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E-Commerce Driving Seismic Shift In Logistics Solutions

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The UK is one of the leading countries in online consumption, which can be attributed to its high-speed internet connectivity and smartphone adoption. The rapid rise of e-commerce has created the most disruptive movement to the industrial and logistics industry, according to the Last Mile/City Logistics, the latest industrial and logistics report from CBRE.

The growing population of cities — driven by Millennials — has put supply chains under pressure to deliver products and perishables into cities faster than ever. Over the past years, consumer expectations have drastically changed, and supply chains are being forced to adapt accordingly. According to research from CBRE, UK Millennials do more than one-third of their non-food shopping online, and half are expected to do over 50% of their non-food shopping online by 2019. CBRE’s Last Mile/City Logistics report predicts that as internet speed and tech development progress further afield, we will witness mirrored behaviour from consumers across the globe. 

To meet this demand, innovative strategies have taken shape within the ‘last-mile’ schema, including multi-storey warehouses in dense hubs, locker/pickup locations and infill service centres.

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In Europe, the restructuring of supply chains has led to a growing need for efficiency, resulting in a smaller warehouse network with larger but fewer facilities. Due to population growth and urbanization, land suited and zoned for industrial use is becoming increasingly scarce. For example, the amount of industrial land use in Greater London has declined from about 2 million acres in 2001 to 17,000 acres in 2015.

Securing strategic sites in and around cities is key, and besides spurring vertical building solutions, this will bring opportunities for light industrial property and even retail stores to act as last-mile facilities.