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Distribution Center Location Trends for Q1 2018

by Josh Bays, on Apr 18, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Site Selection Group, a leading location advisory and economic incentives firm, researched site selection trends for distribution projects in the first quarter of 2018. Announced distribution projects varied widely in the number of jobs created and the amount of capital invested. The average number of jobs created per project was 92 with a median of 13 employees, and the average capital investment per project announcement was approximately $3 million with a median of $36 million.

Comparing Q1 2018 with Q1 2017
The distribution of announcements from a job creation perspective did not follow the same pattern as last year. Whereas the beginning of 2017 saw relatively more large-scale distribution projects creating 500 or more jobs, 2018 experienced more moderate job growth. Over three-quarters of projects announced in the distribution sector plan to hire less than 100 people.

Distribution Project Announcements by Jobs

Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 12.33.42 PM

Although there was some disparity between Q1 2017 and 2018 in terms of job creation, investment within the same time periods is more similar. In both years, the majority of new or expanding distribution centers planned to invest less than $10 million.

Distribution Project Announcements by Investment

Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 12.33.57 PM

State trends for 2018
Michigan and Texas saw the highest amount of job creation and investment respectively for distribution centers in Q1 2018. The Southeast and South Central U.S. also topped the list. There has been limited activity on the West Coast over the past three months in the distribution center sector. See the interactive map below for more information on job creation geographic trends.

Q1 Distribution Center Announcements


Notable distribution announcements

Site Selection Group identified the top three distribution announcements in terms of jobs and capital investment in the United States within the past three months:

  1. Amazon in Livonia, Michigan - The online shopping giant announced its plan to use a $7.5 million grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund to create up to 1,500 jobs.https://www.freep.com/story/money/business/michigan/2016/12/20/amazon-distribution-center-livonia-jobs/95625960/
  1. Maverick Terminals LLC in Corpus Christi, Texas - A $475 million investment will expand the company’s existing presence over an additional 41 acres, including a new oil dock and pipeline.http://www.kristv.com/story/35935386/port-of-corpus-christi-approves-lease-for-major-expansion
  1. Pharmaforce in New Albany, Ohio - A $145 million expansion will include 140,000 additional square feet in the pharmaceutical company’s manufacturing and warehouse operations.http://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20180205/pharmaforce-will-expand-add-70-jobs-in-new-albany-eight-in-hilliard

Source: The expansion data used in this newsletter comes from the Conway Data New Plant Report, a publication of Conway Inc. and Site Selection Magazine

Topics:Distribution CentersEconomic IncentivesSite Selection GroupSite SelectionLocation Advisory

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