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‘London will lead the way in multi-storey warehouses’

Andy Harding, Head of Industrial and Logistics, JLL UK

Europe is set to follow in Asia’s footsteps: London will be the test bed for the multi-storey warehouses that have become increasingly popular in Singapore and other Far Eastern cities,  Andy Harding, Lead Director, Industrial and Logistics, JLL, told Real Estate Day. 

‘I’ve just come back from Singapore and before that Hong Kong and Shanghai on fact-finding missions to understand how that market is accommodating the growing need for logistics against the backdrop of lack of land supply, and the clear solution is to start building high-rise warehousing,’ he said.

In Singapore now almost 100% of the warehousing out there is now what they call ramped up warehousing, which is multi-level warehousing accessed via wide ramps to allow HGVs to go both up and down.

‘They are maybe five or six storeys, each one providing proper well-serviced warehousing with decent floor loading,’ Harding said. ‘There are already signs that those types of products are being looked at in Paris and Germany, but it is in London in particular that we are going to be seeing multi-level buildings coming very very shortly’.

The UK, which is the most developed e-commerce market in Europe, will once again lead the way in this field, JLL predicts.

‘London is going to be the test-bed for both multi-storey and ramped-up warehousing, he said: ‘We’re going to be seeing those coming into London first, prior to them going to some of our main cities in the UK’.

The ability of logistics companies to recruit is often an issue, while health and well-being have come to the fore as issues that employers and landlords must take into account. Both these factors are being reflected in the new-style warehouses that are being built.

‘In Singapore it was quite clear that for logistics companies providing multi-level accommodation the provision for the well-being of their staff is paramount,’ Harding said. There are quality restaurants and cafes, crèches, gyms, gardens, quiet areas and collaboration areas being provided.

‘There is now competition between the occupiers to ensure that their staff are being provided with that type of overall package,’ he said. ‘In the UK we are starting to impart that type of thought process on our key developer and landlord clients’. 

Better amenities are already being provided on some of the major distribution parks and business parks throughout the UK, but this provision is being stepped up.

‘I think now in some of these major buildings that will ultimately be coming to the UK that amenity provision is going to be an important factor,’ Harding said. ‘Particularly in multi let buildings where you can have more than one occupier providing them’.

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