Lead Forensics

Will sanctions affect the supply of warehouse equipment?

The UK government has announced a number of import bans from Russia as part of the economic sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine. Will this impact the supply of warehouse equipment?

Warehouse equipment, including furniture trolleys, picking trolleys, packing tables and shelving, are made from tubular steel. Steel equipment manufactured in Russia is likely to be covered by the import ban, but fortunately, there is enough equipment manufactured in the UK to cover the demand from warehouse owners.

Some tubular steel is manufactured in Russia, but there are other manufacturers in Europe, along with China and other countries. British Steel has announced that it is no longer purchasing Russian coking coal for its steel manufacturing plants.

The ban on Russian steel imports could affect the cost of tubular steel, but European steel costs have already risen due to the large increase in the cost of energy. The cost of warehouse equipment could rise, but there should be plenty of equipment available from leading UK manufacturers, and of course, British manufactured equipment has the benefit of reduced shipping times compared to overseas equipment.

There has been an increase in warehouse construction in the UK. Notable developments include the WA236 complex near Warrington acquired by Marks and Spencer and warehouses in Long Eaton.

According to John Sullivan of Colliers commercial real estate specialists, the warehouse and logistics sector is expected to continue to grow, and that will fuel the high demand for warehouse equipment made from steel.

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