In a lengthy article in the latest edition of Intelligent Logistik, Dirk Sosef, Prologis’ vice president of research, discusses his views on the current logistics property market. Two trends are clear: Location trumps everything, and the biggest challenge is access to labor.
According to Sosef, access to a skilled workforce is one of several factors governing the location of companies in Sweden, but it has become absolutely crucial in other parts of Europe.
“We can have perfect facilities with incredible locations, but customers are forced to reject them because they can’t find people,” says Sosef to Intelligent Logistik, pointing to such markets as the Netherlands, Germany, France, Czech Republic and even Spain, where staffing problems have become increasingly acute. In these countries, the issue is retaining people: Staff turnover is high, and companies fight for expert workers.
Warehouse automation has also changed the nature of warehouse jobs. What once required manual labor and a less skilled workforce now requires systems technicians, IT specialists and engineers.