Our thanks to Bisnow for today’s webinar on where the logistics industry goes next. The key points were:
- An online sales tax may not necessarily be the most effective way to shift the balance from online to high-street retailing, and could be viewed as something which must be paid regardless of cost, without shifting the balance;
- Competition for employees and labour considerations are playing an increasing role in deciding whether and how to build warehouses in certain locations. Some developers are now incorporating gyms, break-out areas and other facilities into their warehouse space, to attract the best employees;
- Whilst multi-level warehousing has been popular in Asia and high-density cities, the UK has already partly seen the growth of multi-level warehousing as the height of new warehouses increases due to the requirements of automation. However, multi-level warehousing generally is only a viable solution when accompanied by sufficient yard and parking space where space and planning constraints usually come into play;
- Sustainability remains central to occupiers’ requirements, driven partly by the government’s agenda for the country to become carbon neutral by 2050. Will we see the introduction of a levy in the future which aims to discourage the most environmentally inefficient warehouses?; and
- The planning system continues to present challenges in bringing further sites forward for development. Local authorities are starting to realise the employment and technological prospects of many warehouses but there remains work to be done to convince planners that such sites are valuable contributors to economic growth.