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Warehouses come in all shapes and sizes, or logistics trends for 2022 – part 1


Warehouse supply set an all-time high in 2021 as Poland’s total industrial stock surpassed the 24 million sq m mark. Leasing activity in the first nine months of the year hit 5 million sq m, which represented an over 40% increase on the same period a year earlier. In addition, the development pipeline stood at 3.7 million sq m, up by close to 150% compared to the same time in 2020. Global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield highlights trends to watch on the industrial market in 2022.

A diversity of warehouses

A warehouse is fundamentally about providing modern storage space. For a layman it is just a large building with loading docks where trucks drive up to and some sort of warehousing operations taking place inside. However, seemingly identical buildings may vary in terms of technical specifications, equipment and roles they play in supply chain management. Some are designed to employ a few or a dozen workers while some slightly larger facilities will provide several thousand jobs. A warehouse may be a starting point for supply chain operations in a country or a part of last mile logistics or even of product redistribution.
To sum up, although warehouses may increasingly look similar to one another, they have diverse uses and functions. Commercial warehouse properties in Poland comprise not only large distribution centres, but also urban warehouses, courier hubs, returns centres, and even shopping centre warehouses for omnichannel stores or dark stores, the latter frequently being opened in locations vacated by service outlets or small local shops. The diversity of warehouses will therefore continue to grow amid the growing saturation of the Polish market, rising customer expectations and increasingly intense competition.

Sustainability is trending

“Last year also saw a growing focus on green solutions. This trend will intensify this year. According to the World Economic Forum, buildings account for 40% of worldwide energy usage and a third of greenhouse gas emissions, while EU member states prioritize cutting carbon dioxide emissions. Plans are ambitious as the European Commission has set out a climate target of at least 55% reduction of gas emissions by 2030. Greenhouse gas emissions are to be gradually reduced over the coming decades for the EU to achieve climate neutrality in 2050,” says Damian Kołata, Partner, Head of Industrial & Logistics Agency | Poland, Head of E-Commerce | CEE.

Previously, “sustainability” in warehouses was associated with photovoltaic panels or famous beehives on the rooftops of distribution centres. The green approach has, however, recently become more structured and is now called ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), “Environmental” being one of the three pillars of the ESG criteria used to award business ratings.

Sustainability also yields enormous savings. According to the calculations of various developers operating on the Polish market, a building with photovoltaic panels, better insulated walls and roofs, LED lighting and an energy management system will consume up to 50% less electricity. LEDs will consume 90% less power than standard bulbs. A smart lighting control system DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) will adjust light intensity to changing external conditions. It uses motion sensors and occupancy detectors to ensure an optimal work environment and efficient energy management. Electric vehicle charging stations, plants, flowering meadows and green rooftops cut carbon dioxide emissions by a medium-sized warehouse by approximately 381 tonnes per annum. The fact that green solutions improve the wellbeing of employees is also relevant to tenants. Employees who are happy in their workplace are more efficient if they are able to enjoy nearby greenery, break-out areas, street furniture or cycling facilities.


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