First Research US Industry Profile

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Warehousing & Storage
SIC Codes: 4221, 4222, 4225, 4226
NAICS Codes: 493
Last Quarterly Update: 10/17/2022
Companies in this industry operate facilities to store goods and may provide related logistics services. Major companies include Americold, Burris Logistics, Iron Mountain, and Prologis (all based in the US). Other companies include CEVA Logistics (France), DSV (Denmark), GLP (Singapore), and Kuehne + Nagel (Switzerland).
The global revenue for third-party logistics (3PL) market was about $1.5 trillion in 2021, indicating a 41.8% annual gain, according to Armstrong & Associates. Demand for warehouse space is increasing significantly worldwide, thanks to the rapid rise in online shopping in markets across the globe.
The US warehousing and storage industry includes about 17,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $40 billion. Lessors of miniwarehouses and self-storage units are covered in the Self-Storage Services industry profile.
Competitive Landscape
Demand for warehousing is driven by the flow of goods through the economy; other demand indicators include industrial production, import volume, and office vacancy rates. The rapid rise in online shopping in markets across the globe, along with expectations for faster and more secure delivery, is significantly increasing demand for warehouse space worldwide.
Competition comes not only from industry peers, but also from potential customers, as some enterprises may choose to operate their own warehouses to maintain tighter control over service. In addition, some potential customers may contract with a third party logistics provider (3PL) to obtain a variety of supply chain management services, including warehousing and distribution. Warehousing and storage companies that offer supplemental logistics services may have a competitive edge.
The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest US companies generate about 45% of revenue.
Competitive Advantages:
E-Commerce Experience - The rapid rise in online shopping in markets across the globe is significantly increasing demand for warehouse space worldwide. Companies specializing in warehousing and distribution for e-commerce customers must be able to meet demand for faster and more secure delivery. Facilities with more square footage, as well as those outfitted with robots and other warehouse automation tools, have the competitive advantage.
Prime Locations - Internet shopping trends are creating a need for more warehouse and logistics facilities near final product destinations in large urban areas. Warehousing facilities may also benefit from being located near different types of transportation hubs, such as seaports, airports, and major highway interchanges.
Company Spotlight:
Global Logistics Properties is the largest operator of warehouse space in China. A consortium of investors acquired the company in 2017 for $11.6 billion in Asia's largest private equity buyout by value, hoping to capitalize on an expected e-commerce boom in China.
Prologis as of 2021 had 1.0 billion square feet of warehouse space in 19 countries, making it the world's largest owner of industrial real estate. Amazon is Prologis' largest tenant, occupying 24 million square feet of the company's inventory.
Flexe, a startup firm that Bloomberg billed "the Airbnb of warehouses," finds unused storage space for e-commerce companies. Despite low vacancy rates, many warehouses have extra space to sell based on factors such as seasonality in their business; Flexe sells that space via its marketplace and takes a commission for each transaction. The company has amassed a network of more than 1,000 warehouses, which it connects by a single software platform.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major services include warehousing and storage (70% of industry revenue), handling services for goods (about 20%), packing services for goods (5%), and ... plus:
Sales & Marketing
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Finance & Regulation
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Regional & International Issues
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Human Resources
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
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Industry Indicators
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Business Challenges
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Trends and Opportunities
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Call Preparation Questions
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Financial Information
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Industry Forecast
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Industry Websites
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Glossary of Acronyms

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