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The story of storage’s success?

A look at the rise of the warehousing and storage industry


Some industries change for understandable reasons, at least in hindsight. For example, the horse buggy sector collapsed when the automobile became widespread, and the electronics industry has grown tremendously in recent decades because of innovation and high demand for its products. For some sectors, though, expansion is a little more puzzling. The graph shows some statistics about the warehousing and storage sector. What’s noticeable here is that this sector was unaffected by the previous recession and has grown quite a bit: In about 20 years, its personnel, compensation, and output all doubled. Over the same time span, real GDP grew by less than 60%. So what’s going on? Maybe the economy has shifted away from just-in-time production to processes that require more storage. Maybe the storage industry has become more competitive. Or maybe the impact of Marie Kondo’s “tidying up” efforts are more pervasive than we imagined.

How this graph was created: Search for “warehousing and storage,” select the series available in the search results, and click on “Add to Graph.” Any missing series can be searched for and added to the graph from the “Edit Graph” panel with the “Add lines” feature. For the compensation series, we need to deflate it as it is in nominal terms: open its tab, add series “GDP deflator,” and apply formula a/b. Finally, for all series, set units to 100 for 1998-01-01.

Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.

View on FRED, series used in this post: GDPDEF, N4053C0A144NBEA, N4651C0A173NBEA, USWARESTORRGSP


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