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ACWI Advance – January 15, 2022

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In this issue of ACWI Advance we take a closer look at these stories:

  • Shortage of space and high rents continue to mark the industrial real estate market.
  • New federal law bans imports of goods produced by Chinese slave labor.
  • Worldwide WMS revenues are expected to reach $10 billion by 2030.
  • A study quantifies the impact of small trial verdicts and settlements on trucking.
  • Cal/OSHA has extended its Covid ETS to April 14 and made some changes.
  • Retail container ports’ imports growth rates are seen returning to normal in 2022
  • Converting unused office buildings could meet the need for warehouse space.

Send your company news to Editor David Sparkman at dspark@comcast.net, and please understand that there is no cost to you when we use your news in this newsletter.


IRE Continues to Feel Pressure

In 2022 the industrial real estate market is expected to continue experiencing a shortage of space and high rents while the industry works to create more warehouse stock to meet the growing need.

Robust demand and construction delays slashed the overall industrial vacancy rate down to 3.6% in the third quarter of 2021, with record year-over-year asking rent experiencing growth of 10.4%, reports the global commercial real estate firm CBRE.

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Congress Passes Anti-Slavery Bill

Over President Biden’s early opposition, an overwhelming majority of congressional Democrats and Republicans joined to pass a bill banning imports of goods produced by Chinese slave labor.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act was signed into law on Dec. 23 by Biden in spite of his earlier attempts to water it down. This was days after the administration announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, citing China’s “egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang.”

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WMS Revenues To Hit $10 Bil

Worldwide Warehouse Management Systems revenues are expected to reach $10 billion by 2030 largely because of ecommerce growth, according to the high-tech consulting firm ABI Research.

Adhish Luitel, ABI industry analyst, supply chain management and logistics, observes: “Companies are starting to combine the value of multiple hardware and software solutions. Productivity technologies can achieve far greater return on investment if combined correctly with other technologies.”

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Truck Accident Trends Studied

A new study from the American Transportation Research Institute quantifies the impact of small trial verdicts and settlements on trucking.

The new report takes a closer look at how verdicts and settlements under $1 million impact the industry.

ATRI’s study found that incidents involving a severe injury were 217% more likely to settle and 199% more likely to result in payments to plaintiffs of more than $600,000.

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CA Prolongs ETS to April 14

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has extended its Covid 19 Emergency Temporary Standard to April 14 and made some changes to its guidance for employers that were effective on Jan. 14.

Attorneys say employers also should also monitor the status of the federal OSHA Covid 19 vaccination ETS in case California adopts the federal standard or uses it to modify its own ETS.

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Retail Imports Not as Strong

After a year of unprecedented increases, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to return to normal growth rates in 2022 but volumes will remain high, reports the National Retail Federation

U.S. ports handled 2.11 million TEU in November, the latest month for which final numbers are available. That was down 4.5% from October but up 0.5% year-over-year.

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Is Office Conversion an Answer?

One solution to the paucity of warehouse space could come from converting unused office buildings, according to a report from the global real estate services firm Newmark.

“The pandemic has only accelerated obsolescence of some older, less-amenitized product,” the company points out. “This divergence among asset classes is increasingly driving investors and developers to consider industrial redevelopment opportunities for some unproductive office properties.” And it’s not all due to Covid 19.

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