Ocado warehouse fire disrupts grocery service

Online grocer Ocado has been forced to cancel thousands of orders following a fire at its automated warehouse in south-east London. The blaze at the company’s fulfilment centre in Erith was caused by a collision between three of the robots that operate at the high-tech site.

There were no reported injuries but around 800 staff were evacuated from the location as a result of the incident on Friday 16 July, which is the second major fire suffered by the business following the total loss of its Andover facility in 2019 following an electrical fault.

The Erith site handles up to 150,000 orders a week and Ocado admitted that the fire will cause some ongoing disruption to services. In a statement, it said: “The damage was limited to a small section of less than 1% of the grid having been successfully contained by our fire attenuation measures, many of which were implemented following our thorough fire safety review in 2019.

“While the incident has caused some short-term disruption to operations, the vast majority of customer orders are being fulfilled in other parts of the Ocado network and the focus now is for us to work hard to restore normal service at Erith as soon as possible. We thank customers whose orders are affected for their patience.”

Shares in the company initially fell by around 3% early on Monday before recovering.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories

Financial institutions were early adopters of cyber security and insurance. Are they still on top of the game?
Managing huge amounts of sensitive data online makes financial institutions a prime target for hackers. As such, the sector was an early cohort for insurers in creating cyber cover. Since then, the market has evolved almost beyond recognition. It continues to challenge itself to this day, complying with rigorous regulatory demands and implementing avant-garde enhancements to keep abreast of the ever-changing risks. Published June 2021

Manufacturing: An industry at risk amid great technological change
Of the many sectors of business, manufacturing companies are among the most at risk from cyber threats. How has the sector evolved to make it so vulnerable and what does the task of managing cyber exposure in a manufacturing company look like? CIR’s latest podcast with Tokio Marine HCC sought to answer all these questions and more. Published April 2021