The global Covid-19 pandemic continued to affect the economy throughout 2021. The industrial and logistics sectors have also faced a lot of global challenges such as disruption in supply chains, along with, container and chip shortages. Especially the automotive sector and other sectors were adversely affected by the supply chain dis-ruption then, global shipping costs increased with freight prices tripled compared to the previous year and manufacturers have entered a bottleneck.
At this stage, Turkey has come to the fore with the advantage of its geopolitical position in line with the strong connectivity, business environment, regulatory, trade agreements, workforce and entered the lens of foreign manufacturers as a nearshore destination. Given Turkey’s significance as a manufacturing and logistics hub, several investment plans by global manufacturers including Chinese smartphone manufacturers, European apparel and pharmaceutical players have been announced in 2021.
The evolving landscape of e-commerce logistics recorded in 2021 has kept growing as the omnichannel retail players have retained and expanded their market share. In that line, as the demand for qualified storage areas increases, technology and automation investments are expected to increase in parallel with new warehouse development proj-ects. In addition, investments in transfer centers and regional warehouses will increase in the axis of developing e-commerce activities.
Growing exports, expanding e-commerce and the recent nearshoring trend have been key demand drivers for quality warehouse space in Turkey. Ongoing demand in the quality warehouse will further accelerate not only from 3PL providers, food retailers, or e-commerce platforms but also from manufacturers and other end users.
Quality warehouse supply however has always been limited and last-mile delivery and urban logistics are expected to play a key role in distribution strategies. Warehouse rents have increased every quarter and the last quarter of 2021 recorded a 15.8% increase year on year on a USD basis despite significant inflation pressure and recent foreign currency exchange volatility at the end of 2021. The upward trend is expected to remain in warehouse leasing activity and rent levels for the foreseeable future.
Occupier demand is likely to further fuel new developments which have accelerated again in the latter part of 2021. Interest from investors in logistics assets has increased on the back of strong occupier demand and higher rent levels and is expected to result in even more development activity in the short to medium term.