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Kansas City is the Hub for Food Logistics

by Mary Rooney | Mar 03, 2020
By Charlie King, KC SmartPort Intern, Northland CAPS Student

As speed to market becomes increasingly critical across all industries, Kansas City is emerging as one of the largest and fastest growing food and beverage logistics hubs in the United States. In 2018 Kansas City boasted 103,411 employees in the manufacturing space with 15,866 in food manufacturing specifically, or one out of every six. These employees work for over 200 different food-based companies worth $9.4 billion. Being located in Kansas City offers the opportunity for these companies to ship out of the number one rail center by tonnage and the third-ranking truck center in the U.S. Numbers like these show Kansas City is one of the greatest regions for manufacturing productivity with a continuously growing food logistics space. 

A major advantage that the Kansas City region offers the food market is its ability to ship anywhere in the United States on four major modes of transportation. Kansas City has immediate access to four of the nation’s major interstate highways, I-35, I-70, I-29, and I-49. This allows Kansas City to sit as number one in the United States in terms of highway lane miles within a metro area. The Kansas City International Airport is also a major factor in KC’s ability to ship out commodities efficiently. KCI is number one in air cargo transport in a six-state region. Kansas City’s geographic location, in tandem with its shipping capabilities, creates an advantage for the region that matches the rapidly growing eCommerce and food on demand statute of next-day and  two-day delivery in its entirety. 

Kansas City’s food and beverage manufacturing industry will continue to thrive with proximity to agriculture markets, advanced logistics infrastructure and industry-specific talent. Kansas City regional food manufacturing companies include, but are not limited to: Bimbo Bakeries, Frito-Lay Inc., General Mills, Inc., Hiland Dairy Foods, Hillshire Brands Co., Hostess Brands Inc., KC Sausage, Kerry Sweets, Lifeline Foods, Marlen International, Mars, Inc., Niagara Bottling, QuikTrip, Reser's Fine Foods Inc., Russell Stover Chocolates, Inc., Seaboard Triumph Foods, LLC, Smithfield Foods, Inc., Tyson Foods, Unilever.

Wanting to learn more about the trends in the food logistics sector? Check out KC Delivers, the KC SmartPort Annual Industry Briefing on October 6 that will focus on leading trends in the $1.5 trillion dollar food industry, including new production technology, how consumers buy food today, and delivery in an on-demand world.

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