20 INLAND PORTS & BUSINESS PARKS THAT DELIVER
Name-dropping may not be Eric Toriumi’s usual style, but he admits that it comes in handy when describing The Diemasters’ location. The Diemasters—a Chicago-based high-precision metal stamping company that counts Asia and Mexico among its top markets—operates out of Elk Grove Village (EGV)—a distinction, Toriumi says, that has directly contributed to his company’s success. “Many of the international sourcing people I meet [consider] Elk Grove synonymous with quality manufacturing,” he says. “When I tell them that we’re located in Elk Grove, there is a sense of familiarity and [respect].” As The Diemasters’ marketing director, Toriumi says such familiarity makes his job much easier.
Elk Grove Business Development director Josh Grodzin explains that numerous factors attract manufacturing talent to the Illinois industrial park—namely its proximity to major interstates, railroads and the cargo-friendly Chicago O’Hare International Airport. “The classic real estate adage ‘location, location, location’ applies to EGV,” Grodzin says. Plus, the “deep local supply chain” enables businesses at EGV to procure any product or service necessary.
In addition to EGV, below are 19 other business parks and inland ports that stand out from the pack.
Cherry Hill Business Park
Situated less than an hour from EGV, the New Lenox/Joliet, Illinois-based business park offers several key advantages, says investor Michael Connor. Chief among them is Cherry Hill Business Park’s access to two major interstates—I-80 and I-355—which allows park tenants to distribute goods around Chicago and throughout the U.S. “in a quick and efficient manner,” Connor says.
Eastman Business Park
Proximity to key Northeastern markets—including Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.—is one of the Rochester, New York-based park’s biggest draws, says Eastman Business Park director Tim Palmer. Plus, Rochester is a giant in its own right—the city is among the top 30 major metropolitan exporting regions in the U.S.
Drawing manufacturers to the Utah industrial park is the state’s pro-business tax environment, as well as its favorable geographical position. Utah—dubbed the “Crossroads of the West”—is a freeport state, which means companies can store goods at the Freeport Center without incurring any inventory taxes—a major boon to manufacturers, park officials say.
Great Southwest Industrial Park
Shippers locating at Great Southwest Industrial Park enjoy access to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport—the park is situated less than 10 miles from DFW—without the inflated costs of operating onsite. “All points of export are easily accessible if one locates at Great Southwest,” says Jim Hazard, the park’s executive vice president.
MidAmerica Industrial Park
Home to more than 80 companies—including seven Fortune 500 giants—the 9,000-acre complex clearly has size on its side. Geography is another huge selling point, with the Pryor Creek, Oklahoma-based park positioned near the intersection of I-35, I-40 and I-44—known as “America’s Crossroads.” Such a location allows next-day delivery from MidAmerica to 23 percent of the U.S. population.
Pureland Industrial Complex
With its own short-line railroad onsite (SMS Rail), it’s no surprise that the Bridgeport, New Jersey-based complex is known for its supply chain efficiency. Pureland is also only 12 miles from the ports of Camden and Philadelphia and boasts access to three major highways—benefits, park officials say, that help shippers get their products to market faster.
Raritan Center Business Park
Like Pureland—its neighbor to the south— Edison, New Jersey-based Raritan Center Business Park benefits from a stellar transportation infrastructure. Two Class I railroads provide direct service to the complex, and the Raritan Center is within 20 miles of both Port Newark Marine Terminal and Newark Liberty International Airport, as well as adjacent to the New Jersey Turnpike.
Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center
The Nevada-based complex’s “superb location”—less than four hours from San Francisco—enables shippers to utilize Bay Area ports without operating out of costly California, says Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center Principle and Director Lance Gilman. “We also have two dedicated freeway interchanges on I-80,” he says, “which is the central logistics corridor to the West Coast.”
White Hawk Commerce Park
Location is the Florence, South Carolina, park’s biggest asset, with White Hawk Commerce Park situated within one day’s drive from 75 percent of the U.S. population, as well as several key seaports. South Carolina Ports Authority CEO Jim Newsome says driving traffic in South Carolina is the state’s “resurgence in manufacturing, coupled with worldwide demand for agriculture products.”
