STAFF WANTED - an analysis: how does the labour market impact on growth of the warehouse sector
STAFF WANTED - an analysis: how does the labour market impact on growth of the warehouse sector

Report

STAFF WANTED - an analysis: how does the labour market impact on growth of the warehouse sector

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According to the latest report by BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland, the increase in the supply of new warehouse space by over a dozen percent per year does not affect the vacancy rate, which has continuously remained at an extremely low level for the last few quarters. The positive situation of the market results from high demand driven by consumption and the rapid growth of e-commerce. The future of the logistics and warehouse industry will be inextricably linked to the situation on and direction of growth of the labour market.

The market boom continues

11.5 million sqm – this is the estimated stock of modern warehouse space available in Poland as at the end of March this year. Over the past ten years the total supply has doubled, with real acceleration occurring after 2013. Since then, warehouse stock in Warsaw has increased by 48%. The authors of the report emphasize that in the coming quarters the dynamic pace of growth will not slow down, which is evidenced by the volume of projects under construction amounting to 1.3 million sqm.
This excellent market situation is the result of several factors, the most important of which are: the size of the domestic market, the increase in consumption and demand, the dynamic development of road infrastructure and the continued extensive availability of land for new investments. One of the elements shaping the present and future picture of the logistics industry is e-commerce, which once again has registered a double-digit growth. The growth of e-commerce has led to the need for modern facilities suitable for advanced operations. The authors of the report point out that the largest schemes built in the first quarter were BTS warehouses for the e-commerce sector: Panattoni BTS Amazon Szczecin (161 000 sqm), Panattoni BTS Amazon Sosnowiec (135 000 sqm) and Goodmann BTS Zalando (130 000 sqm). In addition, the domestic market, with its excellent location and infrastructure and still competitive labour costs when compared to markets in Western Europe, attracts players operating on more than one market.

Staff wanted

The survey on which the report is based shows that the issues related to the situation on the labour market, while they have always been perceived to be of importance, are starting to lead the field now in the logistics sector. According to companies operating in the logistics sector, there are two key factors when selecting a warehouse: access to workers that perform simple tasks and transport infrastructure. The surveyed companies identified them as important (95%) and extremely important (100%) respectively. The second group of factors that companies pay attention to, but they tend to name them as important rather than extremely important, are the warehouse technical parameters an d access to skilled workforce. Aspects that are not in the foreground, but are still of importance when choosing a warehouse, are office and staff facilities standard and proximity to large urban centres. A scheme is also attractive when it is situated in an economic zone, has large manoeuvring yards, offers options for space expansion and a fast Internet connection.
According to the survey conducted by BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland, the majority of companies are already trying to win employees by offering specific non-payroll benefits, while every third organization provides immigrants from across the Eastern border with early career support.

What’s attracting employees?

According to the report drawn up by BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland, as many as 63% organizations undertake or declare willingness to undertake steps aimed at increasing their attractiveness as an employer. In addition to offering attractive financial terms, logistics operators try to attract workers by providing them with transport to work (58%) and guaranteeing access to a staff cafeteria / canteen (50%).

A very interesting trend is to tailor recruitment and job positions to the Ukrainian and Russian candidates. Every third logistics company wooing new employees takes such measures, while one in four sets up kindergartens / nurseries on site

Anna Staniszewska, Head of Research and Consultancy, BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland

Furthermore, non-payroll benefits, including medical care packages and employee referral programmes so popular abroad, play a vital role.

What are the threats?

The companies operating on the market identified three main groups of potential barriers to growth of the warehouse and logistics sector.

For 3 out of 4 of the surveyed companies the shortage of workforce is seen as a major factor that can decelerate the pace of growth. Interestingly, the availability of workforce is inextricably linked to the second factor, namely the increase in labour costs, reported by 68 percent of respondents

Szymon Dołęga, Junior Consultant, Research and Consultancy, BNP Paribas Real Estate Poland

Additionally, the potential barriers include concerns relating to the increase in competitiveness (42%). Other less important factors that may adversely affect the pace of growth named by the surveyed companies include drop in demand, growing difficulties in finding suitable warehouse space and the considered Sunday trading restrictions.

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