Key directions of growth for the industrial sector - Trends Radar Q1 2021 [REPORT]

08 march 2021

While many sectors remain hit hard by the pandemic, the industrial market is seeing strong growth. Experts of Cushman & Wakefield look to the future with optimism and indicate key directions of growth for the market.

Diversification

Geographical and product diversification is accelerating. Development continues to focus on big-box units built most often for leading FMCG companies, retailers and global e-commerce platforms needing to consolidate warehousing processes. They are being increasingly supplemented by networks of smaller warehouses, cross-dock facilities and Small Business Units. This trend is expected to carry into 2021 and encourage developers to look for new urban locations, including brownfield sites.

Nearshoring

The pandemic is likely to become a catalyst for nearshoring. Benefiting from its strategic location in the centre of the European continent and its competitive labour market, Poland will continue to occupy a place in the top league of locations of choice for nearshoring as regards distribution and manufacturing facilities servicing overseas markets.

E-commerce

E-commerce is expected to continue a trajectory of strong growth, with this sector’s tenants playing an increasingly important role on the warehouse market in terms of both their share of take-up and technical specification requirements. It will also see further automation and product diversification.

Data centres active on the industrial market

Cloud computing, AI, and 5G accelerate the growth of data centre development and investment around the world. Increased demand for IT services and the rapid growth of e-commerce are the key drivers of the growing interest of global tech companies in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

Sustainability and automation

Warehouse sustainability and automation are clearly on the rise. 2020 witnessed the growing popularity and development of the concept of green warehouses. The standard of industrial facilities is also changing to provide solutions customised to tenants’ specific operations in e-commerce logistics or light manufacturing. Automation also has a big impact on the standard of new schemes. Both developers and tenants are increasingly willing to invest in new IT technologies, industrial automation, renewables and a friendly work environment.

“Key trends of 2020 included the growing popularity and development of the concept of green warehouses. New warehouses and factories are being increasingly delivered in line with the trend of sustainable construction with a special focus on environmental protection. Both occupiers and landlords of warehouse and industrial buildings are growing increasingly aware of the advantages of environmental sustainability audits, which best illustrates changing market realities. A vast majority of newly-built warehouse facilities boast green certificates. Another positive is tenants’ growing awareness of and need for green solutions which – given their hands-on approach – are economically warranted, among other things, by lower utility charges. In addition to making economies, another increasingly frequently cited argument is the requirement to reduce carbon footprint. This makes us convinced that warehouse sustainability will remain relevant in the coming years and will be increasingly explored by market participants. It is also likely to become another key decision driver in the choice of a final solution, in addition to location and commercial conditions,” says Joanna Sinkiewicz, Partner, Head of Industrial & Logistics, Cushman & Wakefield.

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