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Arco officially opens new national distribution centre
Princess Anne has officially opened Arco’s new national distribution centre extension, which marks phase three of the site’s expansion and the firm’s latest £30m investment into improving its logistical capabilities.
This was a return visit for The Princess Royal who also performed the official opening ceremony for Arco’s original national distribution centre in 2003. Phase three became operational on February 10, 2020, marking an important milestone in the company’s 136-year history in Hull.
With an area of 220,000 square feet, and standing at 22 metres high, phase three doubles Arco’s warehouse floor space and trebles its storage capacity. The project was delivered on time and to budget, with the original distribution centre remaining operational throughout.
Arco played a leading role in the UK’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the new facility providing immediate capacity. Arco were involved in procuring, stocking and distributing critical personal protective equipment for frontline workers, including over 140 million face masks, 18 million gloves, 500,000 coveralls and 500,000 hygiene products, including hand sanitiser.
Arco is the only safety distributor with an independently accredited testing laboratory. It operates a rigorous five-step product assurance process, ensuring products meet recognised European and international standards. As part of Her Royal Highness’ visit to the Arco laboratory, The Princess Royal was given a live demonstration to show how Arco tests safety footwear to ensure it complies with relevant safety standards.
During the recent Covid-19 pandemic, Arco’s safety experts supported frontline responders, including the NHS and customers in critical key industries, in identifying counterfeit and fake products and advised the Office for Product Safety and Standards, the Health and Safety Executive and Trading Standards of its findings.
Thomas Martin, Arco’s chairman, said: “Phase three re-affirms our continued commitment to our customers, those who work with Arco and the city of Hull. Our efforts in expanding the business’s logistical capabilities will allow us to fulfil our ambitious future growth plans. In a very short time, it has supported our core purpose to keep people safe, enabling us to make a significant contribution to support the UK supply chain for critical safety equipment throughout a global pandemic.”