Site Selection Group, a leading location advisory and economic incentives firm, researched site selection trends for distribution projects in the first half of 2017. More than 780 distribution projects were announced that varied widely in the number of jobs created and the amount of capital invested. The average number of jobs created per project was 161 employees, and the average capital investment per project announcement was approximately $23 million.

Comparing the first half of 2017 with the same time last year
More than 60% of announced 2017 projects plan to hire less than 100 people.  However, there is a big difference between last year and this year in terms of high headcount announcements. Specifically, the number of announcements with at least 200 people more than doubled from the same time last year from 11.8% to 24.1%. 

Distribution Project Announcements by Jobs

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Unlike the reported differences in headcount trends, the overall distribution of projects by investment so far this year is similar to 2016 with some minor variations. Nearly 70% of the 2017 distribution announcements involved capital investments of $10 million or less.

Distribution Project Announcements by Investment

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State trends for 2017
By measuring based on the total number of jobs, some states scored higher than others in terms of impact so far this year. Texas and Illinois are the top two states, with both announcing approximately 10,000 jobs. Other key states include those with major interstates connecting highly populated areas and providing access to consumers.

The eastern half of the United States has seen the most activity so far this year. California and Nevada are also active on the West Coast. These geographic trends suggest that employers are seeking distribution sites close to dense population centers and along strategic routes from which they can serve more consumers faster.  See the interactive map below for more information.

 

 

Major distribution announcements

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

1.  Amazon in Hebron, Kentucky.

Perhaps one of the biggest distribution announcements in recent history is Amazon’s announcement of its first facility focused on distribution via air. Amazon expects to hire more than 2,000 people at its Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport facility.

2.  Blue Apron in Linden, New Jersey.

With nearly 500,000 square feet, Blue Apron plans to hire 2,000 to staff a fulfillment center to help meet demand on the East Coast.

3.  UPS in Arlington, Texas.

UPS – with an existing footprint in the North Texas already – plans to hire 1,400 workers for a new distribution center to accommodate seasonal increases during the holidays.

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