Lead Forensics

The effect of stockpiling on warehouse logistics

Before Brexit, there was uncertainty about the future availability of goods from Europe. This led to some households stockpiling food they believed would be short supply due to Brexit. Some businesses also increased their orders for goods they predicted could be difficult to obtain or more expensive post-Brexit.

Recent weeks have seen Brexit fears replaced by panic buying in order to stockpile essential items people think will need if they are forced to quarantine themselves due to the coronavirus.

In the summer of 2019, Peter Ward of the United Kingdom Warehousing Association told the BBC that UK warehouses were full. There has also been a demand for more storage space due to the large increase in online shopping. More warehouses have been built and existing ones have been expanded. Storage racks production has increased to cope with the demand to equip all this extra space.

Panic buying is that it creates an uneven demand, but not necessarily more long-term sales. The people who stockpile toilet paper are not going to use more paper, but simply to wait longer before buying more. As observers have pointed out, being infected by the coronavirus does not cause a bodily condition that requires more toilet paper.

When social media is full of images of empty shelves, more people think that essentials needed for their households have run out, and this fuels further panic buying and more challenges for warehouse owners.

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