17 March 2017
Cannes
Reporter: Theo Andrew

Logistics space at mercy of technology change


The future of logistics real estate investment will depend on the way the industry considers and incorporates technology developments today, according to a panel at MIPIM.

New technologies such as blockchain, along with how effectively firms handle big data, will have a resounding effect on the shape of logistics assets implementing ‘last-mile delivery’.

Logan Smith, head of logistics for the international investment group at BNP Paribas Real Estate, said: “There is confusion in the industry about what last-mile is and what it is going to look like.”

“It could be somebody’s garage or the boot of a hired car. We are used to conventional real estate and we want it to look like a box”, suggested Smith.

The growing trend of shopping online and e-commerce has not just taken away from traditional retail rental space, but has fuelled demand for tailor-made warehouse space.

Smith added: “We need stay on guard and shape what this looks like or we’ll all be holding onto the wrong assets.”

According to Smith, available warehouse space in Europe is a third of that in the US, meaning the potential scope of what companies and investors believe last-mile delivery assets to look like in Europe is large.

Raimund Paetzmann, independent advisor and former Amazon real estate director of operations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, insisted that companies are doing what they can to cope with the change.

He said: “We are using analytics to crack big data and the more transparent it is, the more efficient it will be.”

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