By Chad Griffiths
Shipping and receiving is an integral component of a company’s logistics and supply chain management. Most industrial buildings can accommodate cube vans and small trailers but there may not be adequate depth for larger vehicles. Full-sized truck and semi-trailer combinations are now approaching 89 feet in total length, making it difficult – if not impossible – for some warehouse buildings to accommodate them.
The area in which a truck manoeuvres and positions its trailer into place is known as the apron space. The smaller the apron space gets, the more difficult the process becomes.
Al Amer, an associate and managing director of Riddell Kurczaba Architecture Engineering Interior Design, says that most modern industrial buildings are designed with 135 feet of yard depth in order to handle these large trailers. Not being able to marshal a truck directly to the warehouse loading door creates a considerable amount of inefficiencies and may even result in the trailer having to be offloaded with a forklift.
Another important consideration involves the area and neighbourhood where the building is located. Amer says, “Older industrial buildings are becoming less relevant for distribution centres due primarily to limitations with road and traffic infrastructure.” In other words, in addition to being able to marshal into the building, the trucks need to be able to get to the building in the first place.
If your client’s company receives or ships a heavy volume of material, it would be beneficial for them to check with their suppliers and distributors before they enter into a lease agreement. They should be able to answer whether or not a particular building can adequately handle the trailers that will be coming to and from the property. Confirming these specifications during the due diligence process is an important step in identifying a space that will suit your client’s needs.
Chad Griffiths has completed over 200 commercial transactions ranging in size from 1,000 sq ft to 80,000 sq ft. He holds the prestigious CCIM designation, awarded to brokers who have completed an advanced curriculum and demonstrated a high level of commercial real estate experience. He is an associate broker at NAI Commercial Real Estate in Edmonton. (780) 436-7410.