LAND FOR LOGISTICS: LOCATIONAL DYNAMICS, REAL ESTATE MARKETS AND POLITICAL REGULATION OF REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION COMPLEXES
Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 2004, vol. 95, issue 2, 162-173
Physical distribution, logistics and freight transport are currently being shaped by new technologies, corporate restructuring, and a changing market environment. Following the rapid growth of logistics, the demand for distribution facilities increases significantly. As a consequence, logistics real estate markets have emerged, shaping local development practices. By establishing distri‐bution centres as single entities and integrated freight centres as agglomerations, they contribute to the formation of ‘regional distribution complexes’. The paper aims to exemplify this interrelation with two case studies in Berlin‐Brandenburg, Germany: first a publicly developed integrated freight centre, offering multi‐modal transport access and logistics services, and second a dispersed logistics site off the regional beltway, developed with respect to market requirements only. The paper finds that rising locational competition contributes to accelerated land consumption and further dispersal. Speculative development and outsourcing of facilities are ‘mobilising’ not only goods flows but also logistics infrastructure. Both practices, originally developed in the USA and the UK, are now changing land markets in continental Europe and affect urban and regional development.
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