Brexit fears have caused warehouse demand across Hull to rise, as businesses stockpile goods in preparation.
Dale Gooderham, senior agency surveyor at commercial property specialist Garness Jones, said almost all industrial spaces marketed by the firm close to Hull’s docks had been snapped up.
He said many companies had cited Brexit as the reason for the increased demand, as the country waits on the outcome of January 31.
“Without doubt the industrial storage sector in Hull has been one of the beneficiaries of the continued uncertainty of Brexit,” said Mr Gooderham.
“We may have been given some form of certainty in terms of where the country is heading with the result of December’s General Election and Boris Johnson’s complete commitment to leaving the EU on January 31, but we still have so much uncertainty about the impact.
“We first saw importers prepare for any disruption and begin to stockpile goods in advance of the initial October 31 deadline last year, and companies have needed to retain these stocks to give themselves breathing space should they be affected this year.”
Significant commercial property deals have included lettings in excess of 77,000sq.ft and 40,000sq.ft in size, and comes as importers increasingly turn to northern-based ports such as Hull and Immingham to bring in goods to the UK.
It has been three and a half years since voters went to the polls and cast their vote on whether Britain should leave or remain in the European Union.
The UK is set to leave the EU on Friday, January 31 with Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill getting the go-ahead in parliament ahead of being given royal assent to become law.
As it stands, the UK will cease to be a member state of the EU at 11pm on January 31.
In Hull, importers and exporters have been preparing for the date.
Mr Gooderham said: “This significant increase in demand for large industrial warehousing space led to us pretty much filling all large industrial and warehousing space we had in our portfolio along the Hedon Road corridor and the east of the city close to the ports.
“We have been talking some of the region’s biggest and most successful international manufacturing businesses who have taken these steps and also those looking to re-locate their operation to this area.
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“They rely on continually importing products from Europe and simply don’t know how the market is going to change in the coming weeks.”
Mr Gooderham said he was also aware of a significant increase in importers looking to shift from using ports in the south to the north east.
He said: “We’ve spoken to businesses who have always used the southern ports to bring products into the country but have enquired with us about warehousing and industrial space in the Hull area because they are considering switching and trying to avoid the potential congestion down south.
“It just goes to show that there are winners and losers in most aspects of business.”
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