Systems and procedures at Partner Logistics cold store in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, were severely tested in early January when storm force winds tore open a gaping 200sq metre hole in the exterior wall of the UK’s largest freezer warehouse.
To stem the loss in the freezer’s temperature, which normally operates at -27 degrees C, manual management of the normally automated cooling system contained temperatures to a safe level. At the same time, personnel made ready temporary repairs which were put in place at the first opportunity once the wind subsided to a safe level.
Within 30 hours the hole, created by eight giant panels each weighing 400kg being ripped off in the freak winds, was covered and temperatures started to return back to normal levels. Throughout the incident, in which there were no injuries, temperature of all stock was closely monitored and Partner Logistics’ clients kept fully informed. In the end, less than 0.5% of food stored at the 77,000 pallet capacity warehouse was lost.
Commenting on the incident, UK Operations Manager at Partner Logistics, Jon Miles said: “The whole team at the Wisbech facility, including our operating partners and customers, have been tremendous. Following the storm, staff worked round the clock over the weekend to ensure orders were fulfilled and the warehouse was returned to normal operation. I’m very pleased with how the incident was managed and contained considering the scale of the damage.”
The £42million state-of-the-art highly automated building is part of Partner Logistics network of 13 European cold storage facilities which provide a combined storage capacity of almost 700,000 pallets. The company operates two further sites in the UK at Hams Hall and Gloucester.