Andrew Raynor Dover NH
Business Development Manager Michael Bergeron takes a look at an emerging trend in southern New Hampshire. – Ed.
When you think of New Hampshire, you may think of the First-in-the-Nation primary, or the time you went hiking in the White Mountains, or our bold state motto – Live Free or Die.
Logistics may not a first thought, but given the trends we’re seeing, it will be.
For those who have a warehouse requirement for the Boston metro market, finding high bay space between 500,000 and 1 million square feet is difficult. Like most New England states, New Hampshire doesn’t have a lot of inventory in this category, so there is significant investment in new construction to meet the increasing demand for it in southern New Hampshire.
Recent New Hampshire Projects
Logistic companies are focusing on southern New Hampshire because it’s close to the Manchester/Boston Regional Airport and only 45 minutes from downtown Boston by way of Interstates 93, 95, 495; US Route 3 and Massachusetts Route 128. New construction projects have developed about 2.5 million square feet of logistics space including: Milton Cat, FedEx, UPS/Pratt & Whitney, FW Webb, New Hampshire liquor warehouse, US Foods and Gourmet Gift Baskets.
Who’s moving into this space? U.S. Foods, which relocated from Peabody, Mass, to Seabrook, where it invested $40 million in 500,000 square feet. Gourmet Gift Baskets plans to occupy 106,000 square feet in Exeter in early next year. In Londonderry, 800 acres next to the Manchester/ Boston Regional Airport now supports about 2.1 million square feet of logistics space along Pettengill Road. When FW Webb moves to Pettengill Road in 2018, it will occupy approximately 1 million square feet.
How High Can It Go?
As new facilities are built, the question of ceiling height, cube utilization, and local zoning become important factors. The trend in the logistics industry require at least 40 feet clear, although many companies are submitting designs for up to 50 feet. This likely requires a special exception from local zoning boards of adjustment for that height request. The path of least resistance for companies in need of this kind of space is to look at options that are shovel ready.
Companies are looking for ways to use robots to pick product at four or five levels from high bay racking, spiral down to pack stations, and convey to the shipping with little or no human help. Robotic operations can be easily modified, making it easier for managers to switch from one product to another reducing set up times.
About 10 years ago I worked with Ikea, at the time the company was looking for a home for its planned 500,000 square-foot warehouse and assembly operation with only 70 employees. Its raw materials would be stored in rail cars, rolled into the plant when the orders were received, robots would assemble the product and it would be shipped out by truck.
UPS/Pratt & Whitney in Londonderry employs only about 100 employees in 610,000 square feet, using the latest technology to assemble and ship.
Logistics Land Sites
So where are these additional sites in southern New Hampshire? There are 43 acres along Route 3 in Merrimack at the Audley gravel site; 39 acres east along Route 101 at Granite Meadows in Raymond, and 75 acres in Seabrook, along Interstate 95 at the f
Business Development Manager
Division of Economic Development