- Logistics and e-commerce specialist expands into Woodgate Business Park
- Investment into Birmingham is worth £6 million
- Company is recruiting 60 roles now and a further 80 long-term
International e-commerce and logistics company One World Express is opening its new state-of-the-art global distribution hub in Birmingham, having acquired the 100 year lease on a new site at Woodgate Business Park for £3 million.
The company is currently recruiting 60 roles in logistics, sales, marketing and customer service, but is hoping to employ 80 more staff in Birmingham over three years. Its new site comprises a warehouse and office space. Its total investment in the city – including the refurbishment of the new site – is expected to reach £6 million.
Headquartered in Hayes, Greater London, One World Express currently has a workforce of over 50 people and an additional warehouse in Hounslow. Its new site in Birmingham is the first UK investment the company has made outside London.
One World Express was founded as a courier service in 1998, targeting the African market. It has since evolved into a specialist e-commerce and software provider for companies and consumers across the world. The trend for shopping on websites such as eBay has boosted significant levels of trading with China, now the company’s main market. One World Express set up an office in China in 2014 to deal with growing consumer demand, and also has a base in the USA.
The managing director of One World Express, Atul Bhakta, commented: “We have continually outgrown our premises since One World Express was founded in 1998, and decided in 2014 that we needed to expand outside the Southeast. Birmingham’s central location and international connections – with Birmingham Airport offering direct links to our key markets – provide us with the ideal platform for further expansion.
“Although our new site in Birmingham will become a central logistical hub for One World Express, we are also employing a large number of people in customer services. It is a key priority that all of our clients are happy with our service. We have already been able to recruit a number of people, who are energetic and keen to learn, here in Birmingham and are hoping to appoint even more.
“The comprehensive support we have received from Birmingham City Council and Marketing Birmingham has certainly helped to confirm that we made the right decision to locate here.”
Birmingham City Council, which also owns Woodgate Business Park, has assisted One World Express with local recruitment through its Employment and Skills Service.
Cllr John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “It is great news that One World Express has chosen Birmingham as its first UK base outside London, demonstrating how competitive it has become as a business location. By locating in an area of Birmingham that is outside the city centre, the firm will also help to spread local employment opportunities more widely across the city.
“Attracting new investors is critical to Birmingham’s economic regeneration by providing the local workforce with new training and career prospects. The hard work of our Employment and Skills Service has helped One World Express to push ahead with its recruitment programme and ensuring it is employing the best talent possible.”
Inward investment agency Business Birmingham, which is operated by Marketing Birmingham, has also worked closely with One World Express, which included helping the company find the right property. Marketing Birmingham’s Chief Executive Neil Rami added:
“One World Express joins a growing number of London-based firms that have identified Birmingham as having the best location, skills and business support to help them reach their full potential. The city’s transport connections are also expanding quickly, with Birmingham Airport welcoming a record numbers of passengers in 2015 and our HS2 link to London on the horizon.
“Birmingham was recently named as having the greatest investment potential in the UK, and sixth in Europe, by PwC and the Urban Land Institute. The city is not only performing strongly in the rankings – with companies like One World Express, it’s also attracting tangible investments.”
The 5,600 sq m site at Woodgate Business Park has undergone a significant refurbishment, and now includes a double mezzanine floor – almost tripling the floorspace available. One World Express has also invested in its technology, with one of its sorting machines able to handle over 9,000 parcels per hour.
The investment by One World Express was announced at Marketing Birmingham’s partner meeting on 27th January, where over 100 senior business leaders across the city heard speakers Neil Rami and Cllr John Clancy review the city’s successes in 2015 and its outlook for 2016.
Notes to editors
Rebecca Bannister, Communications Manager, 0121 202 5112, firstname.lastname@example.org
Business Birmingham is the city’s official inward investment programme, part of Marketing Birmingham’s destination marketing strategy. Supported by the European Regional Development Fund, through the Investing in the City Region project, Business Birmingham aims to position Birmingham, the Black Country and Solihull as leading inward investment locations and major engines of UK growth. For more information, visit Business Birmingham’s website or sign up to its newsletter.
Marketing Birmingham, the city’s strategic marketing partnership, operates the city’s leisure and business tourism programme, Visit and Meet Birmingham as well as its inward investment programme, Business Birmingham. The company is funded by the public and private sectors, including Birmingham City Council, European Regional Development Funding and some 400 local companies.