The industrial sector seems to have benefited from the lockdown and restricted travel which forced manufactures and traders to be innovative and find ways of responding to local demand for essential goods and services amidst a global shutdown of trade which led to a total stagnation of supply chain and distribution routes.
The lockdown and restriction on travel was put in place in March last year as a form of curbing the spread of Covid-19.
The market update report released by Knight Frank, one of the leading property consultancy firm in Uganda indicates that the increase in e-commerce trade during lockdown increased the need for stock piling in a bid to meet the growing demand for storage space in the traditional industrial areas such as Nalukolongo, Nakawa-Ntinda industrial park, 1st-8th street.
Judy Rugasira Kyanda, the managing director of Knight Frank said manufactures and traders were forced to seek ways to be innovative and come up with ways of responding to local demand for goods such as sanitizers, facemasks, since there was restrictions on international trade and market.
“Disruption in supply chain meant that manufacters couldn’t get raw materials into the country due to lockdown. As they started re-purporsing their manufacturing lines, we begun to see products like sanitizers, facemasks, shields being made to meet the local demand for the products that we couldn’t import.” Rugasira said.
She noted however that this trend prompted a high demand for warehouse space with determinants such as accessibility, size, high quality specification in form of floor loading requirements as well as additional office space on warehouse.
The report states that the Kampala Industrial Business Park (KIBP) continues to remain the preferred area for large industrial companies looking to construct their own premises and as such has seen tremendous growth of purpose-built warehouses for owner-occupation as opposed to renting.