Market-listed property business Montea has become the first company to offer an Airbnb facility for the logistics sector. Companies with surplus warehousing can now offer their available storage space to businesses that need it via the Stockspots online platform. And vice versa: anyone looking for additional warehouse space for a short period can now easily find it online. Montea, one of the market leaders in the logistics property sector, is investing in the promising Dutch start-up and has high expectations about the launch in Belgium and France.
Airbnb: something for everything and everyone in the logistics sector. That’s the concept behind the new Stockspots online platform being launched today.
The idea is simple: not all companies use their warehouse space to the full. In fact, according to research, most companies regularly have more than 30 per cent of their storage space lying empty. At the same time, other companies, large and small, are looking for additional warehousing capacity for a very specific period of time. This demand may be for seasonal items, promotional campaigns, to accommodate over-production and so on.
Stockspots takes advantage of this by ‘matching’ both groups in a way very comparable with the Airbnb model. Only Stockspots takes things a step further than the classic Airbnb situation by dealing with billing internally, handling insurance, etc.
The online platform has been operating in the Netherlands since last year. The results are good, too: in the space of just eight months Stockspots has grown into something of a success story with some 500 registered warehouses or, put more accurately, it has become one of the leading online logistics platforms. And in Belgium, Montea has become the first company to take full advantage by signing an exclusive partnership deal with the start-up.
Montea is launching the new platform today and intends to have a choice of a hundred warehouses with available space up and running by the autumn. With a few dozen companies already indicating that they are looking for temporary storage capacity, demand in the marketplace seems assured. According to Montea, this is the innovation that the Belgian logistics sectors needs.
“The world is changing fast and logistics needs to keep pace with that change,” says Peter Demuynck, Montea CCO. “For instance, there are more and more companies that don’t require a big warehouse, but instead need somewhere to storage maybe just a few pallets. And not for nine years, but for a few weeks or months – preferably as close as possible to a very specific location. It is this sort of disruptive innovation that the logistics sector needs.”
Shortage of space
Montea is launching the platform simultaneously for the whole Belgian market. It matches a need, particularly with space becoming increasingly scarce in our country.
“The most sustainable building is the one that doesn’t need to be built,” continues Peter Demuynck, Montea CCO. “With that in mind, Stockspots is definitely a sustainability story. Belgium does not have a great deal of room to play with when it comes to creating additional physical warehouse space. Space is becoming scarce. Which means we need to make more and much better use of the existing space available.”
Logistics in the cloud
Through sharing logistics – in which different companies share a warehouse or storage space – the Belgian logistics sector is heading in the right direction. Which is why Montea is targeting companies of all sizes. In the Netherlands, for example, many small and medium-sized companies are working with Stockspots, although the platform is just as at home with the Port of Rotterdam.
“The system of ‘logistics in the cloud’ means that companies can be more flexible. It also means that they have to build fewer warehouses and so are able to optimise their operations,” concludes Peter Demuynck, CCO Montea. “This is all the more important in times when no one is able to forecast accurately what the market trends will be for next year.”
There is already a particularly high level of interest in the new concept, which fits in perfectly with the new logistics aims of major players, such as the Port of Antwerp and Brussels Airport. In addition, other large-scale operators, such as Bol.com and Coolblue, are still tending to handle their logistics just over the border. But with online platforms like Stockspots, it is suddenly becoming attractive for them to use the ultra-flexible storage space available in Belgium.