Logistics Gets Lean, Mean and Green

These days you’ve got to choose a warehousing site that keeps your supply chain costs and your carbon footprint in check. Here are the locations that provide great transportation infrastructure and a business-friendly atmosphere.

Today’s supply chain includes the entire flow of product, starting with raw materials and ending at the retail outlet. It is the largest business process a company has to manage. Because of this, supply chain sustainability initiatives are a top priority at many companies as they seek to cut supply chain costs while reducing their carbon footprints. This includes a number of initiatives such as placing more manufacturing functions at the warehouse level and locating warehouses properly to reduce the amount of mileage between suppliers and manufacturers and suppliers and retailers or consumers.

“In addition to its length, the supply chain has become enmeshed with production processes to the point where the line dividing manufacturing from supply chain logistics is blurred,” according to “Strategies To Run a Lean Supply Chain,” a white paper from Ventana Research. “Fortunately, the blurring of the line between manufacturing and supply chain logistics brings with it the opportunity to move the manufacturing concepts that produce efficient manufacturing to supply chain management.”

One such concept is to mimic the lean processes many industries, including the automotive industry, have been using in manufacturing for years. As logistics becomes more of a part of the manufacturing process, it is changing the role of the warehouse dramatically.

“The role of the warehouse has changed from being a traditional storage and fulfillment center to performing more value-added services,” explained Paul J. Marshall, vice president, distribution operations, for Limited Brands Logistics Services. However, he insists that the warehouse “still remains the foundation of a distribution network for core activities, such as receiving large quantities of products and shipping smaller quantities to individual stores, storing product inventory for store replenishment, and where the main areas remain receiving, storage and shipping.”


Brampton, Ontario: The Choice for Transportation

Brampton, Ontario is where business and industry are growing at unprecedented rates, and where you’ll find all the key location factors for success: economic stability, an available labor pool, a specialized interest in logistics, immediate highway access, proximity to an international airport, an extensive network of suppliers and clients, and room for growth.

Brampton, located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), has more than 300 businesses in retail administration and logistics. There are approximately 15,000 employees within this sector, and the numbers continue to grow. There are with six million consumers in the GTA, and 120 million consumers within a 24-hour drive in cities such as New York, Montreal, Boston and Philadelphia. With this much potential for a successful business venture, it’s no wonder that Brampton’s businesses create more than 200 jobs each month.

Business in Brampton is complemented by its numerous connections to the world. The city is connected to the North American free trade zone by rail. For commuter service, GO train and GO bus passenger service links Brampton to the downtown Toronto Union Station. VIA Rail Canada offers local service as well as servicing passengers traveling to Toronto, Sarnia, Chicago and points in between. One of Canada’s largest intermodal railway terminals can be found in Brampton. The CN Terminal operates 16,700 feet of pad tracks and 12 storage tracks on a 195-acre site, 24 hours a day, year round, and is located within the city’s industrial and commercial areas.

Approximately 126 trains per week handle more than 600,000 units, compared to 582,112 units in 2004 to all of its North American destinations.

The city is ideally situated for the efficient movement of goods and services. In addition to an internal seaport and an extensive network of major highways, primary roads cut across Brampton, making it a gateway for transportation. This urban centre, slightly northwest of Toronto, is located in the midst of highways 401, 410, 427, 403 ETR. Businesses find success in Brampton, having such a great potential to reach their targeted markets.

One of the greatest logistical advantages for many Brampton businesses is the fact that Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada’s largest, borders the city to the east and is mere minutes away. More than 50 scheduled and charter airlines currently serve Pearson, providing non-stop services to 39 Canadian cities, 88 U.S. transborder destinations and same-plane service to 71 other international destinations.

Brampton’s dynamic mix of diversified businesses is key to positive growth. From head offices of major retail players like Hudson’s Bay Company, one of North America’s oldest retail brands, to Winners Apparel Ltd., logistics centers of national wholesalers, Brampton’s available land inventory, qualified workforce, and superior infrastructure make it an obvious selection to serve the retail administration and logistics sector.