America’s Central Port
Living up to its name, America’s Central Port is 10 minutes north of downtown St. Louis—the heart of the U.S. transportation sector. Port spokeswoman Megan Dittman says this “premier location” provides tenants with immediate access to the Mississippi River, four interstates as well as six Class I railroads.
CenterPoint Intermodal Center
Boasting unparalleled size—CenterPoint Intermodal Center (CIC)-Joliet/Elwood is America’s largest master-planned inland port—and geography, CIC is “strategically positioned” at the epicenter of the Midwestern transportation corridor, says CenterPoint Properties’ Senior Vice President Brian McKiernan. In fact, more than $43 billion in imports and $56 billion in exports currently pass within 10 miles of the Illinois port.
Central Florida Intermodal Logistics Center Florida’s newest logistics hub—the Winter Haven port centralizes trade volumes from Orlando, Tampa and South Florida—Central Florida ILC is a “game-changer” for global shippers, port officials say. CSX Transportation directly serves the port and offers high-speed rail access to major seaport markets such as Long Beach, California; Savannah, Georgia; Memphis, Tennessee; Charleston, South Carolina; and Newark, New Jersey.
International Port of Memphis
Buoying business at the International Port of Memphis is its proximity to Memphis International Airport—the No. 2 cargo airport in the world and FedEx’s global hub. The port’s transportation infrastructure is also first-rate, with the International Port of Memphis directly connected to five Class I railroads, a major interstate and the Mississippi River.
Logistics Park Kansas City
Strategically located in America’s heartland, the Edgerton, Kansas-based port features the largest rail center in the U.S. by tonnage, according to Patrick Robinson, vice president of Development for LPKC operator NorthPoint Development. “Tenants at LPKC have the advantage of direct use of BNSF Railway’s Intermodal Facility, significant savings on drayage rates and convenient interstate highway access,” Robinson says.
Midwest Inland Port
Although still in the developmental phase, the Decatur, Illinois-based port is already creating a lot of buzz. “Unlike most other inland ports, Midwest Inland Port [can] provide quality and consistent services for exporters,” Executive Director Larry Altenbaumer says, since agricultural giant ADM dispatches more than 7,000 rail cars each month from Decatur.
Port of West Sacramento
Centered in one of the world’s richest agricultural regions, the Port of West Sacramento specializes in bulk cargo and heavy machinery. The port is also within a quarter mile of three major highways—which Terminal Manager Frank Patalano says enables shippers to “easily access the Port of West Sacramento to have their goods exported abroad.”
Rickenbacker Inland Port
Cargo comes to the Columbus, Ohio-based port from all corners of the Earth, says Columbus Regional Airport Authority’s David Whitaker, thanks to the presence of Norfolk Southern’s Rickenbacker Intermodal Terminal, the cargo-dedicated Rickenbacker International Airport and a foreign-trade zone. “We can safely, reliably and efficiently ship anything anywhere via any mode of transportation,” Whitaker says.
Virginia Inland Port
The nation’s first inland port, Front Royal-based Virginia Inland Port serves as a template for other intermodal facilities, says spokesman Jay Stecher. Propelling VIP’s freight volumes is five-times-weekly rail service at Norfolk International Terminals and Virginia International Gateway—which, Stecher says “reduces congestion, reduces emissions and increases service levels at the port.”
Wylie Intermodal Terminal
Relatively new to the intermodal scene—port operations only commenced last summer—Kansas City Southern Railway’s (KCSR) Wylie Intermodal Terminal is addressing strong border traffic between the U.S. and Mexico, reveals KCSR’s Doniele Carlson. “The new terminal creates opportunity for planned economic growth,” she adds, “and makes [Dallas suburb] Collin County, Texas, even more competitive to shippers.”
Choosing a Site for a Manufacturing Facility
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