Unprecedented trends in technology, demographics and infrastructure are transforming global supply chains across retail, industrial and logistics real estate sectors, according to a white paper called “The Changing World of Trade” released by Cushman & Wakefield.
The report anticipated that as the global recovery gains momentum, the “significant pent-up demand” will result in growth in global trade. It also showed that a projected return by 2014 to the long-term trade growth trend of about 9.5 percent per year could result in global trade flows reaching $45 trillion by 2021, compared with $6.5 million in 2001 when China joined the World Trade Organization.
“In major markets around the world, countries are positioning themselves to capitalize on the growth in international trade by investing heavily in infrastructure improvements, such as ports, airports, highways, railways, industrial parks and most importantly intermodal hubs,” said Maria Sicola, executive managing director and head of Cushman & Wakefield’s research in the Americas, in a written statement. “Meanwhile, governments are focused on negotiating new trade agreements and easing foreign direct investment regulations.”
“The fundamental changes in retail since the recession in 2007 have altered customer behavior and created a new set of demands,” added John Strachan, head of global retail at Cushman & Wakefield. “Where the physical store was previously the primary point of distribution, now it may be the Internet.”
“For supply chain executives, it means that they face a new set of challenges — integrating their fulfillment operations across channels to reduce cycle time and meet the needs of an increasingly demanding consumer,” he concluded.