e-commerce is fundamentally changing warehouse provision in the US

The position of logistics clusters is shifting in the US as e-commerce changes the shape of the market.

The trend is particularly apparent on the East Coast. The area around the central Pennsylvania towns of Harrisburg and York has long been a popular location for large clusters of warehouse space because of light zoning restrictions, access to several large city population centres and ample cheap land to build on, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, with retailers seeking closer proximity to their customers, logistics service providers are positioning logistics hubs to facilitate next-day, even same-day, delivery services. 

Indeed, the WSJ cited examples of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Dollar General Corp. , Uline Inc., Ocean Spray and PetSmart Inc. adding nearly 7m sq ft of distribution space in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania – north of Harrisburg and York, and closer to New York City – in the last three years. In addition, Samsung Electronics Co., Stitch Fix and Isuzu Motors Ltd., have also signed large warehouse leases in the area. In the wider area, stretching from the Lehigh Valley to central Pennsylvania, developers have added 56m sq ft of space since 2010.

“As supply chains have become much more heavily focused on getting access to highest number of people in the shortest period of time, there’s been a big push to try and create an equivalent of the Inland Empire on the East Coast,” said David Egan, CBRE’s head of industrial and logistics research for the Americas. “The Lehigh Valley is really where it’s all sprung up.”

Source: Transport Intelligence

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