Based on new CBRE Research released this week entitled, The Tech Evolution is Ushering in Shared Logistics, the increasing use of automation is real and impacting Japan's logistics sector in a significant way.
CBRE reports the following highlights for Japan's logistics market in 2018:
Companies that operate logistics centers in Japan are facing hiring difficulties and rising wages. The further expansion of e-commerce, which has driven demand for logistics facilities, could further exacerbate employment issues.
As a means of addressing the labor shortage, there is increasing use of technology in logistics centers, especially those that are centered around automation. Artificial intelligence-equipped logistics robots are capable of performing tasks currently handled by humans and can accumulate experiences as data.
The introduction of logistics robots is likely to spur the growth of shared logistics facilities, a logistics version of shared offices. Shared logistics facilities involve shipping companies sharing facilities and paying fees according to the volume of goods processed and the period of use. This minimizes initial costs for goods owners while also enabling systems and distribution networking firms that are not necessarily specialists in logistics, in addition to existing 3PL (third-party logistics) firms.
In 2018-2019, a new supply of large multi-tenant (LMT) properties equivalent to 40% of existing stock is scheduled to be built in the Greater Tokyo area. With this, there are concerns about a supply-demand balance. CBRE Research believes that offering shared logistics services would enable landlords to enhance the competitiveness of their facilities and therefore attract tenants.