Friday, May 28, 2021

Warehouse Requirements Change Drastically as Online Retailing Blossoms

UKWA Details Radical Shift from 2015
Shipping News Feature

UK – The latest edition of the United Kingdom Warehouse Association (UKWA) publication 'Newsrack' carries a link to its latest report on the size and make-up of the UK warehousing market and compares it to the state of play in 2015 when it commissioned a similar review.

As at that time the report was prepared by property group Savills and the results show a seismic change with a rise of 32% overall in the number of warehousing units, a trend towards bigger warehouses, with an astonishing rise of 242% for units of 1m+ square feet and, most telling of all, a radical change in the occupier profile of warehouses.

The UKWA concludes the urgent need for more such space requires fundamental change in land use planning. The shift from the dominant occupier class from retailers in 2015 to 3PLs and online retailers is no surprise, but the figures are staggering with the latter increasing take up by a staggering 614%!

The report refers to figures from developer Prologis which state that for every extra £1 billion spent online, the warehouse space required to service it is another 775,000 square feet. The UKWA sees the need to incorporate such facilities in local planning schemes as the house building market burgeons, as with other facilities such as schools and medical facilities.

The pandemic has hastened the move to online sales which was already under way in Britain since that last report. As Peter Ward, UKWA CEO commented ‘[Since 2015] few of us could have foreseen the seismic changes that would transform our society and have such huge impact on our industry.’ The 2021 report can be downloaded HERE.