In celebration of’s 15th anniversary celebration, when asked what current trends are driving demand in the industrial sector and changing the way space is used today, compared to 15 years ago, Pat Ward, founder of MetroGroup Realty Finance, says that users of industrial space are more keenly aware of their occupancy costs due to increasing land values. Ward says it continues to drive costs up. As a result, he says, large distribution warehouse facilities are moving further away from city centers.

“Today, companies tend to keep their administrative offices closer to city centers and move distribution or warehouse facilities out to less expensive locations were occupancy costs are more reasonable,” he explains. “We’ve also seen automation continue to develop and become more sophisticated, while material handling and goods processing have become more efficient and economical.”

But large port cities continue to thrive based on the increased volume of imports, Ward points out. The West coast, for example, is currently the most dynamic industrial market in the country, he explains, due to the significant volume of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

According to the Seaports Outlook Report from JLL, the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports rank second and third nationally, after a 2.2% drop in cargo volume following recent supply chain disruptions. Click here to read more on the subject.