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Warehouses in the city: from forgotten giants to future logistics protagonists

We live in the era of instant gratification. Behind every "buy now" click on an online sales platform is a consumer eager to receive their product before the sun sets. For the meeting between buyer and product to be satisfying, companies have the key: reducing delivery times. And that depends on efficient logistics.
So, what determines efficiency in logistics? Today more than ever, to achieve performance that meets customer expectations, having the right real estate infrastructure is essential.

According to data collected by the Argentine Chamber of Electronic Commerce (CACE), in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area (AMBA), 38% of deliveries in 2023 were completed in less than 24 hours, surpassing the 34% recorded in 2022. Additionally, more than 53% of deliveries were made within the first 48 hours.

“To improve this performance, the location of properties plays a crucial role because it optimizes delivery routes and minimizes transport times. Moreover, the adaptability and technology of facilities are vital to responding to fluctuating demand and managing inventories effectively,” says Lucas Desalvo, industrial and retail broker at Cushman & Wakefield Argentina and representative of the company on CACE’s Logistics Commission.

Among all the properties involved in the supply chain (logistics parks, urban warehouses, cross-docking centers, dark stores, service centers, pick-up points, and eLockers), urban warehouses are critical when implementing a logistics strategy that meets today's demands. Due to their proximity to demand centers, they are key to achieving agile and sustainable distribution. However, they are also the least available properties in the AMBA real estate market.

In this context, as often happens in real estate, scarcity creates an opportunity. It's the moment for idle factories and industrial properties that could relocate their operations to the outskirts of the city. These are ideal spaces to meet the needs of an increasingly demanding market. More than one forgotten warehouse holds under its roof the potential to become a protagonist of urban logistics, effective in reducing delivery times and distribution costs.

Digitalization and technological innovation are fundamental to elevating a company's operational performance, but without physical infrastructure, efficiency is limited. Therefore, before making any real estate-related decision, it is crucial to consider the characteristics of different areas, the presence of nearby commercial zones, and access routes, among other factors, to choose the most suitable property under the most favorable conditions.

This is the ideal time for the real estate market and e-commerce to move forward hand in hand towards innovative and sustainable solutions. This union is not only essential for the commercial success of both sectors but also drives continuous improvement in the shopping experience for all online sales platform users. At Cushman & Wakefield, we support both companies and property owners determined to seize this new opportunity offered by the real estate market.

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