Walsall is one of the UK’s leading supply chain centres and a prime location for logistics and distribution companies.Walsall’s key competitive advantage – its location at the heart of the UK’s strategic transport network – has particular significance for this sector.
Walsall is circled by motorways, 75% of the UK’s population are within 5 hours HGV drive of the Black Country. The M6 motorway passes through Walsall and the M6 Toll borders the north of Walsall, while the M5 runs from the south and the M54 from the north west of the borough.
Bescot Yard, the Black Country’s main rail freight facility, is located in Walsall and offers a convenient low cost alternative to road freight.
Birmingham Airport is approximately 18 miles from Walsall. The airport provides links to destinations and international hubs across the world, bringing international supply chains and markets to businesses across the West Midlands.
Walsall has seen strong growth logistics in recent years and has almost 10,000 people employed in the sector, approximately 10% of the borough’s employment base.
Transport and logistics businesses operating in Walsall can access a wide range of training and development opportunities from apprenticeships in warehousing and storage and heavy vehicle maintenance and repair to Masters level programmes at nearby universities in logistics and advanced supply chain management.
Who’s already here?
National Express employs over 500 people in the public transport sector in Walsall.
Walsall is home to the TK Maxx national processing centre, Poundland and Lidle Distribution
AF Blakemore & Sons distributes to 980 SPAR stores across the UK from its 514,000 sq ft distribution centre in Willenhall.
DX Freight, a national logistics business, are based in Willenhall
Improvements to the transport infrastructure will see Walsall playing an increasingly important role in transport and logistics and present new opportunities for companies locating to the Borough. Planned improvements to M6 Junction 10 will provide additional capacity and increase access to the motorway network.
The £26m Darlaston Highway Improvement Project is due to start in 2014 in the west of the borough to assist the development of the Enterprise Zone sites.
Rail freight movements across the region are expected to grow around 30% by 2030 and Walsall is ideally located to facilitate this increase with proposals to remodel Bescot Yard as an Intermodal Rail Freight Interchange.
The extended runway at Birmingham Airport, due for completion in 2014, will allow new long haul direct routes to the West Coast of the USA, China, South Africa and South America, opening up further opportunities for international business.