Logistics industry innovates amid labor shortage

An e-commerce boom in Japan is driving demand for warehouses and other facilities for storage and shipping.

Real-estate services firm CBRE says over 3 million square meters' worth of logistics-related facilities will likely be completed this year in and around Tokyo.
The new floorspace would be more than double of what was created during 2020.

But one bottleneck for the industry is a severe worker shortage.

Some operators are trying to attract people by creating friendly and comfortable environments in their warehouses.

A facility completed in January near Tokyo has a childcare center and a spacious ladies' room.

Takeda Satoshi of ESR said," We'd like our employees to enjoy their daily lives and have a sense of excitement, rather than laboring away in a plain old warehouse."

Another operator is looking to drones to ease the labor crunch. Its warehouse under construction in Tokyo will have a dedicated area where the devices take off and land. The company expects the drones will do the work of vehicle drivers for short-distance deliveries.