The U.S. commercial warehousing market is an estimated $25.7 billion, according to a recent study by research firm Armstrong & Associates Inc. After-tax profitability was reported at 2.7%.
Lengths of contracts reviewed in the study were from one to seven years. The study indicates that most contracts have three-and five-year terms. Only 9% of contracts were for one year and 14% were for more than five years.
Standard warehouse pricing models — for both contract and public warehousing — include such variables as space utilization, labor, administrative costs and margins. Public warehousing pallet handling charges were found to vary regionally from $4.70 to $5.86.
In terms of square footage, the five largest third-party warehousing providers in the U.S. are: Exel (73 million square feet), UPS Supply Chain Solutions (28.6 million sq. ft.), APL Logistics (26 million sq. ft.), Americold Logistics (21 million sq. ft.) and Caterpillar Logistics (20 million sq. ft.). All told, Armstrong & Associates says there were 76 third-party logistics providers (3PLs) operating 3,972 warehouses (477 million sq. ft.) in the U.S. in 2004.