Industrial N Illinois

Why are warehouses getting bigger in United States? It’s e-commerce, of course

  
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U.S. warehouses are getting bigger. And you can credit e-commerce for it.

CBRE recently reported that the average footprint of warehouses built in the United States since the early 2000s has more than doubled, in part because of the space demands from e-commerce users.

Warehouses are getting especially big in metropolitan areas with large populations. That makes sense; these are the areas that online sellers most want.

CBRE studied the average size of warehouses built in the United States during the last big development upswing, from 2002 through 2007, and then compared those figures to the current building period of 2012 through 2017. The average size of warehouses increased by 143 percent during that time to 184,693 square feet. The average warehouse clear height rose by 3.7 feet to an average of 32.3 feet.

“This dramatic expansion of warehouse size and height in the U.S. is almost purely a product of e-commerce, which has created demand for massive warehouses with high ceilings to store extensive, fast-moving inventories,” said David Egan, CBRE Global Head of Industrial & Logistics Research, in a written statement. “This demand is a long-term factor, meaning that U.S. markets without enough modern logistics facilities will see continued construction as they catch up.”

Cincinnati ranked among those U.S. markets that saw the largest gains in average warehouse size. Warehouse space here jumped by 237 percent, according to CBRE. Atlanta, though, saw the largest gain in average warehouse size, 284 percent.