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While 2020 was by no means an ordinary year, manufacturing still remains a strong industry in the United States, largely due to manufacturers keeping on their toes and pivoting when necessary. While some categories were able to chug along at the same output as usual, others changed their products to keep with the times, adding hand sanitizer or PPE to their product lines. Some, unfortunately, have not been as lucky, with supply shortages crippling or slowing output.

In better news, manufacturing is starting to rebound in some of the harder-hit places. In fact, in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, manufacturing jobs saw growth in March that is expected to continue throughout the year. According to the Institute for Supply Management’s most recent survey, manufacturing saw the fastest expansion growth in March 2021 since December 1983.

That’s great news for manufacturing, but a welcome consequence of rapid expansion is a need for more employees. So, where do you go when you need a skilled workforce that’s ready to go? Here’s a list of the best areas for the top manufacturing categories in the United States.


While many areas around the U.S. boast a strong pharmaceutical economy, Cambridge, Massachusetts, remains the top spot for biotech in the country. The state even offers generous incentives to companies looking to expand in its slice of New England, including tax benefits, incubators, education and pre-permitted worksites.

With the most highly educated workforce in the country and 18 out of the 20 top biotech companies in the world boasting at least a location in the Boston area, Massachusetts should definitely be on your shortlist if you’re looking for biotech or pharmaceutical manufacturing space.


With apologies to some states in the South and areas along the U.S.-Mexico border where automotive manufacturing is thriving and growing, Michigan is still the king—undeniably. With nearly 1,000 automotive-related manufacturing companies, a highly skilled workforce, ample connections and—let’s face it—a deep and rich vehicle history, Michigan once again tops the list, towering over its most closely-ranked competitors. 

In 2020, manufacturing made up nearly 20 percent of the state’s total output, while workers from the sector filled 14.20 percent of Michigan’s jobs, according to data from the National Association of Manufacturers.

Oil Production

If your business is oil or oil adjacent, Texas is still the place to be. With chemicals, petroleum and coal ranking as the top three industries in the state, Texas has abundant natural resources and the skilled workforce to get the job done right. In fact, the Lone Star State was responsible for more than 40 percent of U.S. oil production in 2019 as well as 25 percent of the country’s total natural gas output.

Texas is home to the popular Texas Enterprise Fund, an economic development incentive that helps incoming businesses. The state still boasts its own power grid and is No. 1 in oil, gas and wind energy.

Computers and Electronics

When it comes to computer manufacturing, California naturally gets the top spot. Home to Silicon Valley, computers are California’s largest industry, raking in a whopping $93.1 billion in 2015. According to Wall Street, that’s more than the economy of 14 other states combined! 

California also has a highly-skilled computer science manufacturing workforce, with a variety of tech jobs and strong education programs that attract top talent from all around the world.

Food Production

Once again, California takes the lead when it comes to manufacturing, only this time we are referencing the food manufacturing category. With a pleasant climate and ample farming space, California is an ideal place for farming and food manufacturing. 

California is home to such food manufacturing giants as Annie’s and Del Monte, and between the state’s farm community and skilled food manufacturing workforce, your business will be in good hands in the Golden State.

Quality of Life

Though you can’t manufacture quality of life per se, there’s something to be said for locating your manufacturing business somewhere with a high quality of life for yourself and your workers. For the quality of life metrics, San Jose, California, tops the list. One of the top cities for manufacturing in 2020, San Jose is home to more than 65,000 manufacturing jobs. The city’s manufacturing output was $76 billion in 2018 alone.

As for the quality of life, San Jose is No. 1 for college readiness for high school students, and the city’s mild climate and small city feel earned it the 19th spot (out of 150) in the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index. Even WalletHub named San Jose the “second happiest place to live in America,” and U.S. News & World Report named the city the third best place to live in America in 2017.

Most Manufacturing Job Growth

Hinesville, Georgia, earns the top spot for manufacturing growth, expanding an impressive 27.50 percent between 2017 and 2018. With nearly 18 percent of its total workforce in manufacturing, Hinesville has also seen recent increases in job growth.

The city, which is home to manufacturers in the paper and plastics industries, among others, was recently named No. 3 for manufacturing workers by SmartAsset.

Top State for Manufacturing, Overall

For the top spot for manufacturing overall, California again takes the crown, with its electronics and computer manufacturing grossing well over the $100 million mark. In 2020, the Golden State employed 1.2 million workers at nearly 39,000 companies, with average pay for a manufacturing engineer coming in around $77k, according to California consistently ranks higher for manufacturing salaries compared to the national average.

The state had $149.56 billion in manufactured goods exports in 2019, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, and has grown 19.87 percent in manufactured goods exports between the years of 2010 and 2019.

Most Manufacturing Jobs

The Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana, metropolitan area holds the title for most manufacturing jobs with approximately 38 percent of the region’s workforce in the manufacturing industry, according to the county website. (A recent Fox News report claims it’s actually a whopping 58 percent!)

The area has nearly 1,000 manufacturing companies spanning 14 industries, including recreational vehicle manufacturers Thor Industries and Forest River, Inc. A versatile, skilled workforce is ready to work for new and expanding businesses relocating to the community, and the Elkhart County EDC can assist with everything from incentives to training programs.

Whether you’re looking to manufacture automotive products or electronics, food or technology, there’s no need to look abroad: The United States has plenty of sites and skilled workers to suit your business needs.

economic development


Though much still remains uncertain with the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing that is certain is that there isn’t a business or industry that hasn’t been affected in some way by it, whether good or bad. This includes the economic development industry. As with any industry, COVID-19 has posed a unique set of challenges for economic developers. After all, how can you grow the economy when business as usual becomes very unusual? 

That’s not to say that everything COVID-19 has been bad news for business. In fact, some businesses, such as PPE manufacturing and e-commerce, are booming in the wake of the pandemic. Still, despite these successes, many communities are struggling to retain businesses and jobs. That’s where economic developers come in.

