Arco’s new National Distribution Centre will become operational next month, marking a significant milestone in the company’s 135-year history in Hull. 

The new 220,000sq ft warehouse, near the A63 in west Hull, will become the main storage facility for Arco’s range of safety equipment products.

Capable of holding 40,000 pallets, Arco’s NDC2 marks a £30m investment from the company.

It will play a crucial role in helping Arco scale up its business, as it sets its sights on reaching £500m turnover.

Neil Griffiths, divisional director of logistics and supply chain, said: “Everyone at Arco is extremely excited that build of the NDC2 is now complete.

“Our efforts in expanding the business’s logistical capabilities will allow us to fulfil our ambitious future growth plans.

Neil Griffiths inside Arco's new National Distribution Centre
Neil Griffiths inside Arco's new National Distribution Centre

“Therefore, this investment was a necessary step to enhance the commitment to our customers and future proof our desire to invest in the growing city of Hull and our colleagues alike.

“Being a family business has meant Arco has been able to invest in times when not all businesses could.

“The launch of our NDC2 comes as a celebration for all of us and marks the final logistical phase to ensure that our future growth plans can be met.”

The £30m investment in NDC2 will ensure Arco can meet its customers’ changing needs through its improved logistical capabilities.

Pictures from inside the warehouse

Phase one of the company’s supply chain investment was completed in July 2016 with a £4m investment in NDC1, which increased the company’s picking and packing capability for customer orders.

NDC2 will hold 40,000 pallet locations and become the main storage facility for Arco.

New conveyor belts will link the facility to the original NDC, bringing the total conveyor to 2.7km, and enabling efficient movement of products.

From February 10, Arco will begin to receive pallets of stock into the new extension.

Mr Griffiths said: “Arco’s supply chain strategy was reviewed back in 2013.

“It was identified that we had to do something to improve our logistics capabilities. The family and the company had a shared desire to keep operations in Hull.

“We already owned some of the land where NDC2 is located, and we purchased the rest that we needed, and now we are where we are today.”

Arco's new National Distribution Centre
Arco's new National Distribution Centre

Arco’s NDC2 is located in Henry Boot Way in west Hull, next door to its original National Distribution Centre.

The 220,000 sq ft extension will double the company’s floor space and the purpose-designed building, which stands at 22 metres high, will almost treble its storage capacity.

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Around 1,500 tonnes of steelwork went into building the new distribution centre, which is fitted with a sophisticated fire sprinkler system, including roof and in-rack sprinklers.

The warehouse’s aisles are also fitted with special tracking tacks, with semi-automated vehicles able to lock onto them and control steering.

Elsewhere, construction is under way on Arco’s new £16m headquarters in Hull’s Fruit Market area.

That project is expected to be completed in late 2020, allowing 500 staff at the safety equipment firm to move to the new building.