RLI at the premiere of the Logistics Real Estate Day initiated by ZIA – the Central Real Estate Committee
On September 9, 2020, the first day of the ZIA logistics property took place in Berlin. The aim of the series of events is to focus the spotlight even more on the logistics asset class and make it more popular, after all, it is more relevant than ever. The ZIA provides the perfect (political) stage for this. Katrin Poos and Nela Hermann attended the event and were enthusiastic about the organization and the topics discussed there. Below summary gives an insight.
A new trend in the logistics real estate market towards crisis-proof systems?
Dr. Jochen Keysberg, CEO of Apleona: “Due to the shift in supply chains during the pandemic and the ongoing „e-commerce boom”, more warehouse than transhipment properties are currently required. Many goods have been and are being stored in order to avoid bottlenecks. ”
The pandemic has a lasting impact on trade flows and thus also on the need for logistics real estate. Security of supply is the basis for Germany’s success, especially when there are import bottlenecks. Available space in the cities should and can be used for on-demand orders.
Warehouses are the new department stores – or is it the other way around?
Mr. Rainer Köpke, Head of Industrial & Logistics Germany at CBRE, objected that it was important and necessary to be proactive about sensible use, e.g. thinking about mixed-use, of vacant (commercial) real estate. However, e.g. limited delivery zones and high parcel volumes pose difficult conditions for owners and developers.
“These department stores are “anchors”or “points of attraction” that would have to be creatively converted to prevent the surrounding shops and inner cities from suffering as well,” adds Köpke.
Logistics is the key industry for all economic sectors
Steffen Bilger, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, was particularly committed to logistics: “A strong logistics location Germany is also a prerequisite for our success as an export country. In the middle of the Covid crisis, Germany has proven that it rightly bears the title of world logistics champion.“ The supply could be guaranteed due to the well-organized transport flows and made clear what could have happened if the opposite had been the case.
Lack of labour in logistics
Not unmentioned were the 3P service providers, who coped with the increased volume of goods deliveries, and the truck drivers as an important link in the supply chain. The crisis has shown how important the people behind the logistics chains are, but also how much the logistics industry lacks labour and fair working conditions for truck drivers. For this reason, the #LogistikHilft initiative was launched during the pandemic, which among other things is committed to seamless access to sanitary facilities.
Investments in infrastructure should not be put off
An efficient infrastructure and alternative transport options that can be used if necessary, such as for example, efficient rail transport when the borders close again are important measures that need to be addressed. 5.5% more than in the previous year is to be made available as an economic measure
A plea for more rail use for freight transport
Miss Dr. Sigrid Evelyn Nikutta, Board Member for Freight Transport at DB AG, called on all those involved in the logistics industry to increasingly use and expand the rail transport mode for freight transport. The issue of sustainability is also important, since existing resources are used and less traffic on the road makes a contribution to reducing CO². Wouldn’t this make much more sense than having to pay fines for failing to meet climate targets?
The “rail” also received support from politics, namely from Cem Özdemir, politician of the Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen party. He also addressed the issue of sustainability, but not only in relation to rail transport, but also to road transport and emphasized that the decarbonisation of trucks is equally an important sustainability concept.
Panel on the evaluation of automated and ecological systems in logistics
Automation is becoming more and more important in logistics, whereby some questions arise, like e.g. amortizing investments, especially with regard to the CO² footprint, whether investors have to make advance payments or whether such automated real estate cannot be used by third parties. At least people do not have to worry about obsolete jobs, as employees will also be needed in the near future.
The topic of ecological systems included amongst others sustainable potential in logistics (real estate). Means of transport were mentioned, such as a hydrogen-powered train or e-cars and trucks as well as PV systems. In relation to the value of the property, CO² neutrality is very important. A distinction must be made between new buildings and existing ones.
To the statement that investors and banks are washing themselves green, Nela Hermann reacted with incomprehension in view of the importance of CO² reduction: “Why is a good cause given such a bitter taste? It’s already 5 to 12 and just as the eco-balance of a new building only gradually emerges as the positive effect, so we can all gradually do something for sustainability.”
There are many future topics and you have to think ahead, rethink and implement ideas. Is there a jolt through politics thanks to Corona?