Analyst Insight: From humble beginnings at the machine control layer, warehouse systems have matured and expanded to allow visibility and control over what is happening at the machine, parcel, associate and order/wave level. When combined with data from wearables and other Internet of Things technologies, warehouse control software will drive new opportunities for distribution efficiency. – Nikko Pianetto, Group Vice President, Integrated Technology Solutions, Fortna Inc.
Demand for U.S. industrial distribution centers, larger than 300,000 square feet, is high and rising, according to real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle's first "Big Box Velocity Index". Improving economic conditions, the continuing growth of e-commerce and a deep bench of tenants seeking space have all created this highly competitive fight for industrial and warehousing space. As a result, there is 96.7 million square feet of industrial construction under way, with nearly half speculative, with an average building size of 360,000 square feet.
There is an ancient proverb that says it is better to light a single candle than curse the darkness. For the materials handling world, however, not only should we not curse the darkness. it may finally be time to embrace it.