DP World, a leading provider of global end-to-end supply chain solutions, will this month open the UK’s largest distribution warehouse for physical music and video. Located in Bicester, Oxfordshire, the facility is being launched in partnership with Utopia Distribution Services, who entered into a £100 million deal with DP World to provide warehousing and logistics for physical music goods in the UK earlier this year.
The 25,000 sq. metre site will now become the de-facto centre for music and home entertainment distribution in the UK, handling 70% of physical music and 35% of home entertainment products sold in the UK annually – approximately 30 million units, including vinyl records, DVDs and CDs. It will service retailers across the UK, including Amazon, HMV, industry wholesalers and over 400 independent record stores.
The warehouse will have a daily handling capacity of over 100,000 units, increasing to over 250,000 during peak periods, driven by 80+ state of the art pick robots designed by US manufacturer Locus Robotics. The warehouse will employ 240 workers, and will significantly expand DP World’s unit handling capacity across its UK operations – facilitating new growth opportunities in the warehousing sector.
The warehouse opening follows ongoing demand for physical music and video in the UK, with 17.3m physical albums sold in 2022, with CDs comprising the majority of purchases (55.2%). Selling more than 5.5m units last year, vinyl also continues its rise and currently remains on track for a 16th consecutive year of growth. The video physical retail market also boasted a £209m value in 2022, with sales of formats like Blu-ray and 4k UHD rising by 7% to £91.7m YOY.
Jonathan Himsworth, Vice President Sales at DP World Logistics, said: “DP World brings together an unparalleled combination of assets and expertise to build creative solutions to the hardest problems in logistics, and this is why so many of the world’s largest and most recognisable brands trust us to deliver on their supply chain needs. To this end, we are very excited about working with Utopia Music to support the renaissance of physical music in the UK.”
Drew Hill, MD Utopia Distribution Services and VP Distribution Services, Utopia Music, added: “We’re pleased to be working closely with DP World on a smooth transition to our brand new state-of-the-art facility. With UDS distributing for over 50% of the UK’s combined music and video market, our investment in this infrastructure marks a bright and exciting future for physical entertainment.”
In addition to its UK hubs at London Gateway and Southampton, DP World’s offer includes the P&O Ferries and P&O Ferrymasters subsidiaries, and contract logistics businesses respectively, all of which are being integrated into the company’s global network. Operating in 78 countries, DP World now handles 10 per cent of world trade.