A key benefit of locating logistics properties within easy reach of the households they need to serve is sustainability. A recent report by MIT Real Estate Innovation Lab for Prologis revealed that carbon emissions generated by online shopping are 36% lower on average than those generated by individual customer visits to out-of-town shopping centres. By placing goods as close as possible to the end consumer, the report found that urban fulfilment centres can reduce carbon emissions by a further 50%, whilst speeding up delivery and reducing overall cost. These shorter, ‘last-mile’ delivery routes are also ideal for electric delivery vehicles, which reduce carbon emissions by 27% and are essential if targets around air quality are to be met.
More industrial logistics property development in London would also create job opportunities for local people, at a time when the unemployment rate in London is 6.5% - 1.5% higher than the national average. The UK logistics sector now supports 2.6 million jobs and that number is rising due to the increase in demand for online deliveries and sophisticated logistics management systems which require skilled individuals to install and operate them. Indeed, today’s modern logistics warehouses provide a wide variety of jobs, 25% of which are office based, in areas such as customer service and data analytics, as well as traditional warehouse roles.
Refocusing on industrial development could be an opportunity to build a better London and support the Capital’s economic recovery by delivering jobs, protecting the environment and ensuring new homes have access to the services they need.