From rallying together to help small businesses to adjusting how they conduct site visits, economic developers around the country have had to think on their feet to help maintain the elusive “business as usual” under this new normal. We asked economic development leaders what impact COVID-19 has had on the efforts to preserve and grow the economy in their communities. Here’s what they had to say.

Business Retention

Across the country, economic development corporations have been scrambling to minimize the effects of COVID-19 on their communities. One major component of this has been business retention or assisting existing businesses with adapting to the many changes in how they must do business in a post-COVID world. Christina Winn, executive director of the Prince William County Department of Economic Development in Virginia, says at the onset of the pandemic, the county sprung to action, creating an Economic Development Recovery Task Force. The task force was comprised of 42 local business leaders, and it created programs to help businesses navigate the pandemic through initiatives such as grants, microgrants and temporary activity permits for outdoor dining.

Liberal, Kansas, received $132,000 in grant funds to assist businesses with working capital and inventory in case of a shutdown, says Cindy Wallace of the city’s Economic Development Department. Rick Clifton, president and CEO of the Covington County EDC & Business Development Center in Alabama, states that his county quickly established an emergency fund for local businesses.

The Indiana Economic Development Center was able to help Hoosiers secure $3.7 million in funding through the U.S. Small Business Administration and also assist businesses in the state apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, according to Jim Staton, the EDC’s senior vice president and chief business development officer. (Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb recently named Staton to serve as interim secretary of Commerce.)

In total, more than 83,000 Indiana businesses were granted over $9.56 billion in PPP loans. Indiana even launched its own grant program, the Small Business Restart Grant, which has awarded nearly $34 million in funding to nearly 2,000 businesses in the state. Of that, $5 million went to minority and women-owned businesses.

Though these funds and grants have by and large helped businesses remain open and able to pay their workers during forced shutdowns and dwindling customers, they’re not the only way economic developers have rolled up their sleeves to help business owners. In other communities across America, a big focus of economic developers has been getting information to local businesses—especially in the early days of the pandemic. 

According to Lance Hedquist, city administrator of South Sioux City, Nebraska, education through the media and the governor’s office has been paramount to keeping local businesses informed. Chief Executive Officer Ronald E. Tolley, CEcD, of the Liberty County Development Authority in Hinesville, Georgia, cited similar measures, stating that maintaining constant contact with business leaders helped keep them abreast of new guidelines and restrictions while allowing his agency to keep close tabs on the local business climate. 

However, while Liberty County’s businesses were all deemed essential and allowed to stay open, that has not been a universal experience. In Laredo, Texas, for example, the first two months of the pandemic were the hardest for the border city, due to the shutdown of the automotive industry. As the No. 1 ranked land port in the U.S., Laredo rebounded quickly, but many of the small local businesses that rely on cross-border tourism continue to struggle. According to Gene Lindgren, president and CEO of the Laredo Economic Development Corporation, some businesses had no choice but to permanently close, while others have been surviving on business stimulus.

Other cities which rely heavily on tourism have faced their own unique challenges. In Tunica County, Mississippi, Charles Finkley, Jr., president and CEO of the Tunica County Chamber of Commerce and River Park Museum and Aquarium, says that the initial shutdown negatively affected the county across all sectors. Tunica County, which relies heavily on the gaming and tourism industries, acted swiftly and was one of the first counties to mandate mask-wearing. This helped the county’s key industries rebound quickly, and today they have been able to resume concerts and other entertainment that complements casinos and other tourism-adjacent businesses.

The mask mandate was just the beginning for Tunica County, which was already in the process of diversifying its economy at the onset of the pandemic. However, the shutdown really hit home how important this move could be to the county. According to Finkley, the effects of the pandemic only served to reinforce the county’s plans to diversify.


While by and large, the pandemic has not affected the incentives offered to incoming businesses in many communities, some reported marginal increases in offerings, and more willingness on the part of local government to offer incentive packages.

Side Effects

As for how the pandemic has changed the field of economic development, those changes have yet to be fully realized, although many experts we spoke to agreed that virtual site visits and meetings are likely here to stay. Says Wallace of the Liberal, Kansas, Economic Development Department: “More and more site selectors are asking for virtual tours of sites and buildings, and economic developers should be ready to learn how to do these.”

Winn of Virginia’s Prince William County Department of Economic Development believes that real estate will be affected, as businesses transfer their workforce to work-from-home. Office spaces will become increasingly vacant, while workers may reevaluate their home location and move somewhere that isn’t necessarily convenient to commuting to an office. Shane Shepard, Economic Development director with the City of Lancaster, Texas, agrees, noting that the industrial and distribution sector of real estate in Lancaster is growing quickly, with a new Walmart distribution center slated for the city that will create 1,300 jobs, and DSV Logistics Regional Headquarters that will bring approximately 450 jobs.

Brad Reams, the director of the Great Plains Industrial Park in Parsons, Kansas, believes that the pandemic will cause “a restraint on international business for a couple of years” due to a heavily disrupted supply chain. He also believes small business growth will be stalled for at least five years, as many small businesses are bearing the brunt of the economic damage in their communities.

Business Status

As Reams alluded to, despite their best efforts, some businesses were still lost to the pandemic, and among those that remain, tough choices had to be made to stay in business. At Great Plains Industrial Park, as with many other places, some manufacturers were forced to lay off or furlough workers. Further complicating matters, travel restrictions have created challenges to attract new business. 

Over in Prince William County, some theaters, malls and retail establishments were forced to close, while Wallace says some oilfields in Liberal, Kansas, shut down due to low oil prices. Still, Liberal has at least one ethanol production facility, Arkalon Energy, that is currently expanding. Furthermore, some businesses in Liberal have shifted focus, including one business that has begun taking steps to manufacture grain neutral spirit, a form of alcohol that can be used in hand sanitizer.

