The Opportunity of Urban Logistics: Distribution Evolves for E-Commerce


​Driven by technology and consumer demand for convenience and best price, the retail industry is embracing e-commerce. According to a study published by Pew Research Center in late 2016, roughly 80% of Americans made at least some purchases via the Internet. Price is a significant motivator for online shoppers with 65% in that same survey saying they typically compare prices between stores and online retailers and choose whatever is less expensive.

Naturally, speed of delivery is also important to e-commerce consumers. For retailers, the last leg of the delivery process, or the “last mile” between the distribution center and the consumer’s home or business, can be costly and time consuming; efficiency is critical. This is where urban logistics comes in.

Urban Logistics

Most sizeable e-commerce retailers have large distribution centers located in suburban areas with easy access to major highways. These distribution centers work in tandem with smaller distribution centers strategically located in urban areas, closer to the consumer density to enable faster delivery to densely populated metropolitan areas. Supplied daily by the larger distribution centers, these “last mile” facilities distribute the highest volume products, and they are key to successfully navigating urban logistics and fulfillment.

Why Opus?

When compared to suburban development, urban infill has more challenges. Urban sites are generally redevelopments with complex histories, which can require resolving issues related to aged buildings, environmental contamination and revised zoning laws. And because urban distribution centers are often located in or near neighborhoods, a collaborative approach needs to be taken with neighbors and community organizations. When designing and constructing the facility, the complexities of dock operations, truck movement and parking must be taken into consideration. 

We offer the perfect trifecta of capabilities for urban logistics projects: extensive experience in industrial, retail and urban development, design and construction. We offer e-commerce customers deep knowledge and impressive portfolios of industrial and retail projects. Our vertical integration with development, architecture and construction under one roof, allows us to more easily navigate the intricacies of urban development and construction projects in tight metropolitan areas.

Our track record and client-centered approach speaks for itself; we’re the ideal choice for urban logistics development, design and construction.

Learn More About Urban Logistics