From a leading logistics provider

April 12, 2021
Everything You Need to Know About Food & Drink Warehousing in the UK

Food, glorious food! Whether you need assistance in storing raw ingredients, finished products or packaging- food warehousing is a vital step along the journey to the retailer and supermarket shelves.

Food grade storage facilities must adhere to rigorous standards for food storage and production, with stringent quality processes to make sure your product stays in pristine condition.

If you’re a food manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer looking for food and drink warehousing, you may be wondering “where do I start?”

Let’s begin with the basics.

What are Fast Moving Consumer Goods?

Food and drink are fast moving consumer goods. Fast moving consumer goods or (FMCG) refers to products that are highly in-demand, sold quickly and affordable. These items are considered “fast-moving” as they are quick to leave the shelves of a shop or supermarket because consumers use them on a regular basis.

Fast-moving consumer goods can include a variety of things such as packaged food, drinks, stationery, over-the-counter medicines, cleaning products, plastic goods, personal care products and less expensive consumer electronics.

FMCG products are consumed shortly after they are produced, so it’s important to keep production uptime high at all times. Any stop in production can cause empty shelves and a loss of revenue to your business. Improved warehousing and logistics play a key role in your FMCG and food and drink success in the shops.

What is Food Warehousing?

Businesses who manufacturer and sell food (or drink) know exactly how important it is to store, pack and distribute their products from a secure and trusted environment. You’ll want to find a warehouse that has experience getting food or ingredients from the starting line to the supermarket. In food manufacturing, timing is everything.

Logistics providers who focus on food or drink warehousing will work seamlessly with suppliers, and yourself, to ensure ingredients reach the production line just-in-time. They’ll also ensure finished products are stored for the minimum amount of time before reaching retailers and consumers. A food warehouse is a necessary step in any growing food and drink business.

What is Alcohol and Soft Drinks Warehousing?

Alcohol and soft drinks are one of the largest growing markets in the UK and finding the right warehousing and logistics for their specific needs is a key factor in any drinks business’s success.

Using an Excise Bonded Warehouse is important for any alcohol manufacturer as it will allow you to manufacture, import and store alcohol while deferring duty and VAT. Wet bonded refers to goods that would be subject to excise including beers, wines and spirits etc.

Goods that are imported into a country are usually subject to tariffs or duty. Normally these taxes must be paid immediately by the person or business importing goods, even if the goods haven’t been sold yet. Businesses can avoid or delay these taxes by using a bonded warehouse instead. Taxes only become due once the products are distributed or sold.

The biggest benefit in using a bonded warehouse for your company is the cash flow. Using a bonded warehouse allows businesses to import goods in high quantities all while avoiding a large tax bill until enough sales have been made to cover the costs of duty and VAT.

What is a Warehouse Management System?

A warehouse management system (WMS) consists of the software and supporting hardware, such has handheld scanners, to manage stock movements. The goal of any WMS is to ensure that goods and materials move through the warehouse in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

For food warehousing a WMS is extremely important as it can handle all elements of the fulfilment process, including inventory tracking, picking and shipping. It also offers tailored daily or weekly reports to enable businesses to be in the loop at all times.

Why Choose Ambient Warehousing?

Ambient warehousing refers to storage facilities that will keep goods at room temperature. Pre-packaged snacks, alcohol, toys, clothes and many other fast moving consumer goods will need to be kept in a dry environment and at a consistent room temperature all year.

Why Choose BRC Approved?

British Retail Consortium (BRC) storage and distribution certificates demonstrate a warehouse’s high standard in food, packing, storage and distribution.

The BRC was founded in 1996 by retailers who wanted to harmonise food safety standards across the supply chain. BRC Global Standards are used by over 25,000 certified suppliers in over 130 countries worldwide.

If you’re a large business or a growing brand, using a BRC approved warehouse can give you peace of mind that your goods are being dealt with to the highest safety standard.

Food and Drink Warehousing at Johnston Logistics

Here at Johnston Logistics UK we provide wet bonded, customs and excise bonded warehousing.

As an HMRC customs and excise bonded warehouse, we receive imported goods from across the world and handle over 20,000 pallets of alcohol each year, including 50% of all Asda supermarkets’ wine.

We’re conveniently located in the East of England, close to major UK ports and ready to serve the UK, Europe and the world.

We have extensive experience in handling food and drink of both household names and growing businesses. There is little substitute for experience, and as a proven logistics partner we can make your ambient logistics one less thing to worry about.

If you need help receiving, storing and distributing your business’ food and drink, call us on 01953 883381 or contact us here.