In Elko, Nevada, Sheldon Mudd, executive director of the Northeastern Nevada Regional Development Authority, says that while some small businesses have shuttered, the local mining industry is booming due to extra work they’ve received due to supply chain issues from foreign entities. In fact, the mining industry in Northeastern Nevada has stepped up to the plate to help other businesses. Nevada Gold Mines and the Rural Nevada Development Corporation recently teamed up to create the I-8 Loan Fund, infusing it with $2.5 million to help local businesses by providing them with the opportunity to borrow up to $100,000 at 2 percent interest to assist them during the pandemic. Furthermore, Elko has seen businesses such as sporting goods and firearms retailers increase sales over the past year. 

The Impact of Vaccines

While most communities are not yet seeing any movement due to the widening availability of vaccines, many economic development professionals remain optimistic. 

Will Williams, president and CEO of the Economic Development Partnership in Aiken, South Carolina, says his biggest challenge right now is the workforce because his region has boasted some of the lowest unemployment rates in the state since July of 2020. 

Another community where a shortage of workforce is an issue is South Sioux City where, according to City Administrator Hedquist, hundreds of jobs are available despite the pandemic.

Echoes Ronald E. Tolley of Liberty County: “All of our companies are still in business, and some have increased employment.” These communities may be the exception, not the rule. In the end, only time will tell what vaccines and a hopefully flattening curve will do for economic development.

The Final Word

While each community’s experience with COVID-19 has been as diverse as the communities themselves, there has been an underlying theme of perseverance and grit among economic development professionals, striving to both retain existing businesses and attract new businesses during a major pandemic.

Winn, for her part, feels as though looking ahead, business retention will be a key factor in economic development, and economic developers must work to stay ahead of the trends to help local businesses pivot at a moment’s notice. 

Over in Covington County, Rick Clifton believes that the shutdown was a “total disconnect between government and business,” a disconnect that has caused damage that we may never recover from.

In Liberal, Wallace believes economic developers should brace for a new normal. “I keep hearing ‘when things get back to normal.’ Whatever you describe as normal may never be the same again.” 

Tunica County, Mississippi’s Finkley has a more optimistic perspective, believing businesses will not only rebound but do so better than before the pandemic, thanks to the Herculean effort of economic developers. “I would like to also commend my fellow economic developers and the hard work they are doing to help businesses in their area recover,” he says.

Ultimately, as these economic development professionals agree, the impact the pandemic has had on the industry will likely be felt for months or even years to come. Whether that impact continues to stumble or begins to soar remains to be seen but in the words of Brad Reams, no matter the community “this pandemic has challenged us.”



Ever since communities across the country began quarantining in early 2020, online shopping has become a way of life for many consumers. Faced with supply shortages and social distancing guidelines that restrict the number of consumers in a bricks-and-mortar store at any given time, online delivery services and online retailers such as Amazon are booming. But while these increases have been a boon to many online retailers, despite these sales increases, other, often-smaller retailers have struggled to provide satisfactory last-mile services to their customers. In an Amazon Prime world, many consumers expect fast, free (or low cost) and totally transparent shipping—but that’s not always possible. Unfortunately, this can damage a retailer’s reputation—and their chance at repeat sales. Hence, this is why last-mile services matter. 

But what are last-mile services, and who are the best providers of these services? Here’s what you need to know about the importance of last-mile for your business.

What are Last-Mile Services?

Last-mile services initially got their name from the telecommunications industry, where the last-mile referred to the challenges faced by telecom providers connecting homes to their main networks. Today, while last-mile issues still do exist in telecom, they also exist in logistics: namely, in getting merchandise into the customer’s hands.  

The “last mile” of service occurs in the final stages of your product’s journey—after your merchandise is manufactured and warehoused, and once the customer’s order is placed. From there, the merchandise must be pulled and packed and finally shipped and delivered. That shipping and delivery is what they refer to as last-mile service, and it comes at a cost. In fact, that cost can often compose more than half of an order’s total shipping cost, including the price of labor and shipping supplies. In fact, last-mile service is generally the most expensive part of an order’s journey. It also takes the most time. This can make last-mile shipping a big expense for smaller retailers trying to go toe-to-toe with the Amazons of the world, who often have their own logistics fleets and also utilize local carriers for faster deliveries. 

This issue is known as the “last mile problem” or the thorny issues of high shipping costs, slower-than-desired shipping speeds, and yet another big wrinkle: tracking difficulties. You see, even with a tracking number, tracking through some carriers often leaves much to be desired. With slow-to-update tracking numbers, delays and inaccuracies, customers are often left frustrated and unwilling to do business with you again.

So, how do you solve the last-mile problem? The answer lies in your last-mile delivery service.

Solving the Last Mile Problem

When it comes to last-mile providers, you have many choices. From couriers to smaller, local logistics companies, to larger household-names, who you choose to provide your last-mile service matters.

1) Higher Costs

Generally speaking, the larger the order volume, the lower the rates you can expect from your last-mile provider. While smaller 3PLs try to stay competitive, their efforts are often thwarted by higher fuel costs and delivery issues, such as having to return to a delivery stop multiple times to gain a signature. Thankfully, however, there are exceptions to this rule. Sometimes, smaller 3PLs can negotiate fair rates with your business, enabling you to ship your merchandise in a cost-effective manner. However, this works best if your deliveries are mostly local.

2) Delivery Times

Speaking of delivery times, this is yet another big issue faced in last-mile delivery. From far-spaced rural routes to jam-packed city streets, 3PLs can sometimes struggle with even getting to your customer’s front door simply due to time constraints caused by these problems. This can delay a shipment, causing customer frustration, which of course hurts your chances for repeat business.

3) Tracking Technology

When it comes down to how to make your last-mile services more efficient, the bottom line can often be the technology used by your last-mile provider. Third-party logistics providers such as FedEx, DHL and UPS all have their own tracking systems and proprietary software that allows for not just internal efficiencies, but for the transparency for your customers to track their orders. This improves customer experience and, naturally, customer satisfaction.

