Warehousing Market Estimated to be $1.9 Trillion

E-commerce and same-day delivery are driving retailers to invest further in the warehouse industry.

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According to procurement intelligence firm, Beroe Inc., the global market for warehousing is growing at a CAGR of 8%. E-commerce and same-day delivery are driving retailers to invest further in the warehouse industry.

Regions in Europe, North America and some parts of Australia and Singapore (APAC) have high market maturity due to steady supply conditions and tremendous technology adoption. Meanwhile, India and China are expected to be the projected growth driving markets for the warehousing industry as they increase in manufacturing facilities and the growth in the e-commerce sector. 

The e-commerce boom has played a major role in the increase of industrial warehouse space, with demand expanding at a faster pace in emerging economies such as India and China. Another growth driver for the warehousing industry is the increase in disposable income, which is increasing at 2.3% among the general public. This has created a demand for consumer goods along with increased imports and exports. 

Key findings in the report include:

  • Europe and North America show higher development in the service provider department due to high technology adoption levels and a wider range of services offered. Emerging countries such as Brazil, India, China, and Japan show low to medium maturity due to lower 3PL rates and lower adoption of warehouse technology.
  • Use of technology in warehouse management functions such as AGV (automated guided vehicle), i.e., pick to light and voice directed picking is emerging in the industry. Most warehouse occupiers are accommodating their distribution centers (DC) towards faster response times and space-saving, efficient systems with minimal labor requirements.
  • Contract warehousing is a low-margin business with an average gross margin of 8 - 10 percent and an average net margin of approximately 2 - 4 percent.
  • The unavailability of skilled labor in regions such as North America and Europe along with less expertise in the warehousing field keeps wages relatively high. This impacts the overall operating costs and becomes a major constraint in the warehousing industry.
  • Just-in-time techniques and vendor-managed inventory systems also require warehouse usage; thus, there are no substitutes for warehousing.
  • The union of warehouse management systems with TMS (transportation management system) and LMS (learning management system) will increase communication and planning for companies with the use of real-time data transmission across various platforms.

In emerging markets such as LATAM, some parts of APAC, and MEA factors such as availability of warehouse space, lower rents & competition, and warehouse service providers willing to reduce rates are increasing the buyer power. However, in developed markets, the vacancy rates in countries such as the U.S. is at a 15-year low of 6 percent. Due to this, there are tight supply conditions prevailing in the market, which diminishes buyer power.