The Best Metro Areas for Distribution Centers
The best metro areas for distribution centers are those with excellent transportation facilities, including airports, roads, and rails, and proximity to the primary regions your business serves. Despite pandemic-related supply chain challenges, consumers still expect to receive goods within two days of ordering them. Here’s a curated list of the best metro areas for distribution centers. Remember, however, that the location that works best for you will be uniquely bound up with your type of business, your products (perishable or not?), and where the highest concentrations of your customers reside.
Long regarded as the premier transportation hub of the US, Chicago is within a two-day drive of half the US population. Yes, you read that right: a distribution center located in the Chicago metro area can reach half the population of the US within two days. If that’s not a definition of one of the best metro areas for distribution centers, it’s hard to imagine what more you’d need.
Chicago’s history as a warehousing, distribution, and transportation hub means it is well supplied with workers experienced in these areas. Also, Chicago offers a high quality of life at a lower cost than other major metropolitan areas like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Businesses that rely on imports or exports need access to large seaports, and the Los Angeles metro area is home to the port of Long Beach and Los Angeles. While the freeways here are known for epic traffic jams, the metro area is the second largest in the nation, with extensive reach into the southwestern United States.
Its airport has surpassed Chicago’s O’Hare and London’s Heathrow as the busiest in the world. Atlanta is blessed with many of the same benefits of Chicago, like good roads and a strong labor force, but with far less severe winters. Atlanta is also a growing tech hub, meaning that businesses that rely on high-tech and robotics in their warehouses and distribution centers are likely to find skilled technology professionals to keep operations running smoothly.
Dallas/Ft. Worth or Houston
These Texas cities provide gateways to the continuing growth in the southwest, and Houston has access to its port on the Gulf of Mexico. Texas is one of the fastest growing states in the country, and skilled professionals continue to migrate to the Dallas and Ft. Worth metroplex, and to the proudly “weird” city of Austin, TX, the state’s capital.
Before making any decisions about locating a new distribution center, consult an experienced, professional site selection company. These firms can provide in-depth analysis of your best choices based on your company’s specific needs. They also can negotiate incentive packages from government and private entities in the areas you’re considering.