Last-Mile Providers

To better understand just what a last-mile provider truly does, here are some unique providers and what they’re doing to help your business.

Haultail. A new delivery service available in many markets across the U.S., Haultail uses its own app to allow customers to schedule their local pickup or delivery via its network of certified drivers. Haultail can collect and deliver new items from retail stores, storage facilities or even homes, and deliver them, often faster than delivery services offered by mass retailers, giving smaller retailers a competitive edge and consumers higher overall satisfaction with their purchase.

TForce Logistics. With headquarters in both the U.S. and Canada, TForce Logistics boasts a network of more than 6,700 last-mile providers in every major city in America. The company offers everything from warehousing to reverse logistics of last-mile products and keeps customers in the loop about their product tracking via text message updates. TForce has also expanded their last-mile services into Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

CFI. Based in Mexico, CFI has recently expanded to Chicago with its first U.S. consolidation and distribution center, and plans for more locations across los Estados Unidos de América. This is a rare move, as in recent years the trend in 3PLs is to move away from Mexico. CFI, however, plans to remain in the country, offering international services, including last mile, on both sides of the border.

Dachser USA. To help customers navigate the unprecedented increase in online sales and the need for last-mile delivery, Dachser USA recently created a “dedicated customer solutions desk.” This new department is staffed by logistics industry experts and serves to help businesses of all sizes deal with unexpected issues such as shipping delays, drayage capacity issues and even demurrage charges, according to Guido Gries, managing director of Dascher Americas.

SEKO Logistics. Based in Itasca, Illinois, SEKO Logistics has responded to the COVID-19 crisis by working with businesses of all sizes that have been impacted by shutdowns of their regular logistics providers due to the coronavirus. SEKO has enacted its own COVID-19 policy, requiring PPE for drivers to protect both employees and customers, including the last-mile customer.

The Last Word in Last Mile

Ultimately, if you ship a product to a consumer or business, you’re probably going to need last-mile services. Whether you require local services and can partner with a smaller logistics company that can act nimbly and respond faster than larger delivery services, or you ship at a volume that enables you to benefit from reduced bulk shipping rates with a larger 3PL, choosing the right last-mile service can potentially save you money and help bolster customer satisfaction. 

When choosing your last-mile provider, look for bulk shipping rates, route consolidations and transparent tracking services. The important takeaway: Last-mile services shouldn’t be an afterthought. They are, in fact, a crucial step in your supply chain and can be the determining factor between a good transaction and a great one.



When it comes to business, some choices are easier to make than others, but one choice that makes sense is choosing Texas for your business operations. That’s why site location assistance firm, Global Site Location Industries, launched its Choose Texas initiative.

The Choose Texas program helps companies ensure a smooth facility expansion within the State of Texas by connecting growing companies to local economic development corporations with opportunities. Communities part of the program are prepared to offer strategic sites, economic incentives, and competitive assets to businesses looking to relocate.

But why Choose Texas? After all, you have many choices for your business location. Let the member communities of the Choose Texas program tell you why the choice to relocate your business to the great state of Texas may be the easiest—and best—decision you’ll ever make.


Mike Running, executive director of the Dumas Economic Development Corporation, says that companies have relocated to Dumas because of the city’s business diversity. Dumas, whose leading industries are education, healthcare, and social services, is also known for its logistics sector and the largest rail car park in the United States.

According to Running, site selectors considering larger cities in Texas such as San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston, can benefit from relocation to smaller cities like Dumas because Dumas in particular offers unique partnerships to businesses in their targeted industries that simply aren’t possible in other communities.

As for businesses that have recently benefited from Dumas’ pro-business climate, Running says premium pet food manufacturer Life’s Abundance recently moved to Dumas and is almost finished building a 20,000-square-foot warehouse in the city’s business park. According to Running, the city was able to offer Life’s Abundance discounted space, a sales tax rebate, and land. The company is now considering plans to expand in Dumas.

But it isn’t just land and incentives that make doing business in Dumas an attractive offer for businesses, it’s the willingness of organizations like the Dumas Economic Development Corporation to nurture new businesses long after they’ve settled in the community. Says Running, “There is no other state that compares to our pro-business and servants attitude when it comes to business recruitment and retention. We sincerely care for our businesses and are willing to go out of the way to help them succeed.”


Home to the world’s largest dairy and a thriving energy and agribusiness sector, not far north of San Antonio sits Boerne / Kendall County, Texas. When you ask Alison Church, COO of the Boerne / Kendall County Economic Development Corporation why businesses should consider relocating to Boerne / Kendall County, she first cites the city’s “unmatched quality of life and proximity to larger markets.” In fact, according to Church, the city benefits from the workforce of larger cities such as San Antonio because employees headed to the county don’t have to deal with the traffic of the larger metropolitan areas.

Church says this has also benefited businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic because many business leaders have learned that it’s no longer necessary to do business in larger cities and can downsize to locations that have a smaller footprint and are less expensive. Workers can work remotely, and businesses can downsize their workforce if need be. In Boerne / Kendall County, the community has a large fiber optic presence, making remote work easier for businesses.

Boerne / Kendall County has a thriving agricultural technology sector, as well as construction and design sectors. O.W. Lee, a high-end patio furniture manufacturer, recently relocated to Boerne / Kendall County from out of state, and according to Church, this opens doors for complementary businesses to move to the area. Says Church, “We can coordinate with [business] owners to find out what other industries or types of businesses they will need to help them be more successful.”

As for why businesses should choose Texas, Church cites the state’s largely rural atmosphere as a benefit, as it enables businesses to expand while having access to an abundance of economic development incentives.


