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Auckland airport area gripped by sonic warehousing boom

Friday 5th May 2000

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The air above Auckland International Airport is not the only thing buzzing.

The ground below is also humming with activity as distribution centres are thrown up at a fast rate.

Colliers Broker Charlie Oscroft said the pickup in activity in the past six months had been phenomenal, most of it on the back of the e-commerce boom which had changed the face of logistics and the third-party warehousing industry.

Auckland International Airport's interim report for the six months to December 31 showed a 9.1% increase in cargo tonnage for the period of 9.1% to an all-time record of 101,5888 tonnes.

Earlier this year Ernst & Young's Graeme Horsley gave a seminar at a Hesketh Henry property breakfast on the effects of e-commerce on the property industry, during which he predicted land around the airport would benefit most from the increased demand for high-quality, high-throughput distribution centres.

One beneficiary of the boom in demand for state of the art warehousing has been industrial giant BHP NZ Steel's pension fund, which owns the Airport Oaks development through company Manukau International.

Buyers, including Mainfreight, Barber Transport, Jas Jenners, Mondiale and Kuehne Nagel (which have built a new headquarters on the site), have been attracted by the fact the land is customs bonded.

This means freight can be delivered directly to the site from the airport and cleared by customs in the warehouse or distribution centre.

The greater level of security required around the site was another attractive selling point not only for tenants but also for clients outsourcing their warehousing to third parties, Mr Oscroft said.

A total of 5.5ha has been sold since Colliers began marketing the site 12 months ago, with the same quantity still available.

- Campbell McIlroy

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