“As a long-term investor, the relationship with our customers is essential. For our customers, logistics real estate is just a means of production that supports the logistics process.” This is how Marijn van den Heuvel, director leasing officer, starts his argument for the role of a real estate investor. He continues, “But logistics processes are continually changing, so our customers’ wishes change too.” Van den Heuvel’s challenge, therefore, is to anticipate the dynamic nature of the logistics process.
Van den Heuvel is primarily responsible for managing the Benelux portfolio. He is also involved in the development of new buildings. Before joining Prologis nearly four years ago, he worked for 10 years with real estate advisor CBRE as a technical and commercial property manager, among other roles. With both a technical and commercial background—and with almost 15 years of experience in offices, retail and logistics real estate—van den Heuvel has a diverse skillset.
Van den Heuvel is fascinated by the complexity of logistics and its impact on logistics real estate. “For instance, we see strong dynamics in logistics real estate, which is something that is sometimes underestimated in the real estate sector. The logistics sector has a strong international focus and is far more than just a production line. The effects of the economy, such as increased spending through online shopping, are translated directly in the rising demand for suitable logistics space.”
Understanding technology and logistics processes help achieve an optimum result for both customer and real estate investor. Van den Heuvel prefers to meet with customers on location. “The best way to get to know their business is to see the site, building and process, and talk to different people within the company about their activities.”
“Prologis is an outstanding logistics real estate investor with a long-term focus. The company is also convinced that a park concept makes it almost always possible for customers to rent flexibly, expand or move within the park—even within the contract period. This allows me to set up long-term strategies with customers and bring customers within the park into contact with one another in order to achieve the best results.”