High-intensity focus on making India a global manufacturing hub has caused warehousing clusters to expand rapidly beyond the top cities and into tier 2 and 3 cities, reveals ‘Indian Industrial & Logistics – Gearing Up a Global Manufacturing Hub’ – a joint report by US-based Binswanger Commercial Real Estate Services and ANAROCK Group.

India's Logistics & Warehousing Abundant Opportunities

~50% (3PL)
Largest occupier of warehousing spaces in India
Share of road transportation in India’s logistics
77 Mn sf
Total warehousing stock across top 8 cities in India
14% of GDP
India’s logistics cost (better than China 15% of GDP)
15 approvals (2019)
Reduction from 33 to set up a warehouse in 2015
3.5 months (2019)
Reduction from 6 months to construct a warehouse in 2015

India's Logistics & Warehousing Abundant Opportunities

The report says that India’s industrial prowess is appropriately depicted by over 3,400 industrial clusters spread over 4.6 lakh hectares, of which only 25% is vacant. While the manufacturing sector is large in India, its contribution to the GVA is only around 17%. Realizing the current need, the government has initiated several plans under its flagship ‘Make in India’ campaign and is looking to expand the manufacturing sector’s economic contribution to 25% by 2025. To attain this, nearly 75,000 acres of new industrial areas are planned across the top cities of India.

India's Logistics & Warehousing Abundant Opportunities

Meanwhile, India’s logistics ranking also improved significantly during the past few years - from 54th in 2014 to 44th in 2018. Physical infrastructure development of roads, and enhanced connectivity via rail, road, and sea has improved the country’s logistics performance index over the years. With an average logistics cost of 14% (of GDP), India fares well compared to China which has 15% and EU which has 13%. The policy reforms undertaken by the government aims to reduce it to 9-10% making India highly competitive across the world. The major planned and upcoming warehousing and logistics destinations along with several government policies will augment the development of new industrial corridors, leading to the rise of new warehousing clusters in the country.

India's Logistics & Warehousing Abundant Opportunities

Shobhit Agarwal, MD & CEO – ANAROCK Capital
Shobhit Agarwal, MD & CEO – ANAROCK Capital, says, “The rising demand for Grade A warehousing properties across the country is a key trend. Our data indicates that there is more than 110 mn sq.ft. of Grade A warehousing stock available across the country - most of it in the top 8 cities. 3PL (third-party logistics) and e-commerce are the largest occupiers of warehousing space. There is a massive opportunity for Grade A warehousing development in the smaller cities amidst rising demand.”

The report highlights that nearly USD 7 bn worth of platforms have been created for the warehousing sector since 2015. Over USD 2 bn in PE investments have been infused in the Industrial and Logistics sector between 2017 and Q1 2020. Investors are upbeat on this sector and are working closely with developers to identify warehousing investment opportunities.

India's Logistics & Warehousing Abundant Opportunities

Jeff Binswanger, Managing Partner, Binswanger International
Jeff Binswanger, Managing Partner, Binswanger International, says, “COVID-19 has exposed the challenges of consolidation within the warehousing sector. The market is expected to de-centralize to mitigate future disruption, ensure business continuity, and ease operations. To contain costs and maintain social distancing norms, automation will become a major focus area. Also, e-commerce will flourish in the post-COVID-19 era, giving an edge to online businesses, which will eventually boost new warehousing demand - particularly multi-level warehouses within city limits.”

A fertile arena for growth has been created by the government with the significant reduction in the number of approvals for setting up warehouses - from 33 in 2015 to 15 in 2019. Likewise, the time taken to construct a warehouse has reduced to 3.5 months from the previous 6 months, during the same period. Thus, the efficiency in setting up a warehouse is better than many developed nations. These indicate India’s competitiveness and preparedness to be a preferred destination.

India's Logistics & Warehousing Abundant Opportunities

The world looks up to India as a land of opportunities, offering sizeable returns. The country is prepared for the big leap. Improved EoDB ranking (63rd in 2019 from 142nd in 2014), low corporate tax rates, burgeoning infrastructure, changing policies, and reforms are aimed to attract global industries to India. The competitive corporate tax rate of 15% for new manufacturing companies is capable of attracting global manufacturers. To support future economic growth, physical infrastructure is also being upgraded with an investment of USD 1.3 tn. Over 10,000 km of dedicated freight corridor is being planned to enable efficient and economic transportation of freight across the country.

Additionally, the rich demographic dividend comprising a large employable workforce at a highly competitive cost can be leveraged while operating out of India. Nearly 54% population is aged between 20 and 59 years with a balanced diversity ratio. The constant inflow of FDI across sectors and industries over the past years stand testimony to the confidence of global investors. Over USD 457 bn FDI has been added since April 2000, of which manufacturing focused sectors account for nearly 26%.

India's Logistics & Warehousing Abundant Opportunities

Thus, today, India can attract companies for setting up an alternate base due to its strategic location and connectivity to major markets across the world. A survey of the supply chain companies also indicates that India is a preferred destination, followed by Vietnam and other Asian countries.

India's Logistics & Warehousing Abundant Opportunities

  • Emerging tier 2 & 3 hubs include Ludhiana, Ambala, Lucknow, Siliguri, Guwahati, Bhubaneshwar, Vishakhapatnam, Vijaywada, Coimbatore, Kochi, Nagpur, Indore, Jaipur & Dholera
  • Over 110 mn sq. ft. Grade A warehousing stock available in the country; top 8 cities have 77 mn sq. ft. of both Grade A & B warehousing supply
  • Key emerging trends include de-centralization, urban multi-level warehousing, rise of automation, high demand for Grade A properties & business consolidation increase
  • Nearly USD 7 bn worth platforms created for warehousing since 2015; investors upbeat on warehousing growth in India, working closely with developers to identify & invest
  • Govt. has reduced total approvals for setting up warehouses from 33 in 2015 to 15; warehouse construction time reduced from 6 months to 3.5 months during this period
  • ~3,400 industrial clusters in over 4.6 lakh hectares in India have only 25% vacancy; 10 industrial regions across India drive manufacturing growth
  • ~75,000 acres industrial areas planned across India’s top cities, including Dholera-SIR at Ahmedabad (22,734 acres), Pharma City (19,333 acres) and Zaheerabad NIMZ (12,635 acres) at Hyderabad, among others
  • Policy push & incentives - reduced corporate tax rates, National Manufacturing Policy, Make in India & Self-reliant India campaigns to boost manufacturing
  • India’s planned infrastructure investment of USD 1.3 tn over the next 5 years is almost equal to Australia’s GDP.
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