Stock increased significantly, but new developments are becoming more difficult
All in all, the demand for logistics in the broadest sense is still rising strongly. The many new-build developments anticipate on this growing demand.
As a result, the logistics stock has increased significantly in recent years. This increase mainly took place within logistics hotspots outside of the major cities. What is noticeable is that the Bleiswijk-Waddinxveen hotspot in particular has undergone a considerable growth in stock over the past five years (+95%).
This growth was considerably lower within urban locations such as Amsterdam (+20%) and Eindhoven (+24%). For Amsterdam, this is down to the limited amount of land available. In Eindhoven, this is mainly down to restrictive policy concerning new developments.
As the increase in stock mainly took place outside of the major cities, this does not offer a solution to the growing demand from e-commerce.
Such businesses mainly look for locations for their last mile logistics in or on the edges of major cities. However, the availability of such locations is limited. This forces these occupiers and developers to manage the existing space available in a more creative manner. An example of this is the Amsterdam Logistics Cityhub, the first ‘multi-storey XXL’ city hub of the Netherlands. In addition to serving the user’s location requirement (close to the city), these new developments must also be designed in such a way as to enable emission-free transport.
However, the capacity for new developments is limited, because there is limited space on existing business parks. These sites are also known as brownfields, and although they often suitable, new logistics developments are not often the top priority. This is mainly because if there is capacity for new- or redevelopments, the development of residential space is often preferred over city logistics due to large housing shortages.
Due to the higher development costs of brownfield sites, consisting of, for example, sanitation costs, developers themselves also have a greater preference for greenfield sites (i.e. new locations on the edges of the city where no construction has taken place so far). However, here the same applies even more: shortage of space, and major competition from the housing construction sector.
The pressure on existing business parks is increasing, as evidenced by the increase of allotment of land on business parks in recent years. The amount of issuable land is rapidly decreasing as a result. In a five-year period, the amount of this land decreased from 14,518 ha to 11,835 ha, which equates to a drop of 18.5%. This drop is most visible in metropolitan locations such as Amsterdam, where the remaining amount of land yet to be allocated dropped by 28% over a five-year period. As a result, it has become increasingly more difficult for occupiers looking for space for last mile logistics to find suitable accommodation.
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