The industrial property subcategory 3PL, or third party logistics, is a rapidly expanding market across the US. Steady growth in e-commerce has created a growing dependency upon these warehousing and logistics properties thanks to their effect of reducing delivery time on goods shipped to customers. With e-commerce sales worldwide set to pass $2 trillion in 2017 in pursuit of double-digit annual growth, knowledge of the 3PL industry will pay off for the commercial real estate professional patrolling this piece of the national supply chain. What follows in this post are two helpful sources of quick information about the 3PL as it lives and breathes today.
Last month’s holiday season brought the seasonal retail push. Coast to coast, goods moved at peak volumes, as they do more or less every year. But the radical change brought to retail by online shopping technology has, more than ever, redrawn the landscape in all areas of retail, from customer-facing to logistics and everywhere in between.
A recent Jones Lang LaSalle report put the number of retailers selling online at 92 percent, with 68 percent operating brick-and-mortar retail stores. The past five years have seen increases in online sales for 80 percent of retailers, and some of those are pegged at 25 percent increases.
The rise of e-commerce is displacing some traditional retail demand, but it’s also creating new demand on the industrial and warehouse side.
E-commerce has spurred the growth of third party logistics facilities, also known as 3PLs. The facilities handle the order fulfillment behind the explosive growth of US online retail, expected to grow to $279 billion by 2015. These enormous warehouses and shipping centers are drivers of jobs and new construction and enablers of a massive and growing trend.