20 Aug 2021
We're now 18 months on since the start of the pandemic and one area that continues to face ongoing impact is the movement of freight across Australia, and globally.
The impacts of the COVID19 pandemic are many and varied, and have influenced almost every sector of the Australian economy. One of the interesting changes brought about is escalation in the movement of freight, particularly in e-commerce deliveries, and the demand for suitably located land to accommodate freight and logistics uses.
Increasing demand for e-commerce deliveries has been a growing trend for the past 20 years, and in 2019 it was estimated that Australians spent $1,000 each, on average, through online shopping providers, with almost $27.5 billion spent annually across the nation.
This was anticipated to increase by 2.4% in 2020 pre-pandemic, but with the accelerated shift to online purchasing at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest figures show that online spend accounted for $52.1 billion, or 16.3% of total retail spend around the country in the 2020-21 financial year.
We are grappling with two factors here. There is an increase in freight due to online shopping, and there are ongoing impacts due to lockdown based restrictions on movement of goods from state to state. Where two years ago warehouses located in Sydney and Melbourne may have been sufficient, there is now a growing expectation for goods to be delivered faster and without interruption, therefore national brands needing local state distribution facilities.
These factors have brought about greater demand for well-located industrial land to accommodate warehouses, logistics centers and distribution facilities. This is in addition to demand for non-industrial zoned land to potentially accommodate other related facilities or infrastructure associated with e-commerce product delivery.
The growth of "logistics parks"
One of WA's largest and most successful freight and logistics projects has been the Roe Highway Logistics Park (RHLP) developed by our client Hesperia. TBB has been involved with RHLP since its inception in 2015 through the acquisition of a significant landholding in the locations of Kenwick and Wattle Grove.
RHLP is exceptionally well located for freight and logistics operators given its access to major roads and freight rail, in addition to its close proximity to Perth Airport. It is shaping to set a new benchmark in standards for industrial estate development.
TBB has worked with Hesperia to develop and implement a town planning framework for RHLP which is highly flexible and able to quickly respond to the needs of buyers and tenants. This flexibility is critical in industrial development, and particularly those responding to the increased demand for freight and logistics operations.
As leaders in industrial town planning and urban design, we are currently progressing a variety of freight and logistics hubs in the Perth Metropolitan and Regional Areas.