Multi-level warehouses within city limits may well be Indian real estate’s next big thing in a market completely transformed by the coronavirus pandemic. The compulsions of faster E-commerce growth in a post-pandemic world can kick-start demand for tech-enabled multi-storey warehousing. Such solutions are already in place in the South Asian countries and regions such as Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Tokyo, said Santhosh Kumar, vice chairman – Anarock Property Consultants.
“Currently, warehouses in the leading Indian cities are largely restricted to the city peripheries and far from the larger customer base. The COVID-19 has already underscored the importance of E-commerce in the ongoing lockdown. With an uncertain post-pandemic future looming over the retail sector, retail players may now need multi-level warehouses within city limits to service cities,” Kumar added.
Besides facilitating maximum land utilisation in cities like Mumbai, he observed that multi-storey warehousing can help companies to reduce transportation costs and improve delivery time – the keys to success for most retail businesses. With technology as a key enabler, such options can replace multiple single-storey warehouses on the city peripheries and thus save on overall operational and occupancy costs.
“Today, fast delivery is a crucial requirement for the seamless omni channel strategy of E-commerce players. The fallout of the coronavirus pandemic can exceed the current lockdown and social distancing may become the new normal, at least over the mid-term. In such a market environment, retailers will be under pressure to secure warehousing locations close to their customer base. Solutions like multi-storey car parking are already firmly in place in India’s most crowded and land-starved cities. Multi-storey warehouses of five or more storeys with tech-enabled loading on every floor are the next logical move.”