Warehouses and e-commerce

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Demand for smaller warehouses is soaring as e-commerce and the push for faster delivery accelerates competition for industrial space close to major population centers.

Amazon.com Inc. and other merchants have opened dozens of online fulfillment centers across the U.S. as e-commerce sales grow, helping drive a boom in industrial real estate over the past decade. Many of those operations are located off interstate highways in spaces of one million square feet or more.

More recently, businesses have been adding smaller fulfillment and distribution locations that put inventory closer to customers, who often expect items to be delivered in two days or less. Many of those spaces “are meant for quick inventory turns, not for storage but for moving products in and out quite rapidly,” Mr. Walaszek, CBRE’s associate director of industrial and logistics research, said.

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