The Windy City at Your Back: Ten Reasons Why A Chicago Fulfillment Center Makes Sense

January 9, 2019 by Amware Fulfillment

It’s often referred to as Second City.  But when it comes to transportation and fulfillment, there are many reasons why Chicago is second-to-none.    

Home to world-class culture, the nation’s highest building, and several beloved sports franchises, it’s also a vital cog in many companies’ national fulfillment networks. 

chicago logistics companiesWant to know more?  Take a look at these impressive stats about Chicago logistics companies from the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Commerce, Intersect Illinois, Trammell Crow and CBRE Research.

  1. A huge local customer base. As the country’s third-largest metropolis, the Chicago area offers easy access to approximately 9.5 million local customers, which means a Chicago fulfillment center has the potential to offer you lots of same-day delivery convenience and flexibility.
  2. A highly central location. There’s something to be said for being located in the middle of the country – including the fact that nearly 200 million consumers are located within 500 miles of Chicago and Illinois, and that a Chicago fulfillment center features convenient interstate access to both coasts. Approximately one-third of all North American consumers are less than a day’s truck drive away, and 42% can be reached via truck within two days or less. 
  3. Parcel-carrier approved. Chicago has one of the largest UPS package processing facilities in the world (the 2 million-square-foot Chicago Area Consolidation Hub) as well as a FedEx SmartPost Hub.  It’s also a major market for DHL, which chose the city as one of the first three places to re-introduce its domestic parcel delivery services in the United States.   As a result, it should come as no surprise that your Chicago fulfillment center will be well-served by all of the major parcel carriers, including the USPS.
  4. A great market for eTail or retail start-ups. Several of the country’s most successful eTailers, retailers and direct selling businesses got their start in Chicago, including Groupon, Pampered Chef, Grub Hub, Trunk Club, and Crate and Barrel.  In addition, several more, like Walgreens and Boots Alliance, are headquartered there.   
  5. An air of success with room for growth. Chicago’s O’Hare airport handles more than $200 billion of cargo each year.  However, it still has room to handle considerably more thanks to a recently completed new cargo campus that has expanded its capacity to 2-million square feet and increased potential throughput by 50%.  
  6. Outstanding ground transportation flexibility/unparalleled rail access. If you’re looking for road transportation alternatives for your inbound freight, you’re definitely on the right track.  Located at the northern end of the thriving NAFA corridor – and the east-west nexus of Europe and Asia – Chicago has more than 500 freight trains passing through it every day, making it the Western Hemisphere’s top container handler. 
  7. Outstanding interstate access and connectivity. You can still get your kicks on Route 66, the “Mother Road” that starts in Chicago.  But there are many more efficient options for getting your goods on the road and into customers’ hands quickly thanks to Illinois’ impressive highway network, which features 2,185 interstate highway miles and multiple coast-to-coast interstates (I-80 and I-90), north-south corridors (I-39, I-55, and I-57) and east-west corridors (I-70, I-24, I-64, and I-74).
  8. Large transportation and logistics pool.  Approximately 7,200 trucking companies operate out of Illinois, and most major U.S. carriers have terminals in Chicago – a fact that offers your company a huge range of options when it comes to inbound and outbound transportation.
  9. Lower warehouse construction costs. If you love a good bargain, consider this. A new 500,000-square-foot Chicago fulfillment center will cost you approximately 60% less than it would in Los Angeles – and anywhere from 30 to 40% less than it would in places like the Inland Empire or Portland, as the table below indicates:
  1. Outstanding food. While your diehard New Yorkers may disagree with this final point, but many people say that Chicago serves up the country’s best pizza – not to mention some of its most unbelievable popcorn.  Technically speaking, this isn’t a business advantage. But once you’ve given these things a try, you’ll understand why we believe they’re a major selling point.  (After all, who says that the food you eat during site visits has to be forgettable?)

Many companies have a healthy distribution presence in Chicago, because they’ve already done the math and determined that it makes excellent business sense.  In fact, should you decide that it makes sense to operate a fulfillment center in Chicago but don’t have the budget or bandwidth to operate your own facility, we hope you’ll consider calling upon Amware Fulfillment to help.  We offer two fulfillment centers in Chicago, as well as a wide range of services designed to improve your fulfillment speed while reducing everything from your product handling costs to your parcel spend.  

FULFILLMENT FOR DUMMIES    A crash course for entrepreneurs and business leaders on the pitfalls and  opportunities within warehouse fulfillment operations Download our eBrochure

Filed Under: Logistics Outsourcing, Parcel Transportation, eCommerce Fulfillment, Top Fulfillment Locations, Marketing Fulfillment