Warehouse space hits record low

forkliftRetail is hurting and the slowdown now appears to be trickling down to warehouse outfits, who are slowly running out of space. 

According to a report from Jones Lang LaSalle, the amount of warehouse space available in the UK is at its lowest level since records began. Some regions are already experiencing shortages of immediately available space.

Tim Johnson of Jones Lang LaSalle told Logistics Manager that the amount of immediately available new floor space is at its lowest level since his outfit started keeping records and it currently sits at just 8 million sq ft UK-wide.

“This is 71 per cent below its pre-recession peak of nearly 29 million sq ft in March 2008 – this definitely affected take up levels last year,” he said.

The vacancy rate in December 2012 stood at about 10 percent across the UK. Overall take-up in 2012 was lower than in 2011 due to a lower level of overall economic activity. Worse, occupier demand slowed down in 2012, but even so the amount of available space kept declining. Construction of new facilities slowed down after the 2008 meltdown and it is currently at the lowest level since 2005.

Jon Sleeman, director EMEA Logistics & Industrial Research at Jones Lang LaSalle, pointed out that the availability of good quality space is now becoming a real issue and some clients are being forced to consider alternatives, such as build to suit developments. On a positive note, he argued that some developers with infrastructure and planning in place stand to benefit from the downturn.