Rapidly emerging advancements in technology such as autonomous trucks, 3D printing and warehouse automation will foster dramatic changes in how shippers, retailers and manufacturers configure their supply chains and distribution strategies, spurring a need for different formats and locations for industrial real estate, according to Automated Technology: Driving Change in Real Estate, a report from CBRE.
Taken together, these advancements will encourage industrial users to modernize their networks to adapt to the fast-evolving market rather than inherently requiring them to add more or fewer warehouses and distribution centers. Each of these technology categories are on track to reach widespread use by 2025.
“Autonomous vehicles, 3D printing and warehouse automation stand to reshape supply chains on an unprecedented scale, but real estate won’t be innovated out of that equation,” said David Egan, CBRE’s Head of Industrial & Logistics Research in the Americas. “While use of autonomous vehicles in shipping likely will allow for a greater emphasis on a few massive distribution centers in far-flung, less expensive locations, 3D printing meanwhile will result in many users needing more industrial space closer to customers to facilitate on-demand, custom manufacturing.”
The CBRE report includes in-depth examinations of each of the three areas of technological advancement and their likely impact on the industrial and logistics markets.
“The combination of the burgeoning growth of e-commerce and the mainstream emergence of these technological advances has ushered in a far-reaching evolution of the physical supply chain,” said Scott Marshall, CBRE’s Executive Managing Director of Industrial & Logistics in the Americas. “Proactive industrial investors and users are adapting to these changes now to capitalize on this new era of modern site selection and supply-chain design.”