European E-Commerce, E-Fulfilment and Job Creation

Themes Shaping New Location Selection in Europe

Prologis conducted an analysis of e-fulfilment leasing based on industry and proprietary data. Our key discovery is that growth in e-fulfilment over the last three years translated into 5 million square meters of new leases during that time. Specifically, for every €1 billion in new e-commerce sales,77,000 square meters of new facility space was needed to fulfill those orders. Prologis believes this trend will continue.

The implications:

Job growth: We estimate that 200,000 new jobs will be needed to staff new e-fulfilment facilities over the next five years. This translates to 100 jobs per day.

Multiplier effects: Both e-commerce sales and shipping volume are growing significantly in scale. We estimate that the e-commerce industry will need an additional 15 million square meters of logistics space.

Location: Facilities in Europe’s largest e-commerce markets—such as the UK, Germany and France, as well as growth pockets like Poland, Czech Republic and the Netherlands—are the current hot spots.

In the past three years, e-commerce leases accounted for 15 percent of total leasing volume, and we predict this ratio will rise as more companies expand their e-fulfilment capabilities. Most growth is expected to occur in Europe’s three largest e-commerce markets, the UK, Germany and France, which could account for approximately 10 million square meters alone.

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