First American News LLC, Raleigh, NC: Logistics firms are finding new options to deal with a scarcity of storage, including building multistory facilities and choosing locations farther from coastal ports.
As retailers and logistics companies try to stockpile goods to hedge against supply chain problems, they are facing a new challenge: In many parts of the United States, there is little to no space available to stash the merchandise.
The shortage of commercial warehouse and industrial space is the latest fallout from pandemic-fueled growth in online shopping and shows few signs of abating. But the squeeze is spurring new thinking about how to manage storage, handle distribution and set up new delivery systems for everything from pet food to beauty supplies.
Logistics firms are taking several steps to deal with the scarcity of storage space, like signing deals for new space long before ground is broken and expanding searches for sites farther from coastal ports, to such areas as Knoxville, Tenn.; the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania; and Reno, Nev.
They are also reimagining the commercial warehouse space they already occupy. And in densely populated areas where land is scarce and zoning restrictive, they are vying to build taller warehouses or spread their goods to smaller spaces such as vacant storefronts that were shuttered during the pandemic.