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Thorsten Kiel

Does e-commerce have an impact on German logistics?

As our Henderson German Logistics Fund continues its investment phase, Thorsten Kiel (Fund Manager) discusses the impact of e-commerce on German logistics.

Since launching the Henderson German Logistics Fund, we have been flooded with questions regarding e-commerce and our view of its impact on the German logistics market.

In summary, we have noticed an impact of e-commerce on occupier markets and therefore seek to buy e-commerce fit assets as part of our diversified German logistics portfolio. We do not, however, expect the new e-commerce shaped building to be much different from what we believe to be a state of the art logistics asset. Independent from what is required by a specific tenant, assets need to provide the following features:
Good location i.e. have either a central hub location for German-wide distribution or a small hub location near an urban agglomeration
Suitable building shape, sufficient external space, ceiling height and technical equipment
Be flexible for all kinds of logistics tenants to allow for easy re-letting. The asset should have no special fit out so that it can be comfortably used for e-commerce without significant investment needed. e.g. mezzanine floors can be assembled and removed in a matter of days.

By focussing on investing in standard type logistics assets we are able to benefit from the rising tide of e-commerce, yet also provide for all other types of tenants, namely logistics providers, offline retailers and industrial tenants. Especially in Germany, the latter should not be underestimated as a key driver of logistics demand.