March 19, 2021

The North America industrial & logistics market had its strongest year on record in 2020 despite a pandemic that caused a severe economic downturn. Occupiers moved into facilities in droves to serve a rapidly growing online consumer base and increase their safety stock to avoid inventory disruptions that plagued the past year. All sizes and types of industrial real estate performed well in 2020 but none more so than the big-box sector.

An industrial big-box facility is a warehouse/distribution center of 200,000 sq. ft or more. All types of occupiers increased their presence in big-box facilities last year to serve growing populations, be near expanding logistics hubs and take advantage of new government incentive programs.

E-commerce retailers signed more deals in big-box facilities than ever before, while third-party logistics providers (3PLs) expanded in logistics hub markets to better serve their growing customer base. This demand led to robust absorption of space, higher taking rents and, despite a large amount of new development, lower direct vacancy rates for big-box product. All of these fundamentals led to record-low industrial cap rates.

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Watch the CBRE Roundtable Recording

 


 

Insights from Our Expert Panel

During a Roundtable event on April 1, 2021, a panel of CBRE experts—James Breeze, Mindy Lissner, Darla Longo and John Morris—discussed key findings from the North America Industrial Big Box Review & Outlook, including the drivers for 2020’s record big-box leasing activity, which markets performed the best and what the future holds for this increasingly competitive sector.

 

 


We provide an in-depth overview of supply-and-demand fundamentals, demographics, logistics drivers, labor and location incentives for the top 22 markets in North America. The interactive format allows readers to engage with the data and analysis in a way that best suits their needs and preferences.

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Figure 1: North America Transaction Volume

Note: Includes transactions 200,000 sq. ft. and above in the 22 markets covered in this report.
Source: CBRE Research.

Figure 2: North America 2020 Occupier Transaction Market Share

Note: Includes transactions 200,000 sq. ft. and above in the 22 markets covered in this report.
Source: CBRE Research.

Figure 3: North America Supply & Demand

Note: Data only includes the 22 markets covered in this report.
Source: CBRE Research.

Figure 4: North America Under-Construction & Percentage Preleased

Note: Data only includes the 22 markets covered in this report.
Source: CBRE Research.

Figure 5: North America Top 10 Rankings

Note: Data only includes the 22 markets covered in this report.
Source: CBRE Research.