Swiss ecommerce faces shortage warehouse locations

Online retailers in Switzerland are facing a shortage of suitable logistics locations within the country. They are outsourcing warehousing or seeking solutions across the border, according to the Swiss Handelszeitung.

Over the past decades, e-commerce in Switzerland has experienced significant growth in both the private and business sectors. This has fueled the demand for real estate logistics. However, the supply in the country is lagging, as noted by real estate consultant Peter Acél from Zurich.

“There are not enough quality logistics properties”, he said in an interview with Handelszeitung.

‘Efficiency for Switzerland means being process-oriented and highly automated.’

Advanced facilities

The lack of existing real estate logistics has led online sellers to outsource warehousing to external specialists who have the resources and focus on constructing their own advanced facilities. As a result, centralization is occurring, a trend further intensified when companies need to be more cost-conscious, as is the case currently.

Meanwhile, customers are demanding increasingly faster deliveries, which would be better facilitated by decentralized inventories, requiring more warehouses. From there, companies can effectively meet the needs of modern customers, such as same-day delivery.

Demand for central locations

“The choice of location varies depending on individual requirements and circumstances”, said Anica Raichle, Head of Development at Rimaplan, a Swiss real estate developer and service provider. According to Raichle, end-user preferences do not necessarily take precedence in logistical decision-making processes. She highlighted an ongoing demand for central locations in the logistics industry, as stated in Handelszeitung.

End-user preferences do not necessarily take precedence

Foreign warehouses

According to real estate consultant Acél, Swiss companies are currently not fully or adequately passing on the actual logistics costs to customers. The scarcity of suitable local warehouse space means that they will rely on major external service providers even more heavily. Another alternative is to store goods in foreign warehouses where wages and transportation costs are lower. “The first retailers are therefore building logistics areas in neighboring countries”, as reported by Handelszeitung.

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