The boom in online sales, partly fuelled by the pandemic, has caused a large increase in demand for warehouse space.
Logistics companies like Prologis are struggling to keep up with the demand for new warehouses. Speaking to the BBC, one of its employees, Robin Woodbridge, said:
“I’ve been working in logistics for 30 years and I’ve never seen demand like this.”
Prologis’s largest site, Drift, which is located off of the M1 near Northampton, is extremely large, but it’s still not big enough. The site processes online shopping orders for many major online retailers. Prologis is so confident in the future demand for warehouses that is building new warehouses on the site without securing clients to use them.
A short time ago, investors preferred to put their money into office and retail spaces. However, the high street now has too much retail space, with many shops empty. In contrast, the logistics sector is struggling to keep up with the demand for warehouse space.
The Chief Executive of the UK Warehousing Association, Peter Ward, says that the government wants to build 250,000 new homes every year. He claims that what is overlooked is that each home is a potential delivery point for online orders. He wants warehouse capacity to be a key part of planning policies, in a similar way to how schools and medical facilities are part of infrastructure planning.
New warehouses need picking trolleys, packing stations and other equipment required by staff to quickly process online orders. These are provided by a warehouse equipment supplier.Get a free quote