Caunton are supplying the steelwork for what Tim Steiner, the chief executive of Ocado, has called one of the “world’s biggest grocery stores”. Caunton are both designing and supplying over 2300te of steelwork to main contractor McLaren Construction at Erith, Kent for a Temperature Controlled Warehouse with ancillary buildings and offices. It is being developed by Bericote Properties and funded by property investor Tritax Big Box REIT.
The building itself is a massive propped portal frame over 200 metres in span and over 250 metres long, with additional smaller units which include a main office, staff shop, a vehicle maintenance unit and a two storey plant room. The online grocery retailer, Ocado, will open this, their fourth distribution centre in the UK, in 2017, as it continues to benefit from strong demand in internet shopping. When operational, this Erith Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) will have the capacity to handle in excess of 200,000 orders per week.