Rapidly evolving consumer demands have made it a priority for e-commerce retailers to provide same-day delivery options. This service has been implemented in select cities - mainly the nation’s largest metropolitan areas by population - but over the next several years it is likely to be offered in most markets across the country.
Distribution and fulfillment supply chains, which have traditionally been designed for 2-3 day coverage of the country and multi-day delivery times, are being transformed to accommodate these short delivery promises. Gaining access to densely populated areas—in particular, to the e-commerce shoppers who likely live in those areas—is a priority.
Light industrial properties—typically smaller than 200,000 sq. ft. and often located in or adjacent to infill urban markets—have been identified as the solution to the “last mile” problem.
A study of light industrial market dynamics in 14 major metropolitan areas shows that the current landscape is slightly favorable to owners and developers but that there remain several markets around the country offering access to e-commerce shoppers and ample light industrial space choices. In particular, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia have have curent conditions which make their light industrial markets moderately to strongly favorable for an occupier.