Storage in short supply?
Desperately needed: warehouse space, available quickly and for short term rental. How to find it when you need it.
During the first few weeks of the crisis, as the corona virus spread, one iconic image dominated the media: supermarket shelves devoid of hygiene products. Shelves usually stocked full with soap or toilet paper were suddenly completely empty, and consumers were worried about supply shortages. But the problem was not that there were not enough products available, the problem was...
During the first few weeks of the crisis, as the corona virus spread, one iconic image dominated the media: supermarket shelves devoid of hygiene products. Shelves usually stocked full with soap or toilet paper were suddenly completely empty, and consumers were worried about supply shortages. But the problem was not that there were not enough products available, the problem was not enough warehouse space. Supposedly. But this theory doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Because the real question is whether or not the available warehouse space can be found.
Most popular search: warehouse space for short term rental
The demand for storage has risen dramatically. On the one hand, this is because there are products that currently cannot be delivered for sale or further processing, and therefore must be placed in storage. On the other, retail stores must deal with a growing demand for food and hygiene articles. Meaning that right now, these products are being produced more quickly than they can be sent to stores and production facilities, and must be stored somewhere close by to either these facilities or to distribution centres. The result: warehousing and logistics spaces available at short notice for short term rental are currently in high demand. There has been a shortage of warehouse space in metropolitan areas for years that is currently being felt everywhere. All the available space seems to be in use. Some logistics space providers are now shortening rental times, but the minimum period is still generally at least six months.
Easy to find? Storage space in the corona crisis – and beyond
The TIMOCOM warehouse exchange numbers also reflect an increase in demand for warehousing and logistics that began in the middle of March. The warehouse exchange hosts more than 7,000 warehousing and logistics space offerings across 44 European countries. It therefore reflects the availability of warehousing and logistics spaces. And there are still spaces available, even in city areas. The fact is: there is no shortage. Space is available, even at short notice. Why? Because dispatchers are currently not using their spaces to capacity.
The solution here is for everyone to rethink how they do business, both those who offer warehouse space, and those who are in need of it. After all, it is not just the large logistics space providers who are needed to cover the demand for storage. Many small and mid-sized businesses in the logistics industry have small to mid-sized warehouses that are usually not filled to 100 percent capacity. They are therefore ideal for meeting temporary storage needs. Not only that, the provider can also take over handling of the goods, so only variable costs are an issue.
Looking into the future after the crisis, it is already clear that the need for warehouse space will continue to increase due to changes in consumer behaviour, in order to allow for ‘(just)-in-time’ delivery to the consumer or end customer. Not to mention that stockpiling of certain goods will increase, in order to ensure a guaranteed supply for the general population or for health care. This is a great opportunity, particularly for small and mid-sized warehousing and logistics spaces that are easy to get to and close to large metropolitan areas.
Search and locate: more options mean more warehouse space
The current demand can actually be met with the existing means, infrastructure and a little bit of flexibility. The answer to the question asked at the beginning of this post lies in the way people search for the spaces they need. A warehouse exchange, which works just like a search engine, brings providers and customers together in an instant. It can be used to offer and assign available warehouses and warehousing space. This means that industry and manufacturing companies no longer have to deal with the current problem of finding intermediate storage, and that small and mid-sized companies can generate extra income by renting out their storage space. In addition, small and mid-sized companies could even offer to distribute the products within their region. In the best case scenario, this is a win-win situation for everyone.
It is true that small to mid-sized companies may not be the best solution for storing large amounts of product, due to their size. However, they are an excellent partner when it comes to finding a quick solution and tailored delivery of goods to distribution centres or metropolitan areas. They allow companies to react particularly quickly and flexibly to any storage space shortages – especially right now, when speed and flexibility are key.
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