CRE Terms #11: Logistics Terminology

Among the many shifting factors in the real estate market over the last couple of years, one of the things that’s remained certain is a growing demand for industrial real estate space. In particular logistics and warehousing premises have become the darlings of the industry, and seem set to continue their upward trajectory through 2022.

So, with the e-commerce and logistics revolution in mind, it seems like a good time to use our ongoing CRE terms series to delve into some important logistics terms that may come up in your next deal. As always, we turn to the trusty NAIOP 2017 Terms and Definitions document to help iron out some key terminology.

Clear Height

NAIOP defines clear height, also called “clear headway” or simply “clearance” as: “Distance from the floor to the lowest-hanging ceiling member or hanging objects, beams, joists or truss work descending down into a substantial portion of the industrial work area.”

In practical terms, this is a factor that should be considered for any property that will be used for logistics purposes, where access to the building by delivery and transport vehicles is going to be a regular part of operations.

Cross Dock

The idea behind cross-docking spaces is to allow vehicles to exchange goods quickly and easily in an intermediate facility, without the need for interim storage. What that means for logistics operations is that goods spend less time taking up costly floor space, and generally reach their destination faster, making for an all-round streamlined operation.

In other words, exactly the sort of efficient rollout needed to meet the growing need for last-mile e-commerce delivery.

Dock-high Door

A dock-high door, according to NAIOP, is: “A loading dock door that is not at ground level but rather is elevated to 4 feet in order to be even with the standard tractor-trailer height.”

Other options include “semi dock” or “half dock” doors which are set at 2 feet high to accommodate smaller delivery vehicles.

In addition to these, if your client list includes warehouse and logistics facility managers, there’s a wealth of related docking terms that may find their way into the conversation.


The last entry in this list seems like an obvious one, with NAIOP defining a warehouse as: “A facility primarily used for the storage or distribution or both of materials, goods and merchandise.”

While that definition still holds true in 2022, the types and sizes of warehousing spaces have been radically reimagined as demand continues to outstrip supply.

For us as commercial real estate professionals, this change in how we approach warehousing and logistics means new opportunities for leasing and selling space that in the past might have served a very different purpose. We now have micro-hub logistics sites making up availability shortfalls, and several new trends to consider as we move to meet the increasing demand. All of which promises to make 2022 an exciting year for this expanding sector.