The role of distribution warehouses has been changing since the advent of the internet and e-commerce. Warehouses traditionally catered to their own or other businesses by acting as storehouses for supplies that were shipped to and eventually sold by a brick and mortar retail location. With the popularity of e-commerce, more and more warehouses are shipping directly to the consumer. This has created a few major changes in the construction industry.
Warehouse Construction Is Booming
Because the role that warehouses play in the distribution network has been changing, more warehouses are being built which has been causing a spike in warehouse construction. While not nearly as chic as building high rises or luxury homes, the fact that warehouse construction is growing is a huge benefit for the construction industry in general.
The Changing Role Of The Warehouse
As more consumers buy their goods online, the role of the warehouse has been changing as well. The dominant model of a warehouse supplying a chain of retail stores is slowly giving way to a model that has the warehouse shipping directly to consumers. This means many more small shipments going out in delivery vans and fewer movements of semi-trailer trucks filled with pallets of goods.
The Changing Location Of Warehouses
Because the function of the warehouse is changing, so to is the ideal location for the warehouse. In the past, the ideal location for a warehouse would be near transportation hubs such as airports or shipping docks and close to major transportation arteries allowing quick access to the highway. With warehouses that cater towards the end consumer, the ideal location is in the heart of the city which allows the goods to be delivered to the consumer on the same day they were ordered.
As it currently stands, e-commerce is growing much faster than traditional retail. This growth of e-commerce can only mean related growth in the warehouse construction industry. The fact that the world’s largest retailer, Amazon, is rapidly expanding and soliciting more cities to host new fulfillment centres means that construction companies who specialize in building large warehouses will continue to find work.