About 30 miles east of the New Mexico border sits Andrews, Texas. The small city has a population of just over 14,000, but while it may seem small, Andrews’ size works in its favor when it comes to business. Much like its fellow Choose Texas counterparts, Andrews avoids the congestion and higher fees of nearby major metropolitan areas. The city’s highly skilled workforce is also a big draw, says Andrews Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Morse Haynes. “Andrews has a quality workforce, and we provide a great quality of life for a rural community,” says Haynes.

That workforce combined with the city’s oil-adjacent location makes it a hidden gem in East Texas. Seated in the Permian Basin, Andrews is well-equipped to host businesses that serve the oil and gas industry. According to Haynes, the city has recently welcomed two oilfield services companies into their Business Park West location, and they have recently inked a deal with a meat processing facility. 

Haynes says land is available at either of the city’s business parks, and relocation assistance is available with job-based incentives. He adds that negotiations are under way for a third business park in Andrews. 

“Texas is a business-friendly state with low taxes, communities that are preparing for growth (such as Andrews), and a great place to live and do business,” says Haynes.


Located just West of Texarkana, Texas, TexAmericas Center is a Redevelopment Authority that operates as a traditional development and management company but has the capabilities of a municipality. TexAmericas Center offers many benefits including the lowest cost structure for taxes, in the state of Texas. Additionally, their tax savings, real estate prices, utilities, and labor rates are some of the lowest in Texas, says Texamericas Center Customer Engagement Specialist, Ruthie Jackson.

According to Jackson, TexAmericas Center is well equipped to host “both light and heavy manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, food and beverage processing, paper and wood products manufacturing and defense.” TexAmericas Center is especially ideal for defense, as it is seated adjacent to the Red River Army Depot.

Another benefit of rural site selection? According to Jackson, the COVID-19 pandemic plays a big role. “With the global pandemic, rural areas are at a lower risk,” she explains.

Recent additions to TexAmericas Center include Lockheed Martin, Rowe Casa, a local organics company, Project Safe Harbor, a 177,000-square-foot warehouse for a component part manufacturer, and a warehouse expansion for Loc Performance, an existing tenant who in addition to expanding their warehouse added 20 jobs to their previous workforce of 25.

So, what makes choosing Texas such an excellent decision for site selectors? “As the ninth-largest economy among the nations of the world and home to 50 Fortune 500 headquarters, the State of Texas offers companies one of the most favorable business climates in the nation,” says Jackson.


Positioned between Houston and New Orleans, Louisiana, Orange County, Texas, offers unprecedented access to major waterways, ports and Interstate 10. The county, which is not far from major oil, gas and manufacturing markets along the Gulf Coast, boasts of thriving retail, construction and hospitality sectors.

Orange County is also home to Lamar State College Orange, which helps create the skilled workforce the region is known for. The county offers workforce development resources to assist businesses and workers by training them on the skills they need to make area businesses a success. Says Orange County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jessica Hill, “When locating in a smaller community versus a large metropolitan area, not only will the company be lowering operating costs, but they will also be providing quality jobs for the citizens of the community. Orange County citizens place a very high value on jobs, and they realize the importance of bringing good companies with great jobs to the community.”

Recent additions to the business community in Orange County include an incoming H-E-B grocery store, Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, clothing and retail establishments and even a winery.

According to Hill, these businesses have chosen Texas and more specifically, Orange County, because of the county and state’s absence of both corporate and individual income tax, as well as  their “highly-skilled, well-educated workforce, and simplified state regulations.” 

Says Hill, “The Texas economy continues to grow and diversify each year, strongly in part to the lack of red tape giving companies an opportunity to strategize for faster growth.”


Just an hour northwest of the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex, Bowie, Texas, is situated halfway between DFW and Wichita Falls, Texas. Despite a rural setting, Bowie offers all of the amenities of larger nearby cities, without the traffic and stress of big city living. In fact, according to Janis Crawley, Executive Director of the Bowie Economic Development Corporation, that reduction of stress makes a big difference when it comes to the workforce, as less-stressed workers means higher productivity. Lower stress, combined with a highly skilled labor force at lower employment wages, makes Bowie the perfect alternative to big city business operations.

Another benefit of small towns like Bowie is their lower overall cost of doing business.  According to Crawley, businesses relocating to Bowie benefit from lower front-end costs due to ample land availability, lower wages, lower energy costs and the same infrastructure and incentives as larger cities. “We also offer additional incentives that most larger communities will not consider,” says Crawley.

She says Bowie works well for companies with fewer than 100 employees, and the city’s current projects include a $2.2 million expansion at one of the town’s existing manufacturing companies, a downtown expansion that includes office buildings, retail and restaurant space, and a $600,000 office complex. 

“We are looking to attract professionals—from the metroplex and other larger communities—who want to lower their overhead cost and increase their ROI,” Crawley says.  


Just 15 minutes east of Downtown Dallas sits Sunnyvale, Texas. This up-and-coming suburban community isn’t just a great place to do business, it’s a great place to live, too, says Burton Barr, Director of Economic Development for the Sunnyvale Economic Development Corporation. The city was acknowledged as one of the “Best Suburbs of 2014” by D Magazine.

As far as doing business in Sunnyvale goes, the city offers a small-town environment with a strong industrial presence, including manufacturing centers, a Baylor Scott & White hospital and medical center, and retail and commercial sites. The city is poised for future growth, with available space along Highway 80, Collins Road, Clay Road and Belt Line Road. The city is also preparing for more growth with the expansions of roadways, waterways and wastewater improvements.

New projects in Sunnyvale include an incoming 643,000-square-foot light industrial / logistics center, as well as incoming restaurants including Chick-Fil-A and Whataburger. 

Barr believes the success of Texas in attracting new business is its pro-business attitude. “In addition to local incentives, we have many economic development tools and incentives offered through the Office of the Governor,” says Barr. “Texas also enjoys a diverse workforce and lower cost of living than many other states.”


