Southeast Asia’s e-commerce sector quadrupled from 2015 through 2018, and property consultancy JLL has taken steps to help the region’s online shopping networks find the warehouses needed to deliver a growing barrage of packages.
The company’s former head of industrial for China, Stuart Ross, has now relocated to Singapore, where he took up the role of head of Southeast Asia industrial and logistics last month, according to an announcement by the Fortune 500 real estate services firm.
In this new role, Ross has been tasked with driving JLL’s industrial leasing and capital markets services, including for both the logistics and manufacturing sectors, on behalf of clients across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Expanding the SE Asia Industrial Team
“This move is a reflection of our confidence in the Southeast Asia industrial and logistics sector, which we believe is set to grow significantly over the coming years with the rise of e-commerce and growing foreign direct investment in manufacturing,” said Chris Fossick, JLL’s CEO for Singapore and Southeast Asia.
Fossick added that Ross will be working closely with JLL’s head of supply chain consulting, Michael Ignatiadis, in providing services to clients.
Prior to moving to Singapore from Shanghai last month, Ross had run JLL’s China industrial business since 2007. In his former role the Aussie native had led a team of 60 industrial brokers across 13 offices in mainland China, serving clients in the logistics, manufacturing, business park and capital markets segments.
After coming to Shanghai from Sydney, Ross presided over JLL’s industrial team during China’s e-commerce boom and counts among his present and former clients such corporate giants as Adidas, BMW, Cisco, Dow Chemical, Johnson & Johnson, Lendlease, Unilever and Walmart.
With Ross having moved south, JLL has promoted veteran brokers Hong Yin and Richard Huang as co-heads of industrial services for China, with Yin taking responsible for manufacturing services and Huang looking after the logistics side.
Betting on Southeast Asia Opportunities
“The industrial sector is undergoing huge change, driven by e-commerce, automation and the
complexities of last-mile logistics,” Ross commented. “The opportunities in Southeast Asia are positive, with the region winning more manufacturers in recent years and growing domestic demand fuelling growth.”
Led by firms such as Alibaba-owned Lazada and Singapore-based Shoppee, the gross merchandise value of Southeast Asia’s online shopping platforms grew from $5.5 billion in 2015 to more than $23 billion in 2018, according to a study last year by Google and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.
In response to this expansion some of the region’s largest logistics real estate developers and investors have been entering Southeast Asian markets.
In December 2018, US private equity firm Warburg Pincus, which co-founded logistics developer ESR nearly a decade ago, invested more than $200 million to create BW Industrial, a joint venture with Vietnam’s Becamex to developer logistics and manufacturing properties in the country.
ESR competitor Logos Property has also been hard at work building a portfolio in Vietnam after setting up in Singapore in 2016.