Industrial & Warehouse


The outlook for the industrial/warehouse sector continues to brighten, including expected decreases in vacancy rates and projected gains in rental rates. The demand for warehouse space is on the rise and gaining the attention of companies and investors. Read about market data and statistics; innovative ways to market and utilize warehouse space; and insight into the how the legalization of marijuana is making an impact on the warehouse industry.


We've already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

Types of Ware​houses

Warehouses are the most common types of storage, however other forms do exist (i.e., storage tanks, computer server farms, etc.). Some warehouses are massive structures that simultaneously support the unloading of numerous in-bound trucks and railroad cars containing suppliers' products while at the same time loading multiple trucks for shipment to customers. Here we look at five different types of warehouses:

  • Private Warehouse: Owned and operated by channel suppliers and resellers and used in their own distribution activity.
  • Public Warehouse: Space that can be leased to solve short-term distribution needs.
  • Automated Warehouse: Advances in computer and robotics technology have enabled many warehouses to feature automated capabilities.
  • Climate-Controlled Warehouse: Space that is capable of storing many types of products including those that need special handling conditions. 
  • Distribution Center: Warehouses where product storage is considered a very temporary activity.

Source: Types of Warehouses, (KnowThis, 2017)

Warehouse Market Data and Statistics

Robots Will Take Your Job if You Work in Warehousing, (Crain’s Chicago Business, July 26, 2017)

2017 Warehouse Capacity and Trends Report, (Supply Chain Brief, June 15, 2017)

They Work Hard for No money – Are Warehouse Robots Here to Help or Replace Humans?, (Material Handling & Logistics, Apr. 2017) E

2017 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey: Investment Up as Service Pressures Rise, (Modern Materials Handling, Apr. 2017) E

Why Dallas/Ft. Worth Warehouse Leasing is up a Whopping 60 percent in 2017’s First Three Months, (Dallas News, Apr. 3, 2017) E

Robots in the Warehouse: It’s Not Just Amazon, (Forbes, Jan. 11, 2016)

About the Warehousing and Storage Subsector, (U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, 2016)

Location, Location, Location (Estates Gazette, Oct. 17, 2015) E

Warehouse Brokerage & Investment

Warehouse REIT joins ever-growing 2017 IPO List, (Estates Gazette, Aug. 26, 2017) E

How Humdrum Self-Storage Became the Hottest Way to Invest in Real Estate, (Forbes, Apr. 13, 2016)

Space Race: Why Warehouses are a Solid Investment in a Changing Economy, (Curbed, Feb. 18, 2016)

How to Estimate the Value on Warehouse Space (eHow, 2016)

What to Look for in a Property Manager (REALTOR® Magazine Online, Feb. 2015)

Trending: Warehouses & Legalized Marijuana

From Pop to Pot, (The Pueblo Chieftian, Aug. 2, 2017) E

CannaRabbit to offer Broader Cannabis Transportation, Distribution and Warehouse Services Covering the Front Range and the Western Slope of Colorado, (Business Wire, June 17, 2017) E

eCommerce, Marijuana Light Up Warehouse Space , (Real Estate Finance and Investment, Mar. 6, 2017) E

Marijuana Industry Faces Steep Lease Rates in Tight Market, (Alaska Journal of Commerce, Feb. 17, 2016) E

Getting High on the Housing Supply – the Housing Crisis Amid Denver’s Cannabis Boom, (New Republic, Jan. 1, 2016) E

Warehouse With More Than 700 Marijuana Plants Found in Vienna, Close to Police Dog Base, (Business Source Corporate Plus, Dec. 5, 2015) E

Maryland Makes Room for Medical Marijuana, (The Washington Post, Oct. 23, 2015) E

Colorado’s Marijuana Industry Sparks Warehouse Space Crunch, (Time, Aug. 31, 2015) E

Illinois Approves 1st Marijuana Workers to Grow Legal Pot, (The Chicago Tribune, July 12, 2015. E

Marijuana Growers Bidding up Warehouse Space in Denver, (Electrical Wholesaling, Feb. 1, 2015) E

Production Efficiency & Quality Vital to Cannabis Market, (Greenhouse Product News, Feb. 1, 2015) E

Real Estate Issues in a Flourishing Cannabis Market: Q&A with Oregon Broker Zach Stratford, (Marijuana Business Daily, Feb. 4, 2015)

eBooks & Other Resources

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Commercial Real Estate Investing 12 Easy Steps to Getting Started (Kindle, eBook)

Commercial Real Estate Investing – A Creative Guide to Successfully Making Money (Kindle, eBook)

The Complete Guide to Real Estate Finance for Investment Properties (Kindle, eBook)

A Master Guide to Income Property Brokerage – Boost Your Income By Selling Commercial and Income Properties (eBook)

Successful Real Estate Investing — How to Avoid the 75 Costly Mistakes Every Investor Makes (eBook)

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