(Bloomberg)—Those boxes piling up on your doorstep over the holidays don’t ship from Santa’s workshop. As Americans spend more money shopping online, real estate developers are sinking record amounts of money into new warehouse space, building bigger, taller structures to meet the needs of e-commerce — and the robots that help it along.
Builders spent $2.7 billion on U.S. warehouse construction in October, the most since the census started keeping track in 1993. The size of the average warehouse completed this year was 188,000 square feet, according to a report published this week by CBRE Group Inc., more than double the size in 2001. Developers are also raising their roofs, with ceiling heights up 21 percent over that period.