• 77% of businesses renting last mile logistics properties plan to expand their space in the next 12 months
  • 98% of surveyed businesses now selling online – up from 82% in 2021
  • 80% of respondents see e-commerce as a key driver of revenue

Companies across Europe are planning to expand their last-mile logistics space to meet the ongoing shift to e-commerce according to a recent survey of 600 businesses by Mileway, the leading last mile logistics real estate company in Europe.

The survey, which was conducted at the end of January, collates the views of a diverse group of businesses that rent commercial property located in or around large urban areas in Mileway’s top five markets of the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Sweden. The businesses surveyed ranged from small local companies to large, multi-national corporates, and come from a variety of industries including, retail, consumer goods & services, food production, manufacturing and transport and logistics. Half of the companies surveyed are Mileway customers.

The recent poll, which repeats a similar survey carried out in August 2021, shows a significant increase in the percentage of companies engaging in e-commerce sales. Almost all the businesses surveyed (98%) now say they sell online, compared to 82% in August 2021. Businesses are seeing e-commerce as an increasingly important component of their strategy, with 80% now saying it is a key driver of revenue, compared to 60% in August 2021. The push to incorporate and adapt to e-commerce is also having an impact on the space requirements of businesses across Europe. Over three quarters (77%) of the companies surveyed say they are planning to increase the amount of last mile space they rent – either by upsizing, adding locations or both. This is up from 60% in August 2021.

Sustainability and improved energy efficiency have also emerged as increasingly important areas of focus for Mileway’s customers, with 91% of companies aware of the need to set a carbon emission reduction target, and 42% considering it is a top priority and actively tracked. These results support the view that the spike in energy prices seen across Europe in 2022 has turned ESG measures – in particular, energy efficiency initiatives – into a commercial imperative. Whilst energy prices may now be stabilising, the findings point to businesses continuing to look to longer term solutions which help them use energy more efficiently.

With an owned portfolio of over 14m sqm of lettable space and 9,000 customers, Mileway is committed to helping its customers transition to a low carbon economy and achieve their targets in the process. This is done through promoting sustainable operations, increasing the climate resiliency of Mileway’s properties and working alongside its stakeholders towards a greener last mile. For example, in Sweden, Mileway has partnered with its customer Svenska Retursystem (SRS), the provider of smart circular system solutions to the Swedish food industry, to install one of the largest rooftop solar power plants in the country. This will produce 3.3 GWh per year, the equivalent to the electricity usage of 600 Swedish households, and contribute towards SRS’s own carbon reduction targets.

Emmanuel Van der Stichele, Chief Executive Officer, Mileway, said:

“Having a good understanding of what our customers require enables Mileway to provide superior service, and we frequently talk to our broad customer base which covers many sectors and is located all over Europe. However, surveying a large number of our customers like this, allows us to see trends at scale. The results clearly show that the shift to online has continued over the last 18 months, even as Europe has re-opened following the end of Covid-based restrictions. Not only have we seen a significant increase in the proportion of businesses selling online, even after restrictions ended, but more businesses than ever see e-commerce as a key component of their strategy. This is continuing to drive demand for high-quality, well-located properties near urban hubs.”