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 Feature Industry Articles 
Monday, September 30 2019
How Rapidly Changing Technology is Impacting Location Decisions in the Logistics Industry

By Jeannette T. Goldsmith,  Vice President, Strategic Development Group

“Every company is a technology company.”  I can’t remember who said this first or where I heard it, but there is no doubt that this statement is true. Even with the inevitability of it, we continue our collective hand-wringing about the move to greater automation and artificial intelligence on the manufacturing floor. There can be little doubt, however, that technology has already resulted in dramatic shifts in the transportation and logistics industry. These shifts have affected all facets of the industry including warehousing, distribution channels, fleets, and workforce. Strategic Development Group has seen how these changes are impacting the way in which companies select new locations for their logistics business.

Autonomous Vehicles and Drone Delivery
Perhaps the “sexiest” technology trend in the logistics industry is the use of autonomous vehicles and drones in the movement of products. While I am fascinated by the potential for autonomous vehicles, I have my doubts about how fast this technology will be adapted. There are two reasons for my hypothesis.  

Posted by: AT 11:34 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, July 28 2019
It's Not Your Dad's Logistics Anymore

By Michael D. White, author and freelance writer

Confined to non-descript, drab buildings clustered in unappealing urban backwaters, warehouse and distribution operations once considered a straight-forward and relatively simple activity involving nothing more complicated than a hand truck or a forklift have evolved into petri dishes for new technologies that have revolutionized the task of moving a product from Point A to Point B economically and efficiently in the least amount of time.   

According to a recent study of the distribution/warehouse sector commissioned by the Deloitte Center for Financial Services, the demand for distribution centers and other industrial real estate is expected to grow by 850 million square feet from 2019 to 2023, to 14.8 billion square feet, compared with demand growth of 870 million square feet from 2014 to 2018.

Deloitte said availability of warehouse space is likely to rise to 10.3 percent by 2023, compared with seven percent in 2018, as changes in the way people shop have reshaped distribution networks with retailers and logistics providers racing to compete with Amazon, open distribution warehouses and sprawling online fulfillment centers, strategically sited near major population centers and transportation hubs.

Posted by: AT 03:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, July 26 2017
Warehousing and Distribution, Moving to New Heights

Warehousing and distribution oriented operations are experiencing an incredible transformation that is impacting different operating characteristics and pushing the envelope of overall facility utilization. Perhaps the greatest impacts and changing characteristics of the warehousing and distribution industry are the predominance of eCommerce business models and the modern-day expectations of businesses and consumers for next-day delivery service for most everything. In many of the traditional large distribution hubs around the U.S., buildings are getting bigger, staffing requirements are generally going up, and the need to be close to either major population centers or an air cargo hub are critical. While many traditional warehousing operations continue to operate with perhaps little change, a smaller but highly-disruptive segment focused on eCommerce and customer fulfillment needs is driving huge change into the market, from both a design and operational perspective, and major implications of these changes are the focus of this article.

Posted by: AT 09:58 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 11 2017
16 eCommerce Logistics and Warehousing Best Practices to Follow

By Adam Robinson, Director of Marketing & Digital Marketing Consultant at Cerasis

There is nothing quite like the ease of ordering things online. The holidays are around the corner, and millions of Americans will turn to their phones, computers and tablets to get the gifts they need. Unfortunately, millions more will still go to brick-and-mortar stores to find those special items, and the push toward online and omnichannel ordering will continue grow, which is why it is increasingly important to invest in eCommerce Warehousing.

In your organization, the ability to adapt to the changes in demand of your direct consumers and business-to-business (B2B) partners will strain even last year’s technologies. However, if you can leverage these “best practices,” you can create an eCommerce warehousing solution ideal for both holiday and year-round scalability and growth.

Posted by: AT 08:45 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 25 2016
7 Reasons Why 2016 is the Year of Warehouse Robots

By Adam Robinson, Director of Marketing & Digital Marketing Consultant at Cerasis

The benefits to the use of warehouse robots, loading, unloading and delivery are evident. Robots do not sleep. They do not drink. They do not complain, and they do not need a paycheck.

Robots are rapidly becoming one of the most prevalent enterprises within the logistics industry. As explained by Steve Banker of Forbes magazine, Amazon has unleashed an army of robots in their distribution centers for picking and packaging. Around the globe, different companies and organizations are continually looking for ways to design, build, and sell robots for the logistics industry that do not impinge upon the Kiva hat. However, a particular set of driving forces is growing to propel the use of robotics in the logistics industry, and robots will provide one of the greatest surpluses and expansion of services for the logistics industry in history. Let’s take a closer look at these factors now.

Posted by: AT 09:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, August 03 2015
How the Location Selection Process Works

Communities that want to attract freight facilities should examine themselves as corporate site selectors do before engaging in a full-scale business recruitment process. If a community is going to successfully compete in attracting a freight facility, it is to its advantage to understand what needs a company is seeking to satisfy and what kind of criteria they will use to select a site. What are the key things a planner, economic development strategist, or elected official should know to develop potential or develop competitive advantage for a good freight facility project?

Freight facilities will only consider locations that fulfill the primary objective of moving goods in the most efficient manner from point of origin to destination. This trumps most other considerations. Companies and carriers rarely base location decisions on personal relationships, government incentives, or regional promotions. These factors are only a consideration after a location meets the required criteria for the business to be successful. Local officials can make their communities more attractive to freight facilities by providing a hospitable climate through appropriate zoning, compatible land use, transportation infrastructure, and community support. When companies evaluate sites, some criteria are far more important than others. The ability to access key markets, availability of efficient transportation, sufficient qualified labor, and total costs are considered key criteria. Proximity and/or access to markets is the most important driving factor that determines the region or community in which a freight facility will locate.

Posted by: AT 11:16 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, July 29 2015
Ten Ideas for More Efficient and Productive Warehouse Operations

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - tripping, falling, and slipping account for the majority of “general industry accidents.”  In fact, statistics show slip and fall accidents make up 15 percent of all accidental deaths, 25 percent of all injury claims and – shockingly – 95 million lost work days each year.

It goes without saying that warehouses need to find ways to prioritize workplace safety for the health and productivity of the workforce. But what are some ways organizations can streamline operations for improved results overall?

The following is our top ten list of ways warehouses can drive more efficient and productive warehouse operations:

1. Consider Automation
Boston Consulting Group research shows 1.2 million robots are expected to be deployed across manufacturing facilities in the U.S. by the year 2025. Why? Not only can robotic automation help manufacturers achieve greater warehouse productivity, but it can also drive significant cost savings as compared to employing workers.

Posted by: AT 10:03 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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