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Warehouse Demand Continues To Drive Down Vacancy Nationwide

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Despite global economic concerns regarding President Donald Trump's trade wars, the logistics business just keeps on chugging.

Warehouse, industrial, distribution center
The average height of warehouses and distribution centers has risen nine feet in the past 50 years.
A newer big-box warehouse.

Industrial real estate in the United States saw its 33rd straight quarter of declining vacancy nationwide with the close of this year's third quarter, according to a CBRE report. Vacancy dropped 33 basis points from Q3 2017, and 11 basis points from this year's second quarter. CBRE calculates that the national industrial vacancy rate has hit 7.2%, its lowest level since 2000.

Unsurprisingly, consistent growth in the sector has been driven by e-commerce and its effect on brick-and-mortar retailers who have had to revamp their supply chains to keep up with the likes of Amazon, the Wall Street Journal reports. Amazon has driven a sizable chunk of demand all on its own, capped off by the recent revelation that it is planning massive, multistory distribution centers all over the country.

Without the deep pockets that Jeff Bezos' behemoth enjoys, other companies have been snapping up available warehouses faster than they can be built or staffed. Though tariffs imposed by the U.S. government have driven up the cost of many materials needed for construction, they have not slowed down international shipping yet.

The National Retail Federation found that major U.S. seaports took in 2.7% more imports in September of this year than they had in the same month last year, the WSJ reports, which could be due to some companies' accelerating holiday orders into the summer to avoid possible further tariffs.