eyefortransport and Prologis, Inc., undertook a comprehensive exercise to reveal the top 10 most desirable logistics locations in Europe from an occupier perspective.
Venlo, a logistics market in the south-eastern Netherlands, near the German border, emerges as the clear winner in a survey among distribution centre users. In second place is the Antwerp-Brussels area in Belgium and in third Rotterdam, the major port in the west Netherlands. Behind the three Benelux powerhouses are the German area of Rhein-Ruhr and the Spanish capital, Madrid, in fourth and fifth places respectively.
The report, Europe’s Most Desirable Logistics Locations, also ranks the most sought after logistics locations of tomorrow. In 2018, Venlo will remain the most popular location, although its sizeable lead over the next three most favourite locations will narrow.
Among the top 10 locations, Pan-Regional Romania, Ile-de-France and Frankfurt am Main will gain most in popularity by 2018.
The research was carried out by eyefortransport and Prologis, to answer the key location questions facing owners and occupiers of logistics property at a time of huge structural change. The reconfiguration of the European supply chain and the rise of e-commerce means there is significant demand potential for modern, efficient distribution facilities across the region.
A total of 160 occupiers of logistics property from a variety of sectors, ranging from retail to automotive to pharmaceuticals, ranked 100 distribution locations by the following criteria:
Proximity to customers and suppliers
Availability of labour and the flexibility of government
Availability of land/existing warehouses and real estate costs
Quality and proximity to infrastructure, including economic networks and strategic transportation access
Logistics property occupiers continue to consolidate their operations in larger more efficient centres and plan to operate in larger networks, the report goes on to show. Almost two-thirds of the respondents expect to operate in a pan-European network by 2018.
Of the 11 key factors affecting distribution network strategies over the next five years, secular drivers of change including global trade, outsourcing and globalisation, will be stronger than cyclical ones. Increasing fuel prices will be the biggest single factor, since transport costs are the largest cost component for logistics property occupiers. E-commerce is perceived as the second most important change driver of the next five years.
Philip Dunne, President of Prologis Europe, said: “The research is of vital importance as it helps our understanding of customers’ current and future distribution requirements”
Chris Saynor, CEO of eyefortransport, concludes “We would like to congratulate all the top ranking locations. Logistics is such a hugely important industry for Europe, employing an enormous amount of people, that those cities and regions that are ranked highly for logistics are reaping the rewards of employment and commerce. It will be very interesting to see how quickly the shift eastwards happens in terms of favourite logistics locations, and I look forward to comparing the results from the 2014 survey.”