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 International’s 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 International.

“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 International.
“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

Managing Director | Industrial


Sydney CBD

Malcom joined Colliers International in 1994 in the North Sydney office as an industrial sales and leasing agent. Colliers International is known in the market for their progressive, collaborative and innovative culture, and he was very determined to join their team. Now as a leader in the business, he facilitates that collaboration across our service lines both domestically and internationally to achieve our goals. Over his 26 years at Colliers, Malcom has developed and grown multiple teams; his current role is Managing Director of Industrial where he heads up the largest and most specialised industrial division in Australia.

In 2005, Malcom joined the ANZ Executive where the leadership group has steered Colliers International to reach incredible growth and further developed our brand and client offering. Malcom became the NSW State Chief Executive in 2006, and leads the 730+ staff in the NSW team across six offices and dozens of on-site management teams. Our NSW business is the Centre of Excellence for the broader Australia and New Zealand teams, and our team leads the business in innovation and best practice.

Malcom's speciality is the sales and leasing of institutional-grade industrial property, and he works to provide his clients with insights into the future of industrial property and where they can reap the most value. Having sold over $6bn+ of property over my career,  Malcom gets a great deal of satisfaction being a trusted advisor and expert for his clients.

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Luke Crawford



Sydney CBD

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 research function at Colliers International, where he provides high quality research and advice on the trends impacting the sector to both internal business lines and clients.

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.

Luke’s areas of expertise include property research, demographic assessments, highest and best use analysis and supply and demand assessments across a broad range of property sectors including industrial, office, residential, student accommodation and retirement and aged care.

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Monica Velez

National Director | Logistics & Supply Chain Consultancy | Occupier Services

Occupier Services

Sydney CBD

Based in Sydney with more than 11 years’ experience in the Logistics and Supply Chain arena, Monica previously worked in Transformation and Project Management, Logistics Engineering, Business Analysis and Operations Optimisation. She developed long term logistics network strategies for large supply chain operational hubs, served as a key advisor and participated of major commercial negotiations with 3PL supplier leading to major changes in logistics models.

Monica has experience in project development and stakeholder engagement during warehousing and transport solution design along with optimisation of projects for a wide range of industry models, including FMCG, automotive, industrial, tyres and 3PL. She has designed, costed and priced multiple warehousing and transport solutions developing high accuracy cost and resource models, business cases and major investment appraisals for automation, contract logistics, warehouse consolidation and operational optimisation initiatives of different sizes. Having completed a Master Degree in Engineering with emphasis in Logistics Management and a certification in Prince2® Project Management. Monica has huge interest in digital supply chain solutions where she has developed proof of concept initiatives.

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