What will the next decade bring? That’s the question we’re trying to answer in our first industrial and logistics supplement of the 2020s.

Mitchell Labiak

Faced with a climate crisis, technological change, increasing urbanisation and the process of leaving the EU, the next 10 years are going to bring big changes to an industry that has already changed so much in the past 10.

All five of this issue’s columnists are industrial agents from the UK’s biggest commercial agencies with a wide variety of answers to the question of what the industry will look like in 2030, but the one thing they have in common is optimism. And – as SEGRO’s ambitious “smart warehouse” pilot, Screwfix’s rapid growth and Gazeley’s development of the UK’s first three-storey warehouse show – agents aren’t the only ones confident about the future of the industrial and logistics sector.

The outlook is not entirely rosy, though. Experts from across the industry express their hopes about what Brexit and Boris Johnson’s new government will mean for manufacturing, but also express some deep concerns.

This sort of realism is sorely needed. While the industrial and logistics sector is far from struggling, with 2019 industrial take-up in the East Midlands 109% above the 13-year average for the second consecutive year, innovative solutions such as consolidation centres (p24) or local authority intervention into specific schemes need to be seriously considered if the good times are to continue.

Mitchell Labiak is Property Week’s market reports editor