Construction of SH Pratt Group’s new multi-temperature product handling facility at DP World London Gateway has started. A ground-breaking ceremony at the site of the new 108,555sq ft bespoke distribution development marked the start of works. Luton-based firm SH Pratt Group – one of Europe’s leading fruit importers and ripeners – is establishing Halo, a new business to the group, which will be based out of the building at DP World London Gateway. Readie is the appointed contractor and will work with DP World London Gateway’s civil engineering team to oversee construction, which, along with the fit out is due to be complete by the end of the third quarter of 2018. Halo will be operating the port’s first temperature-controlled, chilled and frozen supply chain centre, handling multi-temperature products, before distributing them to the UK consumer market. Located within DP World London Gateway Logistics Park’s West Zone, the facility will feature multiple temperature regimes, from frozen to ambient – ensuring the building can be used flexibly and by multiple users – and employ the most advanced IT systems to aid monitoring of products and ensure quality. SH Pratt Group’s decision to site its new venture at DP World London Gateway Logistics Park is aimed to reduce the distance, journey time, waste and cost for its customers of moving products – ensuring a more sustainable temperature-controlled supply chain. The one-stop Halo centre will handle goods arriving at DP World London Gateway Port – which is plugged into a network of more than 110 ports in over 60 countries. Robert Wells, Chief Executive Officer, SH Pratt Group, stated: “With construction on this pioneering facility now underway, Halo is one step closer to delivering a facility that will serve to make the temperature-controlled supply chain even more efficient. “This will be a state-of-the-art, fully accredited, fully-focussed facility which, coupled with SH Pratt Group’s expertise, will deliver beyond the expectations of our customers. We really have set out to raise the bar. “I am pleased with progress so far. It shows that the partnership between SH Pratt Group – who have the knowledge and expertise to deliver unmatched reductions in cost and enhancements in quality – and DP World London Gateway, the UK’s most sophisticated multimodal logistics hub and its team which has a proven track record in delivering world-class distribution facilities, will enable us to pass on tangible savings to customers; reducing demurrage and accelerating turnarounds by using the port. We know how to handle these products; it’s our area of expertise. Oliver Treneman, Park Development Director, DP World London Gateway, commented: “I’d urge anyone interested in collaborating with Halo on their supply chain to get in touch – while work to develop the building continues apace.” “The development of this facility is obviously a momentous occasion in the development of the Logistics Park and the embodiment of port-centric logistics. “SH Pratt Group will soon have a world-class, temperature-controlled distribution facility on the same site as a world-class semi-automated port, located right on the doorstep of the UK’s biggest consumer market with unrivalled access to the whole of the country. “With the port handling the majority of fresh and frozen product arriving into the UK from countries in the Southern Hemisphere – from avocados and bananas, to melons and lemons – there are a huge number of businesses that stand to benefit from this state-of-the-art solution that has the capacity to deliver cost-savings, reduce carbon emissions and enhance delivery times.” Halo is part of SH Pratt Group’s programme of investment over the last few years and will be supported by Kinship Logistics, its wholly-owned logistics subsidiary. DP World London Gateway has consent for 9.25million sq ft of distribution, warehousing and manufacturing development on the same site as a globally connected, semi-automated, deep-sea container port with purpose-built rail terminal. It also provides access to the UK road and rail network.