Located between the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area and Texarkana, Texas, Sulphur Springs is providing what they call “the best of both worlds” – close enough for the fun of city life, but in a peaceful rural setting.

With six build-to-suit business parks (some within city limits), the Sulphur Springs Economic Development Corporation recently completed several roads and updated the infrastructure in two of those parks.  

The city is also invested in its workforce, with job training through the Higher Education Center, which can offer immediate training for employees and continuous programs for staff.

Sulphur Springs is already home to businesses such as Diversified Food Systems, Plant Process, Ocean Spray, Saputo and BEF Foods. Raven Industries recently began construction on an expansion to their existing facility.


The “pumpkin capital of Texas,” as it is sometimes referred to, Floydada is a heavily agricultural community located in West Texas. This rural community is home to ample cropland, farming pumpkins, grain sorghum, wheat and cotton.

The town has a population of just 3,038 but offers a strong workforce development program through the Floydada Professional Development Center and the Floydada Economic Development Corporation. Other education incentives include financial assistance for programs such as the Skills Development Fund and the Self-Sufficiency Fund, provided by the Texas Workforce Commission.

Floydada is currently planning a business park that will host both retail and office space.


Located in Denton County, Texas, not far from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Northlake is seated along Highway 35W, which runs from Laredo, Texas, to Minnesota and offers easy access throughout the DFW metropolitan area.

Former ranchland, Northlake has experienced tremendous growth since the city was established in 1960. The city’s Pathway to 2040 plans for more growth, including more agricultural development in keeping with the city’s agricultural roots. There are hopes to attract businesses that serve agricultural communities such as tractor repair and commercial green housing operations.

According to the Pathway to 2040 plan, the city would also like an esteemed university to establish an agricultural program within the fringes of the city, such as along FM 156.


Not far from the Austin, Texas, metropolitan area, Leander sits in the state’s Hill Country area, known for its rolling hills and beautiful scenery. With more than 63,000 residents, Leander is the 37th fastest growing city in the United States.

This affordable small city provides award-winning land planning initiatives and is poised for more future growth. Leander is home to businesses such as H-E-B Grocery Co., Leander Independent School District, Casa Costa Bake Shop and HL Chapman Pipeline Construction, Inc. The city’s proximity to Austin also poises them nearby to corporations such as Apple, Dell, IBM and Samsung Semiconductor.

The city also benefits from many nearby colleges and universities, including the University of Texas at Austin and Austin Community College.


Halfway between Houston and the Dallas / Fort Worth metro area sits Grapeland, Texas. The small, rural community offers many benefits to incoming businesses that Mayor Balis Dailey says simply can’t be found in larger cities. According to Dailey, just a few of the benefits of doing business in Grapeland include a welcoming community, many logistics options, low risk of adverse risk, and a high-quality labor force. 

Grapeland also offers ample space for growth and many shovel-ready sites. The town has access to trucking, air, rail, U.S. highways and Gulf shipping ports.

Grapeland is already home to several major manufacturers, including Nucor-Vulcraft, a steel products manufacturer that makes products Dailey says can be used for construction of facilities for incoming businesses. Furthermore, the company’s trucking operations allow for other businesses to partner with them on backhauling, reducing transportation costs.

Why should businesses avoid selecting sites in larger cities? It’s all about the overcrowding that already exists—and will continue to get worse as growth continues, Dailey says.

“Unfortunately, these locations have expanded to the point of severe infrastructure limitations and extremely high cost for land and development cost. While these problems are now major, they will become worse in the future. This impacts the bottom line,” Dailey says.

“To change the negative impacts of locating in the metro areas, companies should begin to see rural development as the future site locations for industry. The future of a company’s long-range growth will be enhanced by considering the rural areas such as East Texas, specifically Grapeland, Texas.”


You’re choosing a state with lower taxes, a highly skilled workforce, lower land and utility costs and dedicated economic development organizations that can help you achieve your business goals.

When it comes to making site location decisions for your growing company, the Choose Texas site location team is ready to take your business to the next level.

Partnering with Choose Texas provides you free site location services and a team of area experts ready to maximize Texas’s growth climate for your business. The Choose Texas team has 25 years of partnerships across the state, so if you know what your business needs, the professionals with Choose Texas know where and how to find it.

Get in contact with Choose Texas Project Director, Brooke Edwards, to discuss an upcoming project or specific site needs for a new facility by calling 469-778-2606 or emailing

You can also visit for more information.



We’ve been saying it for years: The world is becoming an increasingly global place. We can get nearly anything on Earth in less than a few days, but someone has to get it to us. That’s where third-party logistics comes into play.

This year has thus far been a year unlike any other, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. With supply shortages and more people shopping from home out of safety concerns, we’ve relied heavily upon third-party logistics (3PLs) to bring us much-needed supplies. In fact, in an economy where many businesses are struggling to survive, many 3PLs are holding their own due to the coronavirus.

But it’s not enough to just be a 3PL—even during a pandemic. Logistics customers are demanding more from their 3PLs. In a world of Amazon Prime, they want their shipments to arrive faster, and for less money. They want to manage their inventory with the touch of a button, right from their smart device. They want personalized service that is tailored to their individual business needs, and to feel like even though they are one of many customers, they are important, no matter how big or small their account is.

The following 3PLs embody all of the characteristics mentioned above. From the smallest family-owned establishment to the largest global providers, these 50 companies work tirelessly to ensure the best customer experience possible, from start to finish.

A.N. Deringer

The largest, privately-held customs broker in North America, A.N. Deringer was founded in 1919 by Alfred Neel Deringer. For more than 100 years, the St. Albans, Vermont-based company has offered services ranging from customs brokerage to warehousing, distribution and customs compliance consulting. A.N. Deringer ranks fifth overall for the quantity of entries field, and has won the “Best Places to Work in Vermont” designation from 2017-2019.

