Wincanton will invest millions in a new distribution centre as it ups its focus on the foodservice sector.

The logistics specialist is building a 220,000 sq ft multi-temperature depot in Hoddesdon to replace existing depots in Luton and Dunstable.

It follows the opening of the company’s first dedicated foodservice depot, a 110,000 sq ft site in Trafford Park last year, in which the company invested £3m.

When the Hoddesdon depot opens in July, the group’s foodservice arm will have quadrupled its floorspace within a year.

“The Luton site is old and too small to meet current challenges and our anticipated business growth,” said Wincanton foodservice MD David Jones. “This confirms our commitment to foodservice and our desire to be supply chain partner of choice for the industry.”

Wincanton was not deterred by the increasingly competitive nature of the foodservice market, Jones said. As reported in The Grocer, foodservice giants Brakes and 3663 First For Foodservice are coming under increasing pressure from JJ Food Service, DBC Foodservice, Booker and Bestway, all of which are aggressively competing for catering contracts. DHL is also looking to take contract distribution work from wholesalers.

Jones said Wincanton was better placed to save caterers money than competitors as its knowledge of the supply chain would let it offer “an end-to-end supply chain solution”.

“We believe we can add a significant amount of value to foodservice operators in the UK,” he added. “Wincanton is confident we will be able to fill the capacity we have invested in.”