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E-commerce firms become America's warehouse kings: CBRE report


AMERICA's warehouse kings are now the e-commerce and logistics companies that now claim a larger share of the 100 biggest industrial-and-logistics leases in 2018, says a new report from CBRE, the LA-based commercial real estate giant.

CBRE's analysis of last year's industrial-leasing activity in the US found that 61 of the largest 100 leases were signed by e-commerce companies and logistics firms for a total of 61.5 million square feet. In the previous year, those two sectors claimed 52 of the largest leases for a cumulative 43.2 million square feet.

The two are related in that many logistics companies, specifically third-party logistics providers, handle e-commerce distribution for their clients.

"These figures illustrate that there still is a lot of momentum behind e-commerce uses in US warehouse leasing, despite concerns that the sector's expansion may be reaching its later stages," said CBRE's research chief David Egan. "We expect this type of leasing momentum to continue in 2019."

Regardless of industry, the largest industrial leases got even larger last year. The largest 100 from last year - spanning uses such as e-commerce, logistics, manufacturing, food and beverage, technology and retailing - totalled 19 per cent more space than the largest of 2017.

Last year's largest industrial leases were spread across 32 markets, with many clustering in leading logistics hubs including California's Inland Empire (20 leases), Pennsylvania's I-78/I-81 corridor (11), Dallas-Fort Worth (10), Atlanta (nine) and Chicago (five). Others claiming several large leases were Columbus (four), Detroit (four) and St. Louis (three).

"These are among the leading markets that offer the high-quality logistics facilities that many of these e-commerce users are seeking," said Chris Zubel, CBRE Americas Industrial & Logistics Investor Leader.

"This activity builds upon itself when a region provides the transportation access, qualified labour pool and state-of-the-art real estate that many e-commerce users need."

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