Mississippi Offers Synergy of Infrastructure and Workforce

When Handy Hardware was looking for the right location for a new distribution center to better serve its members in the Southeast, the hardware-buying group selected Meridian, MS. The company is investing $15 to $20 million in the facility, which will employ approximately 150 people.

At the heart of one of the fastest growing regions of the U.S., Mississippi is continuing to build a reputation as a prime location for logistics-based businesses and companies with specific logistical needs. The synergy of location, infrastructure, workforce and business climate in Mississippi make the state a logical choice for businesses seeking a central location for their distribution facilities. In particular, northern Mississippi is an increasingly attractive location for companies in the distribution/warehousing sector. The region has quickly become an extension of Memphis, home to major FedEx and UPS operations and the city known as “America’s Distribution Center.”

Cardinal Health, a Fortune 20 corporation, has plans to locate a new medical-surgical distribution facility in Olive Branch, MS joining a growing number of companies with distribution centers there. The facility will serve hospitals, clinical laboratories, ambulatory facilities and physician offices across northern Mississippi, western Tennessee and the entire state of Arkansas.

Late last year, FedEx SmartPost opened a hub in Southaven, MS. This facility feeds packages from around the nation directly to 622 post offices across the South. It joins FedEx Ground, Williams-Sonoma, BMW Distribution and Future Electronics, which also have distribution or warehousing concerns in northern Mississippi. Mazda North America’s “master facility,” its largest distribution center, also has been located in Olive Branch for more than a decade. Other regions of the state continue to see growth in the logistics sector as well: Office Depot services stores in six states from a distribution center in Jackson, and Levi Strauss recently expanded the capacity and workforce at its

Canton distribution center, which services all of the company’s retail stores across the United States.

Last year, home improvement giant Lowe’s opened a $15-million flatbed distribution center in Purvis, MS, near the Hattiesburg/Pine Belt region. This facility services the company’s more than 60 retail outlets in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. Recently, Brown Bottling Group and Wispak invested $49 million in a new bottling and distribution center currently under construction in Hattiesburg. The new facility will distribute Pepsi products to customers across the South.

Mississippi’s location, which is central to both coasts, provides easy access to many major metropolitan areas. In fact, the state is within a day’s drive of more than 50% of the nation. That translates into easy access to the nation’s top metropolitan and business markets. The state’s transportation systems—railways, roadways, airports and waterways—are fully integrated to maximize transport options. In addition to access to key ports along the Gulf Coast and the state’s navigable rivers, Mississippi’s highway system ranks among the four best in the country and the best in the Southeast. The state also boasts excellent railways and abundant airports to transport products quickly and efficiently.

Laurens County, SC: Easy Accessibility

Laurens County, SC is located mid-way between the metropolitan areas of Greenville-Spartanburg and the state capital of Columbia. It is bisected by two Interstate systems (I-385 and I-26), which make the county easily accessible to I-85 and the Port of Charleston. I-85 is less than 30 minutes away, giving the county excellent north-south accessibility, and the Port of Charleston is slightly more than two hours away.

The current unemployment in the county is 10.9%, which is slightly below the state average of 11.4%. Distribution accounts for 18.5% of the employment in Laurens County. The county is home to nine distribution companies.

The county’s economic designation, attractive wage rates and a county council that is very pro-business make the cost of operation very attractive. The county has the ability to offer a Special Source Revenue Credit that can reduce taxes for a period of up to 10 years. The county’s average wage is below the state average resulting in an even lower cost of operation. The State of South Carolina also offers one of the nation’s best training programs. The program has recently undergone a name change and is now ReadySC. A company also could qualify for Job Development Credits, which is a cash rebate to the company once certain requirements are met.

Four industrial parks are located along the two interstate systems in Laurens County. Woodfield Industrial Park and Owings Industrial Park are located along I-385 near the Greenville/Laurens County line. Woodfield Industrial Park has approximately 130 acres remaining and Owings Industrial Park has 316 acres. Owings Park has rail service provided by RailAmerica. Hunter Industrial Park is located on I-385 at the US 221 exit and has almost 400 acres available—much of it is rail served by CSX. ClintonPark Corporate Center has two phases that is available for development. Phase 2 is located on I-26 and has 200 acres available while phase 3 is just over more than one mile from I-26 and has 140 acres available. This site has five-lane access. Phase 3 has access to rail, which is served by CSX. All utilities are either in or border the parks. In addition to the industrial parks the county has numerous stand-alone sites, many which are also rail served. The county has two large sites—one 700 acres and the other 800 acres.

