Demand for warehouse and distribution workers in the United States should continue to soar this year and next, according to the latest research from CBRE. And the reason for this demand? Ecommerce, of course.
CBRE predicts that the country will need another 425,000 warehouse and distribution workers during the rest of 2018 and throughout next year.
How can retailers, delivery companies and logistics firms meet this demand? CBRE points to three ways: These players can recruit additional workers from other industries, invest in automation to boost labor efficiency or expand into markets that already have available workers.
“Increasingly, development of e-commerce warehouses is contingent not only on close proximity to large customer populations but also on finding increasingly scarce labor,” said David Egan, global head of industrial and logistics research for CBRE. “Warehouse users will want to ensure that access to qualified labor is a priority in their considerations for expansion. Several markets, especially those with strong population growth, offer ideal conditions for staffing up distribution centers.”
CBRE Research and CBRE’s Labor Analytics Group identified several U.S. markets that offer the right combination of availability, quality and cost of labor for warehouses and distribution centers. CBRE points to Louisville as a top market, along with Memphis, Indianapolis and Nasvhille in the Midwest.
What makes Louisville a top market for companies seeking labor? The region’s total transportation and warehousing employment grew slightly from 2013 through 2017 at a 0.6 percent rate, adding 230 jobs in that time. Wage growth was moderate, too, increasing less than 5 percent in that same time period from $12.39 to $12.93, giving it the seventh-lowest cost of labor in CBRE’s research.
“The end users have confirmed Louisville as a strategic distribution location in a big way, as reflected in our recent quarters of record-breaking positive absorption,” said Kevin Grove, senior vice president with CBRE. “2018 will be the best year on record for the Louisville industrial market by far.”