Transamerica Express

The group-member-owned 3PL has more than 40 years of combined experience in the industry. With over 120,000 carriers under contract, Transamerica Express can offer customizable solutions to everyone from small businesses to larger, Fortune 500 companies. The rapidly growing concern was ranked highest in Inc.’s 500 “Nation’s Fastest-Growing Companies” list in 2019 and 2020.

Sunset Transportation

Founded in 1989 by Jim Williams, Sunset Transportation’s flexible business model serves mid-market businesses with a variety of logistics solutions. The company recently celebrated its 30th year by instating a new, cross-border Mexico/U.S. solutions program and upgrading to a new 45,000-square-foot headquarters. Sunset Transportation was ranked No. 8 on Inbound Logistics’ Top 10 3PL Providers list in 2019, their second time making the top ten.

ODW Logistics

Founded as Ohio Distribution Warehouse Corp. in 1971 by Bob Ness and John Berend, the company started out serving only the Ohio area. ODW Logistics has since expanded beyond the Buckeye State and across the nation, offering supply chain solutions for hundreds of companies of all sizes.

FW Logistics

FW Logistics began in 1949 as a food grade storage facility. Today, the 3PL offers a full range of logistics services, including warehousing, trucking, logistics and fulfillment. Specializing in everything from dry storage to hazmat storage, the company boasts 7 million square feet of warehousing strategically located throughout the United States.

R2 Logistics

R2 Logistics prides itself on offering real-time visibility and a full suite of logistics solutions. The company has no automated phones, and customers are easily put in contact with account executives and support staff. R2 Logistics uses cutting-edge logistics technology to streamline processes and has a strong network of preferred partners to help ensure customers are getting the services they need, when they need them.

Dependable Global Express (DGX)

DGX consists of five integrated divisions which work harmoniously as a single shipping resource. Offering customized freight solutions to their customers, DGX can handle every step of your 3PL journey in one convenient package. They use state-of-the-art software to present customers with comprehensive reporting and real-time shipment tracking.

Flat World Global Solutions

Founded in 2006, Flat World Global Solutions offers customizable, contract-free solutions to clients of all sizes. Their customer service and cutting-edge technology keep Flat World Global Solutions lean, allowing them to grow quickly and maintain a high client retention rate—even without contracts. Flat World Global Solutions earned the distinction of Vendor of the Year from a top-10 client, and they have won a St. Louis Post Dispatch “Top Places to Work” designation in both 2018 and 2019.

McLane Global

With facilities nationwide, Houston, Texas-based McLane Global has been offering food grade logistics and transportation for more than 120 years. Today, McLane Global provides full 3PL services from manufacturing through last-mile delivery. McLane Global does not believe in a one size fits all approach, and each customer receives services tailored to their individual needs.

MD Logistics

Focusing on the life-science pharmaceuticals and retail and consumer goods sectors, MD Logistics offers highly specialized service to customers under these umbrellas. Founded in 1996 by Dave Kiebach and Mark Sell, MD Logistics works with the customer to customize services to their unique needs. MD Logistics offers Foreign Trade Zone services within a cGMP temperature-controlled environment, as well as dedicated or shared call center services and inventory tracking services that are cutting edge.

Kenco Logistics

The largest, woman-owned logistics company in the U.S., Kenco Logistics was founded in 1950. Today, it is a fully integrated 3PL provider, with more than 200 clients, 90 distribution facilities, and 30 million square feet of space. Kenco Logistics prides itself on customer service, which despite its size remains as personalized as a small operation. Kenco Logistics is the winner of a General Mills Supplier Diversity Award, as well as a Top Woman-Owned Transportation Company Award by Women in Trucking.

FLS Transportation Services

Founded in 1987, FLS Transportation has grown from just a few employees to the largest freight brokerage firm in Canada. The company differentiates itself from the competition by offering 3x support. This ensures customers have one point of contract and three support teams backing them. They also boast a .001 percent claims rate, a testament to their rigorous employee training program. FLS Transportation Service offers a full suite of logistics management products that can be customized to meet their customers’ individual needs.

Choptank Transport, Inc.

A full-service 3PL, Preston, Maryland-based Choptank Transport, Inc. serves North American and many other locations around the world. Their cutting-edge transportation management system and award-winning training program ensure their clients receive the highest level of customer service. Choptank Transportation also prides itself on keeping current with freight laws, so that they can advise customers about the transportation of their cargo in record time.

Holman Logistics

Seattle, Washington-based Holman Logistics offers food-grade warehousing, paper product manufacturing logistics support and more. They work with such clients as Hills Pet Nutrition and Kimberly Clark, offering tailored solutions to clients of all sizes. Holman Logistics is the recipient of the 2018 Operational Excellence Award from General Electric, and Kimberly Clark’s 2014 Service Excellence Award.

Nolan Transportation Group

Founded in 2005, Nolan Transportation Group serves more than 7,000 North American customers, with over 30,000 independent transportation companies comprising their network. The company treats all of its clients as partners and works with them to achieve their goals. Their recent success stories include assisting Crate & Barrel with their domestic over-the-road supply chain, a project which earned them accolades from the retailer’s director of Global Transportation. Says Brad Voelpel of hiring Nolan Transportation Group: “I can stand here today saying it has been one of the best moves we have made within our domestic network. The NTG team’s entire focus is on customer service, providing visibility on every single move while ensuring we remain competitive in the marketplace.”

Romark Logistics

Founded in 1954, Romark Logistics serves many pharmaceutical, retail, food and beverage customers across the globe. Providing a full range of B2B and B2C options, Romark Logistics works with their customers to provide customized 3PL solutions at a competitive cost. Their tagline “Personalized Service … Always” is a guiding force behind the company’s operations, inspiring them to strive harder to ensure customer satisfaction in everything they do.


Frisco, Texas-based Transplace is the largest managed transportation services provider in North America. Transplace prides itself at being at the forefront of TMS technology, utilizing their own proprietary cloud-based TMS system as well as AI and machine learning and predictive analytics to increase efficiency and ensure customer satisfaction. They work with their clients, not just at start up but throughout the entire relationship to constantly improve and streamline processes, saving the customer valuable time and money.