Barstow, CA: Opportunities for Logistics

With its extensive rail, truck, air and freeway systems, the City of Barstow, CA is one of the premier transportation centers in the western U.S. These advantages make it an ideal site for manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution activities. Barstow’s location offers outstanding opportunities for transporting products throughout the western U.S. BNSF and Union Pacific railroads serve the area. Barstow is home to the BNSF classification yard, the largest rail yard west of Kansas City.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are 150 miles from Barstow. Freight arriving in the ports is quickly off-loaded and sent via rail along the Alameda Corridor to Barstow for efficient distribution to the western United States.

Interstate 15 runs through Barstow linking Southern California to Las Vegas and points northwest; Interstate 40 connects Barstow to the southeastern United States; and State Highway 58 provides quick, efficient access to Central and Northern California by linking to Interstate 5 and State Highway 99. More than $200 million have been spent on freeway improvements in the greater Barstow area during the past eight years. The intersecting highways in Barstow make the area a natural location for the trucking industry. Six carriers serve Barstow and provide regular service to Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas and beyond. The city is host to five truck stops, four truck washes, and two truck service facilities.

Ontario International Airport, 75 miles southwest of Barstow, provides passenger and freight service. Southern California Logistics Airport is 30 miles from the site. Barstow-Daggett Airport offers service for executive and charter aircraft. The cornerstone of the city’s business attraction efforts is the 1,200-acre Barstow Industrial Park. A railroad extension to the property, forecasted for completion in 2010, positions the Barstow Industrial Park as one of the most sought-after industrial locations in Southern California.Wal-Mart has already selected 147 acres within the Barstow Industrial Park for one of its mechanized distribution centers. Wal-Mart recently completed an environmental impact report on the 900,000-square-foot distribution center.

Hesperia, CA: The Future of Logistics

The City of Hesperia in California’s Inland Empire North is a leader in supporting the long-term development of the regional economy. Having secured $2 million in federal grant funding, Hesperia is ready to build the G Avenue Industrial Rail Lead Track Project, consisting of approximately one mile of new railroad lead track and a parallel runaround track. Construction is slated to begin in January 2010 and should take approximately one year to complete. The addition of the rail track will facilitate operations for a greater number of warehousing and distribution centers near Interstate 15. The planned track is expected to bring economic results that will match or exceed the advantages of the neighboring, soon-to-be built-out, Foxborough rail industrial park.

Strategically positioned for logistics and distribution, the fast-growing City of Hesperia is conveniently situated within easy access to the logistics network that serves the combined ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (LA/LGB), the nation’s largest international cargo trade area. Hesperia is sited on Interstate Highway 15, and Highway 395, a major corridor linking Southern California with Northern California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington to the Canadian border. The rail project will make Hesperia one of the few viable locations in Southern California able to provide new rail accessibility.

Decatur, IL Plans a Rail-Served Logistics Hub

The EDC of Decatur & Macon County, IL, has great expectations for a large new rail-served logistics location being redeveloped in the region—the former Wagner Castings/Intermet foundry site in Decatur.

The 32-acre Intermet foundry site, which is located along a major logistics corridor adjacent to the Norfolk Southern Railroad and only moments from I-72, has remained vacant since 2005. An environmental clean-up of the property, estimated at $2 million, is now underway. A Class A logistics, rail-served distribution facility is planned for the site, allowing for construction of 360,000 square feet of warehouse distribution space along with 20+ acres of trailer and container storage company with national interests has the faith in the Decatur market to commit considerable financial resources to redevelop the site to meet the needs of today’s logistics and manufacturing clients, giving the EDC a marketable piece of property to present to prospects from across the country and the world.

