The 35th German Logistics Congress of the German Logistics Association (Bundesvereinigung Logistik e.V.) (BVL) with the motto "Digital meets real" was also dominated by challenges such as the shortage of skilled workers. The logistics real estate sector also attracted particular attention at the congress.
DLK Meet up Runde
Within the framework of an interactive discussion format, industry experts on the initiative of BVL discussed the topics of logistics real estate, proposed solutions for dealing with a shortage of space, the negative image of the industry and the optimisation of settlement processes. Founded in 2017, the Logistics Real Estate theme group aims to increase the visibility of the challenges facing logistics real estate users among BVL members and to professionalise settlement management. At the same time, the topic area deals with the latest developments in logistics real estate in order to find solutions to challenges such as space shortages.
The results of the 3rd study by the Logistics Real Estate Initiative (Logix) on the space and employment potentials in the 23 top logistics regions were also linked to this starting point for the discussion. Both areas are characterised by a severe shortage: there is no German logistics region in which there is still a high availability of space and labour at the same time. While these bottlenecks pose great challenges for logistics companies and business development agencies interested in settling in the region, municipalities are confronted with an increase in public debates on the subject of "land devouring".
How can areas be gained for settlement projects in the future?
For the sector, the challenge is to solve the discrepancy between the growing demand for logistics space, caused by increasing urbanisation and a further increase in e-commerce, and the simultaneous desire of residents for lower traffic volumes and noise pollution. The proposal to provide municipalities and cities with sustainable arguments for the citizen dialogue in the allocation of logistics space at sought-after locations received unanimous approval in the discussion.
Identifying the consequences of alternative locations
The often demanded settlement of a logistics company in the surrounding area instead of the conurbation, with the aim of reducing the traffic volume, is only a superficial alternative. Because of the longer distances for a CEP service provider or warehouse employees commuting to work, the traffic volume increases and the emission values rise. It is important to communicate this perspective openly.
Creating ecological added value through logistics real estate
In addition to the consideration of an attractive façade design during development, e.g. through green roofs, the integration of photovoltaic systems can achieve a higher level of acceptance among municipalities and citizens. By creating appropriate standards, ecological operation is possible independently of the regional power grid. In view of the sometimes inadequate data infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, logistics properties could also be optimised for broadband expansion by means of integrated radio masts.
Addressing the shortage of skilled workers
According to the results of the Logix study, massive problems already exist today in southern Germany with regard to the availability of land and the recruitment of labour. As a result of the overall decreasing number of available workers, the industry is challenged to find alternatives. One possibility concerns the automation of intralogistics. This made it possible for location-oriented logistics service providers to make their choice of location more independent of the previously necessary proximity to conurbations with a high labour force.
Logistics based on consensus
Overall, it is important for the industry to continue the dialogue with the various interest parties. This is also the aim of the BVL Logistics Real Estate Group. By promoting dialogue between representatives from logistics and business development, the aim is also to optimise settlement processes. In addition to a structured approach to location inquiries, this also includes the creation of new responsibilities with an advisory function for the settlement process.
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