HRH The Princess Royal officially opens new Arco National Distribution Centre extension in Hull
ARCO, the UK’s leading safety products and services experts, today welcomed HRH The Princess Royal to their brand-new National Distribution Centre (NDC) extension, which marks Phase 3 of the site’s expansion.
The Princess Royal toured the state-of-the-art facility and its industry-leading quality lab, meeting and talking to a number of Arco employees, and commemorated the occasion by unveiling a plaque.
This was a return visit for The Princess Royal, who also performed the official opening ceremony for Arco’s original NDC in 2003. Phase 3 became operational on the 10 February 2020, marking an important milestone in the company’s 136-year history in Hull.
Covering 220,000 sq ft and standing 22m high, Phase 3 doubles Arco’s warehouse floor space and trebles the company’s storage capacity. The project was delivered on time and to budget, with the original NDC remaining operational, without any impact on customer service.
The company played a leading role in the UK’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the new facility providing immediate capacity. The NDC team responded to dramatic changes in circumstances, introducing new ways of working and bringing the operation online ahead of schedule.
Arco were involved in procuring, stocking and distributing critical personal protective equipment for frontline workers, including more than 140 million face masks, 18 million gloves, half a million coveralls and half a million hygiene products, including hand sanitiser.
They are also the only safety distributor with an independently accredited testing laboratory and have a rigorous five-step product assurance process, to ensure products meet recognized European and international standards. They also offer support for customers testing safety products that are available on the market and provide advice on their compliance.
As part of Her Royal Highness’ visit to the Arco laboratory, The Princess Royal was given a live demonstration to show how Arco test safety footwear to ensure it complies with relevant safety standards.
During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s safety experts supported frontline responders – including the NHS and customers in critical key industries – in identifying counterfeit and fake products, and advised the Office for Product Safety Standards, the Health and Safety Executive and Trading Standards of their findings.
Thomas Martin, Arco’s chairman, said: ‘We are extremely honoured and delighted to receive HRH the Princess Royal today to celebrate the official opening of Phase 3 of our National Distribution Centre, a significant milestone for Arco. Phase 3 re-affirms our continued commitment to our customers, those who work with Arco and the city of Hull.
‘Our efforts in expanding the business’s logistical capabilities will allow us to fulfil our ambitious future growth plans. In a very short time, it has supported our core purpose to keep people safe, enabling us to make a significant contribution to support the UK supply chain for critical safety equipment throughout a global pandemic.’