Logistics properties: 3 trends for logistics space

The demand for logistics real estate is higher than ever. This is due, on the one hand, to scarcity of space, on the other hand, to the constantly increasing transport volume. With the high demand in Germany, the number of logistics new buildings increased. In the record year 2017, an estimated 5.1 million square meters of new logistics space were completed.

As new logistics properties develop, experts are already discussing the logistics real estate of the future. We would like to introduce three future-oriented trends to you.

1. Trend for logistics properties: Close to cities

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E-commerce is currently regarded as one of the most important drivers of the logistics industry. In particular, sales via the internet increase the volume of transport in metropolitan and urban areas. In order to meet the demand and cover the supply, more and more logistics centers will be built in proximity to cities.

Another decisive factor is the proximity to central traffic routes such as highways, ports and airports, which allow rapid delivery via various modes of transport. As a result, the logistics properties close to cities can serve as hubs between overland and city logistics.

In addition to logistics, the location near metropolitan areas also brings infrastructural advantages. For example, logistics companies have good access to the labor market and broadband internet there. Both factors should become even more important in the future.

2. Trend for logistics properties: Multilevel logistics buildings

Especially in Germany, building land is expensive – and prices are increasing. In the competition for land, operators of logistics space compete with other sectors, especially in urban areas. In order to achieve a higher profitability, many experts consider a vertical expansion of logistics real estate as a logical and also useful consequence.

Multilevel logistics halls are also being discussed at DB Schenker: “In some regions, such as the Stuttgart area or agglomerations, multi-storey logistics real estate will be the future – and it will be so soon. In order to avoid bottlenecks later and, thus, reduce productivity, the planning of such buildings requires a very high understanding of the process,” explains Georg Maurer, Head of Sales & Strategy at DB Schenker. He also points out that the upward trend has limits. “There will be no high-rise logistics facilities. Rather, we think about two-story warehouses. “

“Space shortage, #eCommerce & the German job market place their own demands on #logistics properties. These trends provide answers.“

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The pioneers of this development are especially Asian logistics locations. The functionality of multilevel warehouses has already been proven here in practice.

Critics point out, however, that the new logistics real estate would be associated with significantly higher investment in construction. In addition, in many places it is unclear, whether the respective communities would approve multi-storey logistics halls.

3. Trend for logistics properties: Hybrid real estate

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The fact that logistics real estate is used for the implementation of value added services is nothing new. A hybrid use for logistics as well as production is still a long way off.

But as the Bulwiengesa Logistics Study of 2016 showed, many experts believe in this development. 78% of the surveyed project developers “agreed” – 61% of them “full”. They see an advantage of the hybrid real estate in the consolidation, which could save financial as well as time resources. The study showed, too, that mixed areas are especially appealing for the industry.

According to Georg Maurer from DB Schenker, mixed real estate needs to have a certain degree of flexibility: “The fast-paced economy and constant shifts in production locations call for agile logistics. A hybrid logistics property can be a solution, but carries risks of inflexibility. We only consider hybrid real estate as useful, when there is sufficient space and planning security in the long run.” The expert also points out that the merger with production sites should not really be seen as an innovation, but as a development “back to the roots”.