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Kansas City Stands Out as Logistics Hub for Reasons Beyond its Geography

by Mary Rooney | Feb 05, 2019

ThinkingBigger Business recently published an article highlighting the KC region’s benefits for supply chain investment. An excerpt is included below, followed by a link to the full story.

Chris Gutierrez, president of KC SmartPort, regularly shares his amazement  that in the last five to six years, more than 25 million-sq.-ft. of product and distribution real estate has been built on a speculative basis, meaning there was no tenant signed on at the outset of construction.

“Developers and real estate teams are building these large facilities hoping they get a client or tenant — and a majority of those have been filled. So, the demand has been right behind it,” said Gutierrez.

The mere existence of KC SmartPort illustrates the region’s foresight to capitalize on its central location, propelling it to one of today’s leading markets for the logistics industry.

Many factors are responsible for that success, beginning with the obvious — its geography; its four modes of transportation (air, rail, road and water) and finally, its economic landscape to foster third-and fourth-party logistics firms, many of which are small businesses and independently-owned. The sum of these factors is what ultimately attracts companies to locate some or all of its logistics here.

The Geography

“Almost every company responds to the ability to reach their customer base more efficiently because of that central location,” said Gutierrez, highlighting distribution and manufacturing.

For distribution and warehousing, the four modes of transportation create a compelling value for companies who seek efficient shipping.

Take, for example, CVS reaching its regional stores, or e-commerce companies like Amazon or Jet.com reaching customers. “The ability to reach customers has been primary. Second and third is, of course, the workforce and the availability of buildings here,” continued Gutierrez.

“On the manufacturing side, it really is kind of that core manufacturing workforce that we have here, as well as the ability for inbound raw materials to come in on those modes, and the finished product to be delivered to customers.”

The Transportation

KC SmartPort estimates roughly 230 million to 240 million-sq.-ft. of industrial building space is either in use or available for companies locating logistics in Kansas City. That volume of distribution and warehousing requires versatile transportation. 

The BNSF Railway’s Logistics Park Kansas City (LPKC) Intermodal Facility in Edgerton is an example of the region’s commitment to transportation. Here companies can benefit from 64,000 feet of track, 4,300 container stacking spots and eight wide-span all-electric cranes, among others.

According to BNSF, the LPKC is the only full-service facility in the western two-thirds of the United States offering the combination of domestic intermodal service – container, trailer, expedited and standard service levels — international intermodal service and direct-rail/carload service.

Read the full article at Thinking Bigger.

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