The purchasing entity is experienced in the redevelopment of obsolescent and contaminated sites. Its recent revitalization projects have included the former Stanley Flagg/Amcast site in Stowe, PA; the former Amtrak rail site in Queens, NY; and the Krejci dump site—part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park—in Hudson, OH.

Columbus, OH: Channel to Global Market

The Columbus Region is the channel to the global marketplace. This Midwest location is within a one-day drive or one-hour flight of nearly half the population and manufacturing capacity of the U.S. and Canada. Columbus, OH is the 14th largest city in the U.S., one of the fastest growing major metropolitan areas in the Midwest and home to Ohio’s capital.

The logistics industry in the Columbus region, made up of the eight-county metropolitan statistical area, already accounts for 100,000 jobs and nearly 14 percent of the region’s private sector employment. This industry sector has experienced a 30 percent growth in employment since February 2001 compared with 2.4 percent national growth. Through truck, rail, air and direct seaport link, the Columbus Region logistics infrastructure moves freight around the world.

At the core of this foundation is Rickenbacker, a 15,000-acre multi-modal transportation and logistics center, with a history that dates back to the early 1900’s with Eddie Rickenbacker and the Rickenbacker Air Force Base. Today, the Rickenbacker area offers an integrated hub of air, rail and truck transport companies supported by freight forwarders, consolidators, customs brokers and third-party logistics companies. The area is globally centered between Asia, Europe and South America, The Columbus region offers the access to markets, infrastructure, real estate, workforce and thought leadership needed to move freight efficiently.

Located at the crossroads of two of the country’s major interstate arteries (I-70 and I-71) with full limited-access outer belt and several cross-town freeways, the Columbus region is one of the most accessible locations in the world. The region is connected to major ocean ports like Seattle, Los Angeles, Charleston, Norfolk and New York, through Rickenbacker is an inland port designed to accommodate the logistics needs of the 21st century. With its strategic location, ocean cargo arrives at Rickenbacker via rail and within hours can be driven to more than 50 percent of the U.S. and Canadian populations. Rickenbacker International Airport, one of the world’s only cargo-dedicated international airports, boasts 12,000-foot runways. Two railroad carriers, Norfolk Southern and CSX, operate three different intermodal yards with a combined capacity of more than 600,000 lifts annually.

The Heartland Corridor, scheduled for completion in 2010, will increase the speed of containerized freight moving in double-stack trains between the East Coast and the Midwest. The corridor will travel across Virginia, through southern West Virginia and north through Columbus.

Churchill Business & Tech Park: Ideal for Logistics

Churchill Technology & Business Park provides businesses in the logistics industry access to the Port of New Orleans, six additional Gulf outlets, airport services, rail lines and interstates. In addition, the expansion of the Huey P. Long Bridge into a six-lane highway easily accommodates tractors and trucks of all sizes crossing the Mississippi River.

Logistics companies looking to start up, relocate or expand will find the support and resources of the most prosperous and business-friendly parish in Louisiana. Located on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish, Churchill is a project of the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO).

Accredited by the International Economic Development Council, JEDCO has the technical expertise and experience to assist businesses throughout the site selection process. Because there are numerous state and parish incentive programs affiliated with Churchill, JEDCO works to identify and develop the most lucrative package for individual businesses.

From assessing industrial tax exemptions and payroll tax rebates to coordinating financing and leasing strategies, JEDCO will customize relocation packages to meet specific business needs. Churchill tenants also will benefit from Jefferson’s strong AA1 Moody’s Bond Rating.

And because Jefferson is already home to a diverse complement of businesses within the logistics industry, companies that locate in Churchill will benefit from a wealth of existing resources including international trade, manufacturing, transportation, energy, petrochemicals and new media.

These business resources—along with world-class health operations and 11 local colleges and universities (one of which offers a business degree in logistics and distribution)—provide opportunities for research and a qualified workforce. Outstanding public and private schools, a reasonable housing market and a moderate cost of living add to the area’s appeal.

Churchill Technology & Business Park is one of the largest master-planned business communities in the South. The 500-acre park is divided into major parcels to accommodate a wide variety of businesses and facilities. Tenants also have the flexibility to choose lot sizes to meet specific needs rather than choosing from subdivided lots.