The merger between UK marine wholesalers Sowester and Simpson-Lawrence last year was a coming together of giants and bound to cause a logistical headache. The plan to move Simpson-Lawrence’s £3 million worth of stock into the Sowester warehouse in Poole is expected to take four days, running 24 hour shifts

Beginning on Friday 19 January and running over the four non-stop days, £3 million worth of stock from the Simpson-Lawrence warehouse in Fareham is due to be transported to Sowester’s distribution centre in Poole. The move has been planned to military precision, requiring teams to operate a 24 hour shift system.

As Operations Manager for Sowester, David Cole is heading the logistics of the move, having learnt from the experience ten years ago when Sowester moved into their new site from three smaller units in Poole. To accommodate the extra stock two new carousels have been installed for smaller items and the engine storage unit has been racked for slower-moving stock.

Despite the provision that has already been made for storage, the centre is simply not large enough to handle all the stock from Fareham. For this reason a reserve stock, estimated at £1 million, will be kept at Fareham in the meantime, but it is hoped that the Poole distribution centre will have enough stock to fulfill orders over the next two months.

The Poole centre offers many advantages over the Fareham site, one of which is the facility for growth. The engine storage will be off-site as a temporary solution, but is planned to be integrated into a separate unit adjacent to the main distribution centre.