Due to the massive growth of e-commerce in Europe the European logistics investments went up to €38.64 billion in 2020. Last year marks the highest figure on record since 2013. The growth was spurred by a record take-up of warehouses in the region, with the UK taking the lead. As a result, warehouse vacancy rates in Europe fell to a record low of 5%.
High demand for warehouses was driven by supply chain challenges around the globe. These led to a shortage of shipping containers, long wait times and high-cost deliveries. In efforts to find a way to fulfill orders fast, many businesses opted to find warehouses in this key market and stock them in advance.
The leasing activity in Europe grew by 69% last year on agreements for a cumulative 11 million square feet. Among companies that signed leases were Amazon, XPO Logistics, DHL and SF Express from China, which signed its first European lease.
Warehouse vacancy rate
Data from Comprar Acciones shows that in 2020, the warehouse vacancy rate in Europe decreased to a record-low of 5%. Major e-commerce companies such as Alibaba and Amazon were among companies that drove up the demand for warehouse storage and e-commerce fulfillment centers. In addition, many third-party logistic service providers were also among these companies.
Cross-border represents 20% of e-commerce
At the moment, cross-border represents 20% of e-commerce. Furthermore, cross-border is growing at two times the rate of domestic e-commerce. Data shows that 75% of UK online shoppers buy from overseas retailers and marketplaces. Moreover, 83% of Nordic, 63% of Dutch and 62% of German online shoppers buy from abroad. The highest number of international shoppers resides in Ireland with 84% of consumers shopping cross-border. Taking note of this growing trend, top investment firms are positioning themselves to make the most of the opportunity.