Cohabitation - the new frontier for warehousing
Warehouses are a cornerstone for logistics but according to Ian Henderson, some landlords are too rigid to see the opportunities ahead of them. The Logistics Point talk to the expert to find out what the future of warehousing is and how collaboration brings value to all.
What is the warehouse of the future going to look like?
The sustainable elements are important but for me what is really key will be the flexibility of the building whether it is the physical characteristics or the lease under which it is occupied. In mainland Europe we see shorter leases, cohabitation, three 3PLs seating in the same building.
The physical act of sharing a building is proven but our property structure and history force us down the route of 15-years leases and one building that appeals to the majority. This is very rigid and we will need more flexibility.
We need to be forward thinking and find how we can get the most of the buildings we use. Somehow we have to bridge that cap with the traditional property sector because things are changing within months, not years.
What are customers looking for?
They are looking for us to guide them what fits within their requirements. That is the challenge to us, whether it is in our existing portfolio or a new building. What is the right building to fit with that requirement?
In some ways it is quite obvious that the more flexible the building is, the more flexible the lease is, the more flexible the landlord is, the more open minded, the more opportunity there is going to be.
We very rarely get specific requirements like 15- year leas in the Midlands. Very often the customer has to be guided.
Read more about the future of warehouses in The Logistics Point Magazine April 2020. Subscribe here to get it for free on 31st March!
Ian Henderson is a Group Property Director at Wincanton. He is responsible for managing the property portfolio across the UK and Ireland. He has 20 years of experience including BAA, B&Q and J Sainsbury.