The recently-concluded “3PL Value Creation Summit” staged by Armstrong & Associates was a big hit in Chicago last week, and now that great city is playing host to our own Supply Chain Outlook Summit 2015 today and tomorrow. There’s a good many other reasons for supply chain managers have discovered this dynamic destination.

Leading global commercial real estate services firm Colliers International Group Inc. recently issued “From First Mile to Last Mile,” a global logistics report examining the primary factors that will impact the global pattern of warehousing and logistics over the next generation, as well as the elements already shifting global trade flows and retail formats.

As mentioned in the report, Chicago is home to the nation’s busiest inland port, which connects to west coast ports in Long Beach/ LA, and is the US’ second-largest industrial and logistics market by inventory. Both BNSF and UP are enhancing their on-dock rail capabilities to expedite the flow of cargo from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, following on from the successful launch of the BNSF Logistics Park Chicago – a 435-acre facility and almost 2,000- acre industrial business park which began in 2000. New infrastructure/ developments continue to drive the success of this market – it was number one for net absorption and number two for investment transaction in H1 2015.

“Our analysis finds that e-commerce and evolving delivery methods are the primary factors driving the shape of the logistics sector both today and in the future as e-retailing is slated to increase significantly in cities and towns across the globe,” says Dwight Hotchkiss, National Director of Industrial for Colliers | U.S. and President of Brokerage Services | U.S. “This will result in the creation of new and innovative space at the initial ‘First Mile’ level, including mega distribution centers, and the ‘Last Mile,’ where there is already a proliferation of e- fulfillment distribution centers on the edge of urban areas.”