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Getting products into warehouses then out to customers has been a difficult challenge due to ever changing geopolitical events. Could technology play a part in changing behaviours?

In this series of features – originally published in the 2022 Global Ecommerce Region Report – DeliveryX looks at ecommerce logistics on different continents.

The pandemic resulted in a ‘new normal’ across Asia of social isolation, working from home and online shopping becoming the standard. As more people subsequently remained indoors over fears of the virus returning, consumers have turned to ecommerce for their everyday essential purchases, as well as retail and technology orders. It’s therefore not surprising that the revenue from the ecommerce market in Asia is projected to reach $2.093bn this year.

The sheer size of the ecommerce market has resulted in a very competitive logistics sector, with worldwide players wanting in on the action. DHL Express, FedEx and Best Express have all made strategic investments to establish logistics networks, build new distribution centres or create smart warehouses across Asia.

It is now expected that Asia will account for 57% of the growth of the global ecommerce logistics market by 2025. Logistics firms have realised that Asia will likely be the single-most-important addition to their business portfolios.

This, in turn, has resulted in a race for warehouse space. “There’s a land grab for space among all the carriers that’s not going to end soon” notes Paul Good, owner of GL Terminal in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Due to the dense nature of many Asian cities, warehouses are going up rather than out, with multi-storey facilities becoming increasingly popular with developers. “These types of facilities appeal to logistics companies because they offer practical business solutions, especially for retail and ecommerce companies,” says Stuart Ross, JLL China’s head of industrial.

According to JLL data, three major multi-storey projects in Shanghai are running at 100% occupancy. With such a success rate, and the growing demand for ecommerce warehouse space globally, multi-storey facilities are certain to be a growing trend – and not only in Asia.

This feature originally appeared in the 2022 Global Ecommerce Region Report.

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