Rise Of Electronic Commerce Forces Logistics Sector To Request More Space
The Catalan logistics sector requires spaces to develop and keep up with the pace imposed by the growth of electronic commerce. A report presented this Thursday and carried out by the Chamber of Commerce and the Unió de Polígons Industrials de Catalunya ( UPIC ) ensures that the availability rate of logistics space in Catalonia is only 3% and specifically 1.2% in the area center and the first crown that surrounds Barcelona.
Only half the space needed to meet business demand is available each year. The head of the multinational Prologis in Spain in Spain, Cristian Oller , considers that there is an “alarming” lack of spaces at adequate prices in Catalonia, necessary to “take advantage of the possibilities of Barcelona as a great center of consumption”.
“We are going to see an explosion of needs to supply or supply the demand of the ‘online’ channel and we must inevitably reinforce the logistics infrastructures that Catalonia has and that the city of Barcelona has in particular,” said Oller.
The sector considers that a public-private collaboration is necessary to develop spaces that can be occupied by start-ups and companies looking for quality facilities to start their activity. At the local level, they urge city councils to promote the reform of obsolete or disused industrial land to house logistics activities.
The data collected by the study reflects “the serious situation of companies, which, given the lack of floor and ceiling for logistics activities, are forced to pre-contract the required spaces and often to stop and suspend projects.”
Thus, a situation has been reached in which 67.15% of the new surface planned for 2021 (about 388,410 square meters) is pre-contracted. The study has been carried out at the initiative of companies in the sector such as Goodman, Logigor, Merlin Properties, Prologis, Segro and VGP, as well as the consulting firm Savills Aguirre Newman.
For Ignacio García Cuenca , responsible for Goodman in Spain and Portugal , there is an annual deficit of 500,000 meters per year of logistics land in Catalonia, with an offer of about 270,000 square meters.
A study by DHL ensures that in 2025 80% of transactions between companies will be done digitally. García Cuenca believes that one of the ways out of this situation is the development of multi-story high-rise logistics platforms.
The technical requirements for this type of infrastructure have recently been defined by Bombers de la Generalitat. In García Cuenca’s opinion, ” any logistics development of the future must be compatible with the concept of the future city of each mayor.”and that” gives added value to the municipalities.
“He gave as an example the installation of solar panels on the roof of industrial buildings that provide green energy to residents.
I work for about 128,000 people in the metropolitan area
The report highlights that logistics employs about 128,000 people in the metropolitan region of Barcelona alone, which contributes 13.9% of the Catalan GDP, and that for every 1,000 square meters of roof built in a logistics warehouse, between six and eight direct jobs.
During the presentation, the ‘Minister’ of Company, Ramon Tremosa, assured that 20 years ago someone could argue that they wanted industry, but not logistics, but currently “without logistics there is no industry.”
The document, entitled “Logistics, an engine for Catalonia”, also underlines that, given the negative image that some sectors have of logistics, this activity generates stable jobs and requires more and more highly qualified personnel, such as software engineers and web or application developers.
Calvet: “We must reactivate the economy, but with the green agenda at the center”
The ‘minister’ of Territori i Sostenibilitat, Damià Calvet, has recognized that the logistics sector is an “engine” for the Catalan economy but has recalled that support for the sector cannot be done at any price. “We must reactivate the economy, but with the green agenda at the center”, “we must also think about the planet,” he said.
He has defended promoting the added value of the sector and has offered to a working meeting with companies and representatives of the sector to analyze how to create the “conditions” to promote it.
Calvet has defended creating land and converting obsolete industrial estates, but has also asked to be aware of “the complexity” of the country, which sometimes makes it unfeasible to locate certain activities in some places, and he recalled that other times judicial decisions also contravene the plans of the Government. 70% of the logistics area of Catalonia is concentrated in the province of Barcelona.