THE growth of Essex’s booming economy could be thwarted by a shortage of a “humble and often overlooked commodity” – warehouses – a new report warns.

According to a report by Savill’s, in association with the UK Warehousing Association, only about six per cent of available warehouse space in Essex is vacant.

Phil Dennis, director of Savills Chelmsford, said: “Essex continues to suffer from a lack of available suitable modern warehouse space.

“With virtually no development in the pipeline, it has the potential to become a real pinch-point for the county’s economy.”

Logistics – the combination of warehousing, transport and distribution – was identified as one of the county’s key industries and growth areas in a 2007 report by Essex County Council, with Basildon and Thurrock as areas of particularly high growth potential.

Mr Dennis called on policy makers to take the issue seriously.

He said: “We call on policy makers, both nationally and locally, to acknowledge the importance of the logistics industry and to deliver policy which allows for the growth of the space required for the logistics industry to continue delivering the goods,” he said.