In assessing greenfield investment in the transportation and warehousing and storage sectors – the main planks of the logistics industry – between January 2013 and September 2015 using the fDi Markets crossborder investment database, the UK has emerged as the most popular destination for logistics projects, attracting 140 during this time period, more than even the US (121) and China (106).
But in terms of sheer capital investment, Mexico came out on top, with an estimated $11.7bn spent on capital expenditure for logistics projects in the country by foreign companies, ahead of China at $11bn. Other popular destination countries by this measure were Germany, Spain and India.
The UK's capital, London, came out in third position among cities globally for number of projects and seventh for volume of capital invested in these projects. It was bested on project numbers by top-ranked Dubai and Singapore in second. But again, Mexico came out trumps for volume, with its city of Veracruz attracting the highest level of capital investment during the period studied, at an estimated $4.1bn.
While a number of emerging market destinations have performed strongly in the logistics arena, the more traditional market of Europe has continued to be a draw for companies moving goods around the world. According to fDi Markets, western Europe was the top destination world region for logistics projects, attracting 601 between January 2013 and September 2015. That is in addition to the 233 projects sited in the 'rest of Europe' region. All told, Europe as a whole attracted $42.8bn during this time period. Within Europe, popular destinations are found in Belgium (Vlaams Gewest ranked number two among European regions for number of projects and fourth for capital investment); Germany (with three regions in the top 10 for capital expenditure and two for number of projects); and the UK (with South East England ranking first for projects and East Midlands also in the top 10, and three UK regions coming in the top 10 for capital expenditure).
The most prolific companies in the sector have also originated in Europe. Deutsche Post, the world’s largest logistics company, ranked as the top global investor among logistics companies, with fDi Markets having tracked 166 projects created by the company during the period studied. DHL Express, a division of Deutsche Post, ranked second with 62 projects.