The usage of online shopping services has rocketed over the last two decades or so, a trend that looks likely to continue well into the foreseeable future.
However, one of the primary attractions of online shopping for many customers – the ability of e-commerce providers to deliver goods directly to their doorstep – could yet be compromised by insufficient warehouse storage space, according to recent research by national property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton.
Trying to keep up with an ever-evolving industry
The company’s latest annual Industrial & Logistics Market Report has found that the demand for logistics warehouses will surpass the stock currently available in the country by 25 million sq ft by the end of the decade – even if there is no slowdown in the current elevated levels of new development.
Steve Williams, national head of Industrial and Logistics at Lambert Smith Hampton, commented: “E-commerce in the UK is not just growing rapidly, but it’s also evolving as retailers attempt to satisfy consumer demand ever more quickly and efficiently. This is resulting in unprecedented demand for strategically located logistics warehouse space across many parts of the country.
“Whilst we’ve seen new warehouses being developed over the past couple of years, the amount of new space being planned simply can’t keep pace with the demands of internet retailers and their distributors. Unless developers start building warehouses at a rate that we haven’t witnessed during the 20 years I’ve been working in the sector, or major occupiers like Amazon are prepared to wait 12 months for delivery by building it themselves, we could run out of logistics space before the end of the decade. That has serious implications for internet retailing.”
Calls for the logistics industry to adapt
Williams added that the logistics industry would need to adapt urgently if it was to continue supporting Internet retailers in the fulfilment of their customer orders – a requirement that he said had already been recognised by “some of the sector’s more forward-thinking participants”. He warned, however, that “more needs to be done if we want to continue to enjoy the benefits of e-commerce.”
Such warnings will only seem all the more prescient given the news – also outlined in the report – of record low levels of supply of industrial and logistics space of 200 million sq ft in 2015, compared to a peak of 360 million sq ft in 2012.
Whatever the future of e-commerce may bring, you can count on Bis Henderson Space to assist in finding the warehouse space that suits your full range of requirements. Simply contact our team for further information.