Logistics will become one of the most transversal sectors within the national economy

The commercial and social relationships of the coming years will be marked by the evolution of a sector which will be a leading creator of jobs, promote the mobility of the population and support increased consumption

Sustainability and Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) policies have become essential requirements for all logistics buildings to achieve efficient supply chains and to be more attractive to investors

Madrid,18th June 2021

Over the next few years, logistics will become one of the most transversal sectors within the national economy. This was one of the main conclusions of the first "The logistics of the future" seminar, which was given today by Montepino Logística, one of the largest logistics developers and asset managers in Spain, in collaboration with the WIRES association, and in which several sector experts participated.

During the seminar, all the professionals highlighted how the logistics industry will become fundamental in commercial and social relationships, as this sector, which has shown itself to be a "refuge sector", is going to be a leading creator of jobs, promote the mobility of the population and support increased consumption.

The pandemic has caused the logistics sector, already growing beforehand, to grow exponentially. This is what was argued by Begoña Crespo, the director of Advisory & Transaction Industry and Logistics at CBRE, who estimates that there will be an increase in investments and procurement in 2021. Specifically: "The logistics sector is predicted to close the year with €2 billion invested and an increase in procurement, particularly in the central area of the country, with 750,000 m2, and in Catalonia, with over 500,000 m2 procured." These figures, which demonstrate the high volume of activity within this sector, are still far from the figures in Europe. However, "While there is still a way to go, we have a wide margin for growth because demand is high and there is a large amount of available capital. Over the coming years, therefore, we are going to continue to see these types of figures," stated Crespo.

Regarding these predictions, Carmen Reviriego, a manager at Crossbay España, noted that "To become the best, good infrastructure is essential." She recognised that "Digitalisation is the launchpad to being able to consolidate this demand, which is constantly growing,” and noted that "Logistics operators must invest in digitalisation to trace products and in automation processes in warehouses," because this is the only way "Correct stock management and efficient delivery routes can be attained, achieving a fully efficient supply chain."

Sofía Moraga, manager of business development for XPO Logistics, also spoke on this topic, noting that "Now that the pandemic has taken supply chains’ needs to the limit, warehouses have turned into online shops, in which it is important to be able to manage a large volume of products quickly and efficiently." This has underscored the importance of "Speed, flexibility and scalability" in construction processes, and affirmed the need for a mixed portfolio featuring built-to-suit warehouses that "Allow us to undertake short-term projects without depending on stock from old warehouses that don't meet the requirements we operators have nowadays."/p>

Sustainability: an essential objective for companies

Nowadays, companies are trying to provide a series of qualities in all their logistics buildings that make them more modern, more comfortable for employees and more attractive to investors, and which allow them to meet established company goals and social standards. This means that "Sustainability and ESG policies have gone from being a plus to a must," noted David Romera, head of investment and asset management at Montepino. He also stated that "If you don't have sustainability certifications and meet international quality standards, you'll find yourself outside of the market."

On this point, Luis Cabrera, head of Energy, Sustainability and Mobility at CBRE, highlighted the importance of implementing these characteristics when designing ESG strategies that promote the reduction of our carbon footprint by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2050. In line with these EU commitments, "Investment funds and shareholders are now asking for a solvent road map demonstrating how these activities not only lack a negative impact on society, but how, on the contrary, they improve society environmentally and socially, while maintaining high standards of governance."

The importance of a strategic location

In addition to sustainability and efficiency, assets' locations are essential, both for investment growth possibilities and to meet the immediacy demanded by consumers. On this point, all the speakers noted the importance of good access to roads, proximity to large population nuclei and the mobility of the workforce to optimise logistics networks.

This was noted by Patricia Franco, councillor for Economy, Companies and Employment in Castile-La Mancha, who has seen how in recent years, interest in industrial land within the region she manages has increased: "It has become the largest logistics hub in the country and is working to become the industrial epicentre on a national level." Similarly, she stated that "Employment within the logistics sector has grown exponentially in the region, over 25%. 8400 more people are now employed in the sector, which is a growth of 6.5 points over that of the rest of the country."

Proof of the privileged position of the Castile-La Mancha region within this sector is the fact that Montepino Logística, one of the largest logistics providers in Spain, has invested €700 million in the area over the last three years. In fact, Franco highlighted that "The regional government has identified 14 key strategic sectors and the logistics sector is one of them. It has already declared one project to prioritise and there are four more in the portfolio, within the 69 it has supported since the law was introduced." She also noted that "The government has provided over 29 logistics projects with foreign investment."

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