The e-commerce revolution has had a significant impact on supply chain facility design and construction. These initiatives have evolved in eight different ways during the last few years. The growth of e-commerce has transformed warehouse facilities in the United States into next-generation logistics hubs. The way these turnkey contractors in Chennai facilities are conceived and built has altered dramatically as a result of this revolution. Here are eight ways that today’s warehouses demand more from construction companies than they did a decade ago:
They are larger:
As warehouses have evolved from simple shipping and receiving facilities to high-tech, automated processing centers, the size of warehouse projects has exploded. In reality, the number of 1 million square foot or larger warehouse projects has surged. According to Chris Zubel, senior managing director of CBRE, the footprint of certain shopping centers has doubled or even tripled due to the installation of mezzanine floors, which can push some projects to the 3 million square foot threshold and beyond.
They are located in urban areas:
For the last-mile processing of e-commerce orders, businesses in major cities require smaller, multistory warehouses. According to CBRE, densely populated metros like New York City, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle make the most sense for these types of facilities. Urban warehouses differ from those in wide suburban and rural areas in that they are mostly teardowns or renovations of older facilities, according to Zubel, but a few new facilities are sprouting up in urban locations.
Amenities are essential:
Owners are requesting features such as fully-equipped kitchens with granite countertops, fresh-food vending machines, and lounge areas with flat-screen TVs, ping pong tables, and dining areas. Facilities even include planted outside areas for employee breaks in temperate climates.
Precise scheduling is crucial:
Complex distribution hubs must be built within strict deadlines. Owners must carefully arrange work so that important parts and operations of a facility, such as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC, arrive first. We have to manage not only our own schedules and the schedules of our subcontractors but also coordinate industrial construction companies in India with the material-handling provider to ensure that the structure is designed to not only support the loads but also to turn over the facilities in phases in order to get there, according to Bischoff.
Cold storage is hot:
According to CBRE estimates, growth in online grocery and meal kit delivery sales will result in demand for up to 100 million additional square feet over the next five years. We believe food will be the next great disruptor in this space, according to CBRE’s Zubel. Currently, fewer than 2% of food is sold online, but this is beginning to change.
Systems and shells are stronger and more powerful:
Construction firms are beefing up floors, walls, and roofs to accommodate super-sized warehouse facilities, which require robust envelopes and infrastructure to hold and run the gigantic equipment, racks, and mezzanines they are outfitted with. Super-flat floors were once required in warehouse construction to prevent forklifts from tipping when pulling pallets from 45-foot-high shelves. Super-flat floors aren’t as important now that the industry has moved away from high-pile storage, according to Grayson, but thickness and strength are, and adding 6 to 8 inches of the reinforced slab is normal.