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E-Commerce Boom Happening in Ohio

Retailers rely on Ohio’s location, infrastructure and high-tech chops to build distribution and fulfillment centers.

Milind Paranjape, director of technology, logistics and distributionTue Jul 23 2019
Woman at Zulily packing boxes

Online consumers’ expectations continue to evolve. They want their orders immediately, with free shipping, real-time tracking and constant updates. These changing dynamics require a fulfillment center location that can offer fast, flexible and dependable customized services. That location is Ohio.

Our state is experiencing an e-commerce boom for companies that want the benefits of being closer to their customers with access to a diverse, high-tech and global infrastructure. In the past year alone, many major brands have moved their distribution and fulfillment centers to, or committed to building them in Ohio:

  • Kroger broke ground in June near Cincinnati on its first customer fulfillment center. The grocery giant teamed up with Ocado, an online supermarket based in the U.K., to build three automated warehouse and distribution centers.
  • Crocs Inc. will relocate its North American distribution operation to a site near the Dayton International Airport. The new 540,000-square-foot operation will give Crocs the ability to serve about 80 percent of its customers within the four days’ shipping service of the company’s “free economy shipping.”
  • Chewy, an online pet retailer, also committed to the Dayton area. It will open its first e-commerce fulfillment center in Ohio, creating 600 jobs.
  • Gap Inc. invested more than $1 million to expand its existing retail fulfillment facility in central Ohio, adding 600 jobs. The expansion will nearly double the retailer’s output in the region.

Additional retailers that have made the move to Ohio include HomeGoods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, Kohl’s, O’Reilly Auto Parts and Dollar Tree.

It’s no coincidence that these big names, not to mention Amazon – which currently has several fulfillment centers in Ohio – are investing here. Ohio’s geographic location and transportation network make it a perfect state to serve the e-commerce distribution needs of the future.

Ohio’s multimodal transportation includes integrated highways, air terminals, intermodal rail service, nine foreign trade zones, and 209 ports and terminals along the Ohio River and Lake Erie. The Port of Cleveland – which offers scheduled vessel service – and the Port of Toledo make Ohio the only Midwest state with direct container shipping to Europe, helping companies reduce time to market by five days or more. Each major Ohio metropolitan is also within 100 miles of at least two outbound parcel services, which include DHL, U.S. Postal Service, UPS and FedEx.

With no commercial activity tax on products sold outside the state and no state taxes on corporate profits or personal property, companies doing business here can also leverage Ohio’s friendly business climate to manage costs.

Ohio is home to a collaborative network of retailers as well as leaders in fintech, data analytics and supply chain management software. They are helping companies move into Logistics 4.0, the next generation of logistics, by integrating online activities with the physical distribution of goods.

To learn more about how you can benefit from Ohio’s rapidly evolving logistics and distribution industry, get in touch with JobsOhio.

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