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Goodman report sees significant logistics opportunity from the rapid global growth in e-retailing

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

An e-retailing research report commissioned by Goodman Group (Goodman) has highlighted that online shopping now accounts for almost a fifth of all purchases in developed markets and is growing between 15% and 20% per annum. The growth rate in developing economies is far higher, with China for example currently experiencing around 75% growth a year.

The comprehensive research report on the global online shopping market was conducted by Transport Intelligence, one of the leading providers of research on the global logistics industry, and focused on the key areas of:

  • Take-up rates and popularity of online shopping around the world;
  • The impact of the growth in e-retailing on logistics operations in developed and developing markets;
  • The warehousing requirements and operations of some of the main eā€retailing players; and
  • Factors that will play a role in the growth of the industry.

Highlights from the study are today being published in a White Paper entitled ‘Logistics of Online Shopping – Where the Real Opportunities Lie’. Containing the latest stats and insights gained from canvassing the opinions of e-retailers, logistics companies and developers, the report provides the most comprehensive overview of the sector of its kind. The White Paper is available on Goodman’s website, click here to view.

The report showed that at a time when retail sales in many markets have been sluggish, internet retailing has grown rapidly and this shift in consumer attitude has brought enormous benefits to the global logistics market. With growth in excess of 10% per annum in developed economies and more than 30% per annum in many less developed areas, e-retailing is at present in the rapid growth phase, with little sign of leveling off, the report said.

In line with the rapid growth in e-retailing around the world, it has been estimated that the global e-commerce market could be valued as much as US$1 trillion in 2013 and up to US$1.4 trillion by 2015.

In developed markets, the US is currently the largest e-retailing market in the world, with 170 million users spending on average US$1,000 each per annum and according to Forrester Research is estimated to grow to approximately US$279 billion by 2015. Similarly, Europe which is growing at around 16% a year is estimated to be valued at over US$184 billion by 2015.

This compares with emerging markets such as China, which currently has more than 150 million users, each spending on average US$200 to US$250 a year. The increasing number of middle class Chinese, with rising incomes and greater demand for western goods is seen as the main driver for China becoming a major e-commerce market, which Boston Consulting Group has estimated to be worth around US$305 billion by 2015.

Goodman’s Group CEO, Mr Greg Goodman said, “The research has enabled us to better understand the key drivers in the e-retailing market globally and the trends that are shaping the industry, including logistics operators. What is very apparent is that
there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to optimising distribution efficiency, with e-retailers in different markets adopting very different fulfilment and distribution strategies.”

To highlight this point, in China for example, the lack of infrastructure and limited provision of logistics are key factors as they have not kept pace with the growth in e- retailing, and service gaps are widespread, the report said. Logistics costs in China are in excess of 20% of GDP, more than double that in Europe, and outside of the major cities logistics offerings are almost non-existent. This has led to e-retailers developing a far wider network of facilities, aiming to get ‘closer to the customer’.

By contrast, in developed regions where logistics infrastructure is relatively sophisticated, geographic factors determine the distribution strategies that e-retailers are adopting, ranging from overnight delivery from a single distribution point, to utilising multiple distribution points and duplicating main inventory lines. This highly fragmented situation has led to e-retailers developing their own fulfilment centres rather than relying on logistics operators, and dedicated purpose built facilities are being increasingly demanded.

“The report’s findings confirm that there is strong demand for high quality, built-to-suit warehousing solutions amid the rapid growth in this sector. This presents a range of opportunities for property groups like Goodman, who understand local market dynamics and have the specialist expertise and experience to respond to the specific property needs of individual e-retailers and third party logistics providers.” Mr Goodman added.

As one of the largest global industrial property groups, Goodman has world-class expertise in developing tailored logistics and warehousing solutions, and is a leader in meeting the unique requirements of its e-retailing and logistics customers. To illustrate this, Goodman has delivered more than 581,000 sqm of new warehouse space across nine facilities for Amazon in Europe alone, with a further 225,000 sqm currently being developed across two projects in Germany.

Goodman also recently announced the development of a new 42,410 sqm built-to-suit facility in Tianjin, China for Moonbasa, a major online retailer of ladies fashion and accessories.

“The continued rapid growth in e-retailing is a real game changer for our business. We have undertaken a number of developments for the e-retailing sector over the last two to three years which is reflected across our portfolio, making it one of our largest customer groups.” Mr Goodman concluded.