Bristol’s position as an e-commerce distribution hub is creating more strain on the city’s already chronic shortage of industrial stock, according to a leading logistics expert.

Tim Davies, head of the Industrial & Logistics team in the Bristol office of commercial property specialist Colliers International, said Bristol’s strategic location and affluent population meant industrial buildings in the city were attracting increasing attention from online retail giants and distribution companies.

“The boom in online shopping has seen the emergence of a number of ‘hotspots’ for e-commerce, and Bristol is one of them,” he said.

“There is now an unprecedented shortage of big ‘sheds’ supply in the South West in general and in Bristol in particular, with only a couple of large scale units presently available in the South West.

“This situation has led to occupiers, particularly those involved in e-commerce, considering all available options for industrial space as they seek solutions for the crucial last mile of delivery.”

Mr Davies said the shortage of large warehouse premises near Bristol city centre had resulted large buildings with warehouse and logistics potential becoming the focus of considerable interest when they became available.

“For example, a 95,000 sq ft former car supermarket near Bristol city centre that the Industrial & Logistics team has just brought to the market is attracting far greater interest than it would have done just a few years ago,” he said.

“This is because the size of the site and its strategic location just 1.5 miles from the M32 and five miles from the M4 motorway, but most importantly because it sits close to the city centre and there is increasing interest from occupiers focused on last mile delivery.

“For businesses with unsatisfied requirements for large units, this site has huge potential as it benefits from being a secure site with a very large yard area, and also has the flexibility to be subdivided to accommodate smaller requirements of around 20,000 sq ft.”

Mr Davies predicted that demand for large-scale facilities in the Bristol area would continue to surge in line with the growth of e-commerce.