How Big is the Warehousing Industry?

Warehousing and distribution

While it may seem oddly specific to the layperson, warehouse space is an exploding industry in today’s e-commerce marketplace. With the rise of retail mega-giants like Amazon and Walmart, determining warehouse space needs — and then finding corresponding spaces — is a great niche to be in. Within the past 20 years, or since about the year 2000, warehouse and distribution space in the United States has increased by almost 90%.

While technically a subset of the commercial real estate umbrella, renting and leasing warehouse space is quickly becoming its own business. An estimated 170,000 Americans are in the business of leasing warehouses and storage, which is more than twice the number of Americans employed in the coal industry.

Circling back to the retail giants, e-commerce is expected to continue growing by at least 10% over the next few years, and those companies need space. They need lots and lots of space. As such, someone’s job is determining warehouse space needs for those companies, and that’s where the business of leasing a warehouse comes into play. Industrial warehouse space is not always easy to come by, so rather than selling what space you may have available, leasing it could pay off in a huge way in the future.

However, not all warehouses are created the same. If someone is considering renting a warehouse, they need to know what they’re going to do with it. Typically, distribution warehouse space — where a series of semi-trucks line up all day long to take products from the warehouse to stores — is what we think of. However, manufacturing warehouse space could be a different animal altogether as it would necessitate a gameplan for building an assembly line.

But all of that might be getting ahead of ourselves. Step one — for both the potential tenant and owner of the warehouse — is determining warehouse space needs. The majority of companies want to grow, and the best way to grow is by being nearer to your customers. The best way to be nearer to customers is to have more warehouse space in more places. It’s as simple as that — a numbers game.

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