Nestled close to the geographic center of Ohio sits one of the busiest supply chain regions in North America. Columbus, Ohio, and its surrounding communities are no secret to logistics professionals who use the region to bring goods into the country and shuttle them throughout the country.
Ohio boasts the seventh largest economy in the U.S. and a workforce of 1.2 million people. Roughly 151 million people are within a one-day drive of the region and its Foreign Trade Zone ranked 12th of 200 such U.S. locations in 2021, moving $9.7 billion worth of goods that year.
The Columbus area is home to Rickenbacker International Airport, one of the few (primarily) cargo focused airports in the world. Fewer than 300,000 passengers fly out of the airport, primarily via Allegiant Air flights and a stream of private passenger planes. Both Norfolk Southern and CSX operate double-stacked rail services in the region, with direct access to East Coast ports.
Convenient is but one word. The Columbus region is roughly 350 miles to Chicago, 560 to Atlanta, and 530 to New York, making it a logical location for distribution.
Ohio’s growing logistics landscape
And it has thrived, with new warehouses being built as fast as the materials for them can be brought into the region. One Columbus, which is responsible for helping bring in industry in an 11-county region around Columbus, said the region ranks in the top 10 regions in the country almost annually, and in 2022, there were 479 projects of at least $1 million (or those creating at least 20 jobs or adding 20,000 square feet of new floor area) in the area, third in the country.
Intel, in 2022, announced it would build a $20 billion semiconductor plant in the region, creating 10,000 direct and construction jobs. The impact is expected to go far beyond that, though, as many smaller suppliers are expected to take up residence in the region.
Supply Chain Management Review was recently invited to the region, visiting Rickenbacker and a Carhartt facility operated by DHL Supply Chain facility in nearby Canal Winchester. The purpose of the visit, which was for select media and investors, was to showcase some of the technology DHL Supply Chain is installing to improve the efficiency of the Carhartt facility, and its global facilities overall.
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