manufacturers or importers of plastic packaging could be hit by a £200 (US$237.42) tax for every per metric tonne of plastic packaging.

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