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Innovation to be at the forefront of logistics following COVID-19

The financial impact of COVID-19 is still unknown, but it is clear that there will be several months of operational impact throughout  global supply chains.

Colliers' latest report studies the impacts of COVID-19 on industrial and logistics occupiers. The paper found that COVID-19 has forced industrial occupiers to focus on supply chain management as they look to become more resilient to future events.

Innovation will come to the forefront as occupiers increasingly adopt technology within warehouses including AI, blockchain, machine learning and predictive analytics.

“Not only has COVID-19 changed the investment landscape, it has reshaped how industrial occupiers go about their business with an increased focus on supply chain management,” said Malcom Tyson, Managing Director, Industrial at Colliers.

“Occupiers are adapting and are being proactive, with many investing in their omni-channel platforms and reverse logistics, seeking supply chain management solutions and diversifying their supplier networks.”

Colliers recently undertook two industrial occupier sentiment surveys, with the purpose to obtain real time insights into the issues impacting industrial occupiers in the current market. 

“Our survey found that industrial and logistics occupiers are looking at their business and supply chains to achieve efficiencies and better respond to the impacts of COVID-19. As a result, 85% of occupiers have reviewed their supply chain network; 31% are storing more stock locally to avoid shortages into the future and 31% are requiring more warehouse storage space as a result,” said Luke Crawford, Associate Director, Research at Colliers.
“With almost half of industrial occupiers we surveyed suggesting COVID-19 has impacted their revenue, leasing activity has slowed and a large number of occupiers who were previously in the market for new or expansionary space have since placed their decisions on hold.”

“We expect this to remain the case until the future economic environment stabilises or becomes clearer; in the short term, the $70 billion JobKeeper payment initiated by the Federal Government will provide a cushion effect to businesses within the logistics space.”

“Notwithstanding this, there has been a noticeable shift in demand towards defensive occupiers including food and beverage retailers, e-commerce groups, transport and logistics providers, data centres and cold storage occupiers. Recent trends in retail turnover supports this as consumers increasingly shift their spending habits towards non-discretionary items.”

Colliers’ anticipates that rents are expected to stagnate across most industrial markets over the next twelve months as landlords instead choose to increase incentives to secure tenants. 

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Malcom Tyson

Chief Executive Officer | Australia


Malcom is the Chief Executive Officer for Colliers in Australia, delivering on our business plan and driving our enterprising culture. Our company is underpinned by a clear set of values, designed to maximise the potential of property to accelerate the success of our clients and our people.  

Over his 27-year career with Colliers, Malcom has had the opportunity to build and grow a number of successful teams. Prior to his current role, he led the NSW business along with the national Industrial business for 15 years. In 2005, Malcom joined the National Executive where the leadership group has steered our business to achieve incredible growth and reinforced our market-leading culture. Our business stability and continuity continue to attract market leaders, empowering them to think and act differently to drive exceptional results.  

Colliers has an enterprising culture which underpins our strategy for success. The business has won multiple accolades as a Best Employer and best in class in many service arenas. We appreciate the loyalty of our people and our clients and we thrive on collaborating to create enterprising solutions that exceed expectations. 

Within Australia, Malcom has had the benefit of working with a highly regarded leadership team, including John Marasco and Simon Hunt, who are focussed on maximising the potential of property for our clients, through delivering enterprising solutions as we work through the market conditions of 2021. By keeping aligned to our values of being enterprising to exceed expectations and collaborating to drive exceptional results, Colliers are well positioned in 2021 to maximise the potential of property and to be a part of leading our industry into the future, not only in Australia but right across the Asia Pacific region. 

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Luke Crawford

Director | Research


Luke has 10 years’ experience in property research and real estate advisory, providing strategic advice and research to private, government and listed groups. Luke currently heads up the national industrial and logistics research function at Colliers, where he provides high quality research on the trends impacting the sector to both internal business lines and clients.

Luke has provided tailored and strategic industrial and logistics research to groups including Charter Hall, Mapletree, ESR, Ascendas, Centennial and ARA.

Prior to joining Colliers International, Luke has held roles within the Real Estate Advisory Services (REAS) division at KPMG and the Research and Consultancy team at Knight Frank.

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