Logistics, Warehousing & Distribution

The Search for Prime Logistics Gateway Locations

31 Oct, 2012

By: Linda Dobel

Always a prime consideration in location decisions, recent trends are pushing site selectors to now take an even harder look at how well various areas can accommodate their logistics needs when planning expansions or new development projects.

The resurgence of U.S. manufacturing in many industry sectors, the trend toward increased reshoring of not only service, but industrial business, along with mounting fuel costs and changes in overseas conditions and economic considerations are firing this new concentration on finding areas that offer good gateway location options.

The search can be a long one, however, as individual corporate needs will dictate exact specifications desired and required, of course. To help shorten the search cycle and open a window into what to expect in different locations with different options, the following presentation of select areas should provide a welcome range of choices to consider in the quest to identify a prime logistics gateway.

Moberly, Missouri

Situated between Montreal, Mexico City, New York City and Los Angeles, the Moberly Region of Missouri provides companies needing to distribute products across North America with an excellent option. Wal-Mart, Orscheln Farm & Home stores, Mid-Am Building Supply, Inc., Everlast, Nordyne and UTi Integrated Logistics all operate distribution centers from the region.

Boasting an affordable cost of living that is 78 percent of the national average, the three-county region that comprises the Moberly Region is an inexpensive option for companies. With both currently available space and greenfield space, the area can provide a customized solution for distribution needs.

Three Class 1 railroads, Norfolk-Southern, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific, all provide service in the region. The region is even home to a dual rail-served greenfield site located less than one mile from U.S. Highway 36 ready for development.

Transportation of products can easily be done by truck, as well. Interstate Highway 70 and four-lane U.S. Highway 36 bisect the region going east and west while four-lane U.S. Highway 63 traverses the region by running north and south. Interstate Highway 72 is only a few miles away, as well.

Several Midwestern major metropolitan markets can be serviced from the Moberly Region in less than a day’s truck drive. Extend that to two days and nearly all of the continental United States can be reached.

Paris, Texas

In Paris, Texas, regardless of industry there are many assets to help companies succeed, including a world-class third-party logistics firm.

Throughout Northeast Texas, the familiar We Pack Logistics red diamond logo dots the landscape. Inside its comprehensive warehouse facilities, teams are busily engaged in packaging, kitting, inventory management and distribution functions for some of the biggest brands in business, including Kimberly-Clark and Campbell's Soup.

We Pack leverages its northeast Texas location to fill critical supply chain functions for a growing roster of A-list clients. Its reach is not only regional, but global as well, and We Pack applies world-class assets such as a best-of-breed Warehouse Management System to every assignment.

We Pack’s expertise includes sensitive product handling in freezer/cooler and climate-controlled environments, with isolated production and clean rooms. We Pack has earned top industry credentials for the rigor of its project management, and long-term client partnerships for the flexibility and efficiency of its solutions.

As a Harrison, Walker & Harper company, We Pack shares local roots dating back to 1887, and a strong focus on the profitable growth of its clients. The HWH Group also provides site selection and New Market Tax Credit services to benefit its customers.

Port  Arthur, Texas

The decision to build a distribution center comes with expectations that it will help a company reach key markets and maximize profitability while minimizing operating costs. It is also expected that the location will enable it to hire an appropriate workforce. Port Arthur, Texas, meets all of those expectations as an ideal location within a community that embraces new business operations.

Port Arthur is crucial for a distribution center’s long-term success. Factors such as infrastructure, labor costs, proximity to customers and suppliers, and community and site characteristics support a distribution center's goals and objectives.

Companies choosing Port Arthur as a distribution center will find three key factors.

One, it meets transportation needs through Port of Port Arthur, Port of Beaumont, Port of Houston (75 miles), Interstate 10 (east or west 10 miles), Kansas Southern Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railroad.

Two, it meets the need for labor and community acceptance of the project. Not only does it offer a productive and reliable labor force, it also provides employee training. In addition, the community offers an incentive package as well as fast permit approval to the plan’s review.

Finally, it offers sites with existing water, sewer, power, roadways and fiber optics, which minimize up-front development costs.

Available properties, workforce data and economic development incentives are all obtainable from Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation for those seeking optimal distribution center locations.

Orange County, Texas

Orange County is the gateway to Texas and is both a recreational and industrial portal into the state. Tourists and companies alike appreciate its central and accessible location and temperate climate, as well as its many and varied outdoor activities, unparalleled cultural amenities, community events and vibrant economy.

Orange County is home to pine forests, coastal plains and deep-draft, navigable waterways to the Gulf of Mexico. Most important, the county is home to friendly people, an excellent business climate and a great transportation hub.

Since World War II, shipbuilding has played a major role in the economy. The local economy is thriving and widely diversified. It not only includes tourism and shipbuilding, but also petrochemical, manufacturing and agriculture with several Fortune 500 companies.

Orange County provides outstanding amenities for a county of its size. Orange County is the place to be for low-cost transportation, a diversity of community support and a general can-do attitude, and is a great place to visit, as well.

Orange County has many exciting new projects underway or on the horizon that will bring greater levels of economic prosperity and quality of life to citizens and business. In fact, Orange County, Texas, has proven to be a great place to live, work and play … a great place for businesses that seek a logistics gateway to call home.

Waxahachie, Texas

Waxahachie is located at the crossroads of Texas. Situated at the intersection of Interstate 35E and Highway 287, this prime location is 35 minutes to downtown Dallas to the north, 60 minutes to Waco to the south, 15 minutes to I-45 to the east and 45 minutes to downtown Fort Worth to the west.

This intersection sees 80,000 vehicles travel through every day, making Waxahachie a strategic location for a variety of businesses. Companies have made Waxahachie their home for obvious reasons: excellent transportation corridors, quality workforce and training, cost-effective land development and a business-friendly environment.

In addition to an excellent highway system, Waxahachie also offers dual rail and easy access to air travel. Rail is offered by Union Pacific and Burlington Northern/Santa Fe. Mid-Way Regional Airport has recently expanded and now accommodates most corporate jets with 24/7 FBO (fixed base operation).

Because of its close proximity to Dallas and Fort Worth, Waxahachie has a workforce draw from the entire southern portion of the Metroplex. Local companies may also take advantage of training at Navarro College Waxahachie.

Waxahachie offers affordable land, available infrastructure and aggressive incentives. City officials are ready with a can-do attitude and a flexible approach for new projects.

Waxahachie has a proven track record for success and most local firms continue to thrive, even during times of uncertainty.

Wayne County, Michigan

While its reputation as the world’s Motor City is without question, upcoming improvements in the Detroit Region’s distribution and transportation infrastructure will continue to advance its reputation as America’s gateway to the world.

Over 8,000 trucks and $1.6 billion in goods cross between Detroit and Canada each day -- the busiest trade crossing on the U.S. / Canada border. The value of this trade makes it the most important bridge crossing anywhere in the world, and Detroit offers businesses unparalleled distribution access to the heart of both of these markets. With truck traffic projected to increase 128 percent over the next 30 years, the upcoming construction of the New International Trade Crossing will improve the flow of international trade and provide additional capacity to meet long-term demands as the economy grows.

Detroit’s market reaches 88.2 million customers within a day’s drive, and it is served by four major rail lines. It is also home to eight intermodal rail yards and a world-class airport system with strategic Asian air cargo routes and shorter flight distances to international markets. The Detroit Region Aerotropolis offers two major airport facilities, over 25,000 acres of developable land and incentives available to the logistics industry.

Speed. Reliability. Low cost. Known for just-in-time logistics and supply chain innovation, the Detroit Region provides high-quality service for time-sensitive freight at a competitive price.