Several dynamics and trends are impacting the warehousing and supply chain landscape.
With the pandemic, warehouse operators are dealing with challenges such as changing customer demand patterns which are strongly impacting the supply chain. Manufacturing interruptions, lack of components, and labor shortages create an ongoing supply chain disruption.
Warehouse operators need to develop and quickly scale their capabilities to adapt to these demand dynamics, considering resources and workforce management.
- Robotics and intelligent automation are gaining traction and will be accelerating in the next few years.
- Warehouse automation acceleration – spanning the entire supply chain from warehousing operations to distribution centers – has been driven by the need to deliver directly to consumers in increasingly shorter timeframes.
Retailers, logistic service providers (LSP) or third-party logistics (3PL) providers are challenged by consumer demands for faster and cheaper delivery, while at the same time managing with less workers in their warehouses.
The ongoing peak activity due to the pandemic means that warehouse automation technology is key for enterprises to maintain operations and manage their critical workflows.
Warehouse and distribution rents sat above the rest of the industrial set in 2020. Industrial rents in the U.S. went up an average of 4.6% from Q4 2019 to Q4 2020, setting a record high last year. Warehouse and distribution rents rose 5.6% in the same quarter.
Warehouse rents are likely to increase at a slower pace in 2021, compared to 2020, as more industrial supply hits the market, vacancy rates in the U.S. industrial real estate market remain low but came up to 5.2% in Q4 2020 from 4.9% one year prior.
Today and tomorrow, warehouses must explore new ways to maintain operations, improve productivity and increase profitability.
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