E-commerce and logistics companies claimed a larger share of the 100 largest industrial and logistics leases signed in 2018 than they did a year earlier, underscoring the growing influence of those companies on U.S. warehouse construction, according to a new report from CBRE, Los Angeles.
CBRE’s analysis of last year’s industrial-leasing activity in the United States 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 show there still is a lot of momentum behind e-commerce uses in U.S. warehouse leasing, despite concerns that the sector’s expansion may be reaching its later stages,” says David Egan, global head of industrial and logistics research. “We expect this type of leasing momentum to continue in 2019.”
The largest 100 from last year – spanning uses such as e-commerce, logistics, manufacturing, food and beverage, technology and retailing – totaled 19% 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 (9) and Chicago (5). Others claiming several large leases were Columbus (4), Detroit (4) and St. Louis (3).
“These are among the leading markets that offer the high-quality logistics facilities that many of these e-commerce users are seeking,” says Chris Zubel, Americas industrial and logistics investor leader. “This activity builds upon itself when a region provides the transportation access, qualified labor pool and state-of-the-art real estate that many e-commerce users need.”