Distribution Center Site Selection Trends from 2020

by Allison Boden, on May 18, 2021 1:23:39 PM

Site Selection Group, a leading location advisory and economic incentives firm, researched site selection trends for distribution center and logistics projects announced in 2020. According to Conway Analytics, announced distribution center projects varied widely in the number of jobs created and the amount of capital invested. At 195 employees, the average number of jobs created per project was down 1.5% from 2019. The median jobs created was 79. Capital investment per project announcement increased, with an average of approximately $48 million and median of $15 million (compared to an average of $30 million and median of $6.2 million in 2018).

Comparing 2020 with historical data

In terms of job counts, 2020 was very active compared to previous years with more large projects announced (creating over 500 jobs). However, the majority still fall in the mid-size range. Approximately 22% of announcements fell into the 50-99 job range.

Distribution Project Announcements by Jobs

Blog-0521_distribution-01In addition to more announcements with very large job creation in 2020, the number of projects with high capital investment also increased. More companies announced projects with $25 million or more in capital investment compared to that past two years. The trend of fewer projects with capital investment of less than $5 million continued in 2020.

Distribution Project Announcements by Capital Investment

Blog-0521_distribution-02Metros with high distribution center projects announcements and growth

Site Selection Group identified the top 10 metros areas with high activity of distribution center projects in 2020. These represent a mix of very large, active distribution markets like Chicago, Cincinnati, Atlanta and Dallas-Fort Worth, along with fast-growing port markets like Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina.

Metro Area Projects Announced
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 17
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 12
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA 12
Savannah, GA 11
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 10
Memphis, TN-MS-AR 9
Columbus, OH 8
Kansas City, MO-KS 8
Charleston-North Charleston, SC 8
Topics:Distribution CentersEconomic IncentivesSite Selection Group



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