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CBRE’s Kurt Strasmann: Solving Reverse Logistics Challenges

By Dennis Kaiser

Online shopping has introduced a new wrinkle into the process that has ramifications across the industrial market. The growing interdependence between e-commerce and today’s retail models, is being keenly watched by the Inland Empire’s logistics sector. Connect Media asked CBRE’s Kurt Strasmann to share insights about retail trends he’s seeing, and how they are playing out in the industrial space in our latest 3 CRE Q&A.

Q: Why are online shoppers more inclined to send back what they bought online?
Online shoppers are more inclined to return items because first off, it is it very simple to do so at no cost, and it allows for seamless flexibility regarding your purchase. Also, since you’re not trying on different sizes and styles at the store, many shoppers opt to order a variety of items to increase their chances of getting the right fit at the first go-around. Additionally, if you go to a store and buy something, you typically have to physically go back to return it for a refund. It’s just easier to do out of your home and ship it back. It saves everyone a lot of time and it’s very convenient for the consumer.

Q: How has this trend impacted the industrial landscape in the Inland Empire?
Once the return comes back to the warehouse or fulfillment center, it physically takes up space. It has to be off-loaded, stored, sorted and then eventually, it is moved out in various manners. The end result is that more space is needed. This is an added dynamic of the e-commerce phenomenon that results in an increased requirement of warehouse floor space. We don’t see this trend subsiding.

Q: Will that space demand create any challenges ahead, such as supply constraints? How do the needs for reverse logistics differ from outbound e-commerce needs, and can these operations be in shared facilities or independent stand-alone uses?
Yes, because we are already at historic lows in vacancy in most larger metropolitan areas and certainly in our area. Development for infill locations such as Southern California remains very challenging in terms of expense, regulation and availability. We anticipate with the added return trend continuing, that it will only exasperate the tight supply constraints within our markets.

Outbound goods are moved straight to the final customer. Reverse logistics are based around the flow of surplus or unwanted materials, goods and equipment back to the firm for reuse, recycling or disposal.

These operations can both, be in shared facilities or independent stand-alone spaces. Typically at this point in time, they are shared. But, moving forward, you most likely will start to see some stand-alone facilities for the larger players to handle returns.

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For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser


Inside The Story

Connect With CBRE’s Strasmann

About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

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