Report Author

Principal Analyst
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Jason has spent over 10 years in technology market research field.  In this time he has covered a wide variety of industries including power, mobile, data center and healthcare technologies as both primary analyst and research director.  At Interact Analysis, Jason is focused on expanding its robotics portfolio.


“Lockdowns and social distancing measures implemented to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic caused a wholesale disruption of traditional brick-and-mortar retail. In less than a year, US e-commerce penetration rose from ~10% of all retail sales in late 2019 to roughly 15% by the end of 2020. With global e-commerce online sales projected to more than double over the next five years, 28,500 warehouses will be added to the global stock. A significant portion of these new warehouses will be direct-to-consumer fulfillment centers necessitating significant labor and automation investments.”


While there are some publicly available data points on warehouses statistics, there is not currently a single, consistent, global dataset which estimates warehouse counts, footprint, sizes, and labor demand. This new product aims to solve this problem and provide companies which sell into the warehouse industry with reliable data. The goal of this research is to consolidate and analyze data points from government sources, public company filings, and industry sources into a model that provides detailed and credible warehouse estimates, irrespective of the existence of secondary data. The dataset will be regularly updated to incorporate new information, outlooks, and segmentations.

Key Findings
  • Interact Analysis predicts that 60% of the 150k+ warehouses in the world are staffed in areas where the average labor cost is under $10 per hour base pay.
  • Globally, it is estimated that the warehouse sector employed the equivalent of 8.5 million full-time employees in 2020 and is forecast to grow to nearly 13 million by 2025.
  • 3PL and General Merchandise accounts for 60% of warehouse demand and will be responsible for ~4.5 billion square feet of additional space over the next five years.
  • With an 11.2% global CAGR, total labor spend will rise rapidly over the next five years as a function of both increasing numbers of workers required and rising hourly labor rates.
  • Interact Analysis forecasts an average of 14.7% year-on-year growth in e-commerce globally, with the fastest pace occurring in 2020 and 2021 and slowly tempering afterwards.
  • China, United States, Japan, India, and Germany were estimated to account for 57% of the global warehouse footprint in 2020.
  • We estimate that about 58% of all the world’s manufacturing warehouse footprint is utilized for Durable manufacturing.
  • The raw count of warehouses is forecast to grow somewhat slower than the global warehouse footprint at an average annual rate of change of 3.4% globally.

Watch now: Introducing an innovative new database tracking the global warehousing industry from Interact Analysis.

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Posted by Jason DePreaux