As CEO of GLP, the leading provider of modern logistics facilities in China, Japan, Brazil and the United States, Ming Mei is the person you want to ask about the evolution of the global industrial market. NAIOP asked Mei to share some insights in advance of his keynote fireside chat at I.CON ’16: Trends and Forecasts in June.
Mei: Developers need to understand that the consumer buying habits and retail patterns have changed with e-commerce and need to be increasingly nimble to accommodate to these changes. Customer expectations on rapid delivery times mean in-fill locations – even smaller bay, older products – are increasingly important. And as e-commerce matures it is important to be flexible as our customers expand and develop their distribution networks which may require more creative approaches to satisfying their needs.
NAIOP: Why is U.S. industrial coveted by foreign investors?
Mei: The U.S. market offers stability and steady returns. For risk-adjusted returns, U.S. industrial is very attractive for sovereign wealth funds, pension and insurance companies around the world. As one of the largest consumer markets in the world, demand has remained relatively constant and rebounds from down cycles tend to move quickly. Today, we also see more restraint in overbuilding as demand continues to outpace supply by a significant margin. That gives foreign investors comfort that the U.S. market will grow in a rational manner.
NAIOP: In what ways is GLP similar to and different from its U.S. counterparts?
Mei: At GLP we pride ourselves in our strong operations and always align our interests with our capital partners. We are global-minded with local capabilities. As e-commerce grows, we believe that scale will be important, which is why we have grown so quickly. Beyond just infrastructure, however, is mindset. Having witnessed dramatic growth in e-commerce and domestic consumption in China, we learned the importance of being very consumer-centric. We think as the customer thinks and strive to truly understand their businesses and work creatively to satisfy their needs. We feel that to be successful you cannot view this as just a bricks-and-mortar business.
Mei will share more insights at I.CON ’16: Trends and Forecasts, June 9-10, in Jersey City, New Jersey. This premier industrial conference will expose attendees to cutting-edge trends and provide opportunities to exchange ideas at forward-looking sessions.