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How will new (e)consumers reshape the last mile delivery

There is much talk of ‘last mile delivery’ these days, and most of it centres around being environmentally-friendly. A utopian picture is evoked which would see all the nasty polluting trucks arrive at the edge of town, unload their goods and go away again. The goods are then delivered into the city by electric van/scooter/bike… and we can all breathe more easily (literally).

At the Mipim exhibition this year, however, a conference looked at the effect all of this might have on real estate, and particularly on traditional distribution centres. A ‘front-line’ panel consisting of Jérôme Delauney, Head of Asset Management France, Axa-I.M., Ben Bannatyne, President, Prologis Europe and Logan Smith, head of Logistics Real Estate – International Investment Group, BNP Paribas Real Estate, was moderated by e-commerce consultant Raimund Paetzmann, who himself has many years of experience with one of the biggest distributors of them all – Amazon.

Reversed flows
Looking at the way people think, it was made clear that just thinking about today is not the way forward. Companies are looking at the use of robots, and at the situation where these (and increased digitalization) would lead to the supply chain being turned upside down. It would no longer be a ‘push’ system where goods are delivered to a store which then tries o sell them, but a ‘pull’ system where the customer dictates what he or she wants, when and where. This is what was described as the era of ‘instant gratification’, one click and I get what I want. In this world, two day delivery is no longer good enough – today or tomorrow is what is required.

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 | 29/05/2017

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