Are trailers the next big warehousing trend?

Warehousing

Logistics / Warehousing 432 Views

Companies and warehouse providers are scrambling for creative solutions to overcome a lack of warehouse space as they revamp supply chain networks to embrace e-commerce expectations.

The amount of available U.S. warehousing and logistics space sits at a multiyear low, according to real estate researcher CBRE Group. In the fourth quarter of 2018, availability for industrial real estate fell to its lowest level since 2000, the 34th consecutive quarter of decline.

Equipment providers and startups are stepping in to supplement the traditional warehouse market, from temporary trailers to Airbnb-style matchmakers that bring warehouse space and inventory together.

Mobile storage fills the gaps

Companies like Milestone Equipment Holdings lease dry van trailers as temporary storage space. It's been an ad hoc practice in the past as a warehouse manager scrambled to accommodate inventory spikes.

The temporary trailers which may be used for years allow companies to scale their warehouse space based on demand. Some companies moved imports up to beat rising tariffs or geared up for holidays or promotions.

"Some inventory needs to be mobile so they're keeping it on the trailers, but then they're moving the trailers where they need them," Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR Transportation Intelligence, told Supply Chain Dive.

Now temporary or on-demand space is becoming a long-term factor in warehouse strategies for e-commerce, as companies revamp their supply chains to support fulfillment and fast delivery

"For our traditional customer base, it's difficult to access warehouse space, to find enough of it in small quantities across the country to meet the compressed delivery time expectations that's now transitioning into the B2B world as well," Sarah Johnson, executive vice president of mobile warehousing and storage for Milestone, told Supply Chain Dive......

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