As a property sector, we tend to think of industrial activity in a local context only. As we move from our traditional manufacturing base, however, to a country that now imports most of its manufactured goods and which shops globally, we need to understand and plan for the larger number of logistics centres that are required to handle and transport our imported goods.
In other words, our industrial mindset needs to shift from local to global.
As over 65% of the TEU’s imported to Australia come from Asia, it should be of no surprise that we can learn a thing of two about the way goods are produced and moved around there.
In China, for example, industrial lands are classified by business function, enabling strong business linkages within estate clusters and creating a competitive business environment. China’s industrial zones are made up of the following:-
- Bonded Logistics Parks (BLP’s)
- Export Processing Zones
- Free Trade Zones
The underlying driver of this model is to accommodate a freight and logistics sector that wants to trade with the world. Its essence is that goods are moved effortlessly from production source through warehousing and logistics centres to ports for overseas dispatch.
In Australia, the reverse models apply, the challenge being to move goods effortlessly from port to consumers through warehousing and logistics centres. Valuable lessons can be learnt in how land use is structured to accommodate this flow of goods.
Can we talk directly to China and create the same cost efficiencies here by streamlining our systems in order that double and triple handling is avoided? We could, but we need to think globally, before acting locally.