The amount of new-build warehouse space completed in the first half of 2009 was lower than at any time in the previous decade. 2.8 million sq ft of new space was developed and, of that figure, only a 1.2 million square feet was speculatively developed.
When compared with the 44 million square feet of warehousing which was built speculatively between 2006 and 2008, the potential for a future shortage of good quality new warehousing space is clear to see. Sally Bruer, Partner Head of Industrial Research at property consultants Gerald Eve, delivered this stark message during her address at the recent UKWA Warehousing Futures Conference.
However, Ms Bruer went on to say that while speculative warehouse and distribution centre construction was likely to remain depressed for the next three to five years, the total amount of warehousing space currently available in the UK is on the increase. As a result, there are plenty of opportunities for warehouse occupiers to negotiate more favorable rent agreements with landlords. Landlords are under pressure and the incentives many are offering are some of the most attractive seen since the beginning of the 1990s, she said.
Nearly 150 delegates attended the UKWAs Warehousing Futures 2009 conference. The event, which was held at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel, comprised a networking dinner on the evening of October 5th and a full days conference session on October 6th.
A full and varied speaker programme that included presentations from key personnel from some of the leading suppliers of materials handling and logistics products and services as well as interactive panel sessions, ensured that delegates left the event with plenty of valuable information that could be applied to benefit the day to day running of their businesses.
In addition, delegates had the opportunity to meet some of the foremost suppliers to the third party logistics and warehousing sectors at an exhibition held alongside the conference,
Roger Williams, chief executive officer of UKWA, commented: Judging from the number and variety of questions that the presentations prompted from the floor, it is clear that our speakers generated a great deal of interest among the audience.
Warehousing Futures 2009 was organised by Gyros Communications in association with UKWA and the Logistics Leaders Network.
Peter Acton, Chairman of the Logistics Leaders Network, commented: We have had lots of very positive feedback from delegates, speakers and exhibitors and are already starting to plan next years event.