It’s been an interesting year in logistics with continued advancements in logistics software in it’s move into the cloud and logistics companies expanding and innovating on their approach to supply chain management. In this move forward organizations are continuing to look for creative solutions to their warehousing, transportation and logistics challenges.
When companies go about selecting the ideal number and location of distribution warehouses, there will always be a compromise between the limitations and costs of transportation vs. minimizing the distance needed to travel for goods. Whether using a direct delivery or hub and spoke distribution model finding the right location to best serve your customers is critical to success. The following is our list of the top logistics markets of 2012 as selected by Logistics List readers.
With the third largest metropolitan area in the US in the Chicagoland area with more than 9.5 million people it is an ideal mid-point in the country for distribution. Chicago is home to the Belt Railway the largest intermediate switching terminal railroad in the United States serving just about every railroad through Chicago and has a comprehensive highway infrastructure making it a hotbed for trucking services with 23 interstate highways in Illinois in which commercial trucking accounts for 60% of all traffic.
As the largest state in the country in terms of population with ideal access to the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach, extensive air cargo facilities, and multiple large metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, it’s no surprise that California continues to be a favorite location for logistics services.
With Houston which is the 5th largest metropolitan area with over 6 million people and its Port of Houston which is the second busiest port in the US in terms of Ocean Freight and Dallas which is 8th most populated city in the US with a strength in both transportation and rail; Texas is a state to look at closely. Its proximity to Mexico and extensive interstate system make it a desirable location for a distribution center.
Atlanta continues to evolve into a vital logistics hub with national prominence. Atlanta is one of only five cities in the U.S. served by three major interstate highways. It also has a coveted rapid rail station inside an airport terminal. Atlanta is called home to more than 75 Class-A scheduled motor carriers and more than 2,000 irregular intrastate route carriers, contract haulers and commodity carriers. With more than 5 million people it is the 9th most populous metropolitan region in the US.
The Panama Canal expansion project underway will allow the Canal to accept ships nearly twice the size of current capacity allowance. This could likely transform the US port system from what we we know it today and Florida has the potential to become one of the most important logistics hubs in the country. With its 15 public seaports, cargo activities account for almost 9% of Florida’s GDP. Miami, Jacksonville, and Orlando were the three most sought after metropolitan areas from a logistics standpoint this year.
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