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Logistics and Distribution in the Columbus Region


With the greater access to the U.S. market within a 10-hour drive than any other major metro, the Columbus Region is a strategic location for the movement of goods via an ultra-modern interstate highway system, third-party logistics providers and multiple rail terminals.
 
Home to top-ranked, multimodal logistics hub Rickenbacker Inland Port and the seventh-largest Foreign Trade Zone, the Columbus Region is your all-access pass to the North American and global marketplace.

On this page: Location | Notable Employers | Business Advantages | Workforce and Education


4,048

logistics establishments

75,000

employees

Employment growth in the transportation and warehousing sector is projected to be greater than

21 percent

between 2010 and 2020


The Columbus Region is centrally positioned in the Midwest of the United States, with fast access to seaports and Central Mexico by rail and access to Asia, Europe and South America by air.


The Columbus Region offers the greatest access to the U.S. market of any major domestic metro (Three Scale Research, June 2013).


The Columbus Region is within a 10-hour drive of:

  • 45 percent of the U.S. population

  • 44 percent of the U.S. manufacturing capacity

  • 47 percent of the U.S. headquarters operations

 

NOTABLE LOGISTICS EMPLOYERS
COMPANY OPERATIONS EMPLOYMENT
L Brands, Inc. Retail 7,800
Defense Supply Center Columbus Military 2,900
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. Retail 2,650
Exel Inc. Logistics provider 2,190
Eddie Bauer Retail 2,069
United Parcel Service, Inc. Logistics provider 1,623
Midwest Express Group Automotive 1,183
Wasserstrom Restaurant supplies 873
Big Lots, Inc. Retail 860
DSW, Inc. Retail 726
Source: Columbus 2020; Columbus Business First, Book of Lists 2013; Local economic development agencies


Business Advantages


Rickenbacker Inland Port
The high-speed international, multimodal logistics hub offers unparalleled location and access to customers throughout North America. Features include:
  • Rickenbacker International Airport, one of the world's only cargo-dedicated airports, with two parallel 12,000-foot runways
    • Handles more than 300,000 lifts a year and offers $660 million in transportation cost savings to shippers
  • The Heartland Corridor allows double-stacked freight trains to travel directly from the Port of Virginia to a state-of-the-art intermodal facility located at Rickenbacker International Airport

Market Access and Export Capabilities
Goods made in the Columbus Region are easily transported to domestic and international markets via the Region's multi-modal logistics infrastructure.

Manufacturers can reach 45 and 33 percent of the U.S. and Canadian populations, respectively, and 44 percent of the U.S. manufacturing capacity within a 10-hour drive.

Export opportunities for Region manufacturers include Cargolux and Cathay Pacific's cargo flights between Columbus and Hong Kong. A number of export resources from counseling to financing also exist for Region manufacturers.

Cost of Doing Business
The Columbus Region is home to a competitive tax structure, and Ohio is ranked No. 1 for lowest effective tax rate on new distribution centers.

Additionally, the Columbus Region offers greater value for industrial space than peer metros.

AVERAGE ASKING RENT FOR DISTRIBUTION AND WAREHOUSING SPACE
METRO PER SQ FT PER SQ M
Columbus $2.75 $29.06
Atlanta $3.22 $34.66
Cincinnati $3.27 $35.20
Charlotte $3.32 $35.75
Dallas $3.35 $36.06
Jacksonville $3.90 $41.98
Chicago $4.36 $46.93
Pittsburgh $4.46 $48.01
Baltimore $4.57 $49.19
Denver $5.16 $55.54
Oakland $5.16 $55.54
Houston $5.71 $61.46
New Jersey - Northern $6.11 $65.77
Los Angeles $6.63 $71.36
Long Island, NY $9.30 $100.10
Source: Colliers International, Q1 2014


"The Columbus Region’s exceptional distribution and logistics capabilities and outstanding talent pool, as well as its optimal location for e-commerce business, were all factors that led us to expand our Grove City operations."
   -Alex W. Smith, President and CEO, Pier 1 Imports
 

Workforce and Education


Ranked as one of the hardest-working workforces in America, employees in the Columbus Region have access to a number of educational facilities at all levels of training while employers have access to several training grants.

The more than 140,000 college students at over 60 college and university campuses provide both surge labor while working toward professional degrees, such as The Ohio State University's supply chain/logistics program that is nationally ranked No. 5 and No. 8 at the undergraduate and graduate levels, respectively.

Meanwhile, high schools offer logistics-specific career-tech programs and Columbus State Community College, one of the nation's largest community colleges, offers technical training and associate degrees in logistics and supply chain management.

"If you are an e-commerce company, you want your fulfillment center to be located in a big college town where you will be able to reach a lot of available labor that can be trained in a week. That's Columbus."
   -Curtis Spencer, President and CEO, IMS Worldwide
The Columbus Region's wages are lower than peer metros, yet employees enjoy a high quality of life due a cost of living that Forbes ranks the fourth best in the U.S. For a breakdown of wages by specific occupation, view the Average Salary by Occupation page.

NUMBER OF WORKERS AND AVERAGE HOURLY WAGES IN TRANSPORTATION AND MATERIAL MOVING OCCUPATIONS (COLUMBUS MSA)
METRO WORKERS WAGE
Columbus 69,440 $14.69
Memphis 82,110 $15.57
Indianapolis 86,400 $15.89
Los Angeles 359,770 $16.00
Pittsburgh 68,730 $16.21
Chicago 344,120 $16.96
Louisville 60,310 $17.90
Atlanta 185,280 $17.99
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2013
 

Connect With Us

Matt
McCollister
Vice President, Economic Development
614-225-6953
Matt
McQuade
Director, Business Development
614-225-6920
Patty
Huddle
Vice President, Existing Business Services
614-225-6065
Chris
Strayer
Client Solutions Officer
614-225-6905
Katie
Hamilton
Project Manager
614-225-6945
Archit
Dhir
Project Manager, International Lead
614-225-6083
Jeff
Zimmerman
Director, Columbus Region Logistics Council
614-225-6086

Recent Announcements

Logistics-Company-Announcements

Watch

Leading logistics provider Exel explains why the Columbus Region is the prime location for its operations.








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