A WBENC Certified Woman-Owned Business, ALOM has been providing third-party logistics for 23 years. Heavily focused on customer service, ALOM provides each client a dedicated account manager who oversees all aspects of their accounts, including inventory, BOM and logistics. ALOM has 19 locations around the world and is the winner of the 2020 MultiChannel Merchant Top 3PL Award as well as the 2019 SDCE Supply Chain Green Award.

Tucker Company Worldwide

Founded in 1961 by Jacob Tucker, the company believes what sets it apart is their people. With many clients having been with Tucker for one or two generations, it’s safe to say customers agree. The company adheres to strict operational and safety compliance standards, customizing their services to the unique needs of each customer. They also offer 100 percent visibility at all times, allowing modifications to their TMS that addresses those needs. Up next, Tucker Company Worldwide plans to debut a new, self-service customer portal to further enhance the customer experience, and the company regularly reviews client accounts upon request to ensure satisfaction.

Werner Enterprises

One of the five largest truckload carriers in the U.S., Werner Enterprises was founded in 1961 as a single truck operation. Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Werner has offices in Canada, Mexico, and China. The company provides services such as dedicated, intermodal, cross border, global services and customs solutions. The company has won numerous awards, including the 2020 Alliance Award from SMC³ and Logistics Management, Food Logistics Top Green Provider Award and Logistics Management’s 2020 Quest for Quality Award.

Knichel Logistics

A WBENC Certified Women’s Business Enterprise and Woman Owned Small Business, this family run company provides services such as intermodal, LTL, full truckload and other specialty services. They pride themselves on highly personalized customer service, providing each client a dedicated account representative and a web-based transportation management system that delivers customized reporting. A 20-year industry veteran, Knichel Logistics CEO Kristy Knichel is the Intermodal Logistics Conference chairperson and is seated on the Board of Directors of the Transportation Intermediaries Association, the premier organization for 3PL professionals in North America and abroad.


The global supply chain operator operates five lines of businesses around the world, including freight forwarding, supply chain optimization, distribution and express, road transport and contract logistics and transportation management. With operations in 67 countries and a worldwide network that spans 120 countries, GEODIS boasts over 41,000 employees around the world.

PLS Logistics Services

Home to the largest flatbed network in North America, PLS Logistics Services offers a full suite of transportation solutions for their clientele. Each client receives a dedicated account executive as their point of contact, and the company provides 24/7 support, transparent tracking options and custom TMS reporting. With both outsourced and managed transportation services, PLS Logistics Services allows clients the flexibility they need to run their supply chain properly.

Dachser USA Air & Sea Logistics Inc.

Dachser USA Air & Sea Logistics Inc. treats its customers as partners, offering customized solutions to suit the individual needs of each business. The U.S. arm of Kempten, Germany-based Dachser can connect with more than 400 locations in nearly 40 countries, making them a dominant presence in many of the major markets across the globe. The company’s own Dachser IT program provides industry-leading, in-house solutions for clients of all sizes.


Americold prides itself on being the only 3PL to offer automated picking in cold storage with multiple tenants. Their use of robots provides on-time, in-full accuracy 99.5 percent of the time, allowing for minimal contact and a pick cycle time of under two hours. Americold has their own proprietary inventory management system, i-3PL Supply Chain Control, which allows customers to manage their inventory from any smart device, from anywhere.

NFI Industries

One of the oldest and largest family owned 3PLs in North America, NFI offers a flat organizational structure that allows the company to work quickly and nimbly. Clients are assigned dedicated account management teams that provide personalized service and continuously look for ways to improve supply-chain efficiency, including the use of robotics and automation in their warehouses. A company that cares about sustainability, NFI Industries operates electric trucks and was one of the first providers to use Class 8 battery-electric Freightliner eCascadias. And NFI uses Kalmar Ottawa Electric T2E Terminal Tractors in its California distribution centers.

Pilot Freight Services

Founded in 1970, Pilot Freight Services credits its 50-year history with always putting the customer first. One of the International Air Transport Association’s “Top 25 Air Forwarders in the World,” Pilot’s domestic and international operations frequently work hand-in-hand to achieve customer solutions. The company is the recipient of numerous awards, including Logistics Management’s Quest for Quality and Top 50 U.S. & Global 3PL designations.

AP Moeller – Maersk

Founded in 1904 as Dampskibsselskabet Svendborg (The Steamship Company Svendborg), today the Danish company Maersk has a dedicated team of 80,000 employees and operates in 130 countries around the globe, including its U.S. headquarters in New Jersey. The integrated transport and logistics company also has a standalone energy division. Maersk offers businesses of all sizes customizable solutions, with services available on all major trade lanes, including air, land, rail and sea. Maersk recently added Eco Delivery, a service that uses biofuel to reduce carbon emissions.


Serving North America, UTXL aims to be the “safest, most reliable and cost effective” 3PL provider. The company offers a full suite of services and has been a federally licensed broker for more than two decades. They have provided services for everyone from the smallest of small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. With a focus on “Safety, Service, Systems and Savings,” UTXL offers customers unparalleled customer service.

Phoenix Logistics

A 3PL supplier to government and Tier 1 prime customers, Phoenix Logistics has locations to serve both U.S. coasts located in Arizona and Florida. Phoenix Logistics offers customers real-time, cloud-based tracking for supply-chain management. They work tirelessly to overcome challenges and bring their customers vital delivery infrastructure such as IT, transportation, energy and medical.

C.H. Robinson

One of the world’s largest 3PLs, C.H. Robinson has $20 billion in freight under management and processes 18 million shipments each year. The company serves 119,000 customers and 78,000 contract carriers around the world. C.H. Robinson has its own innovation department, C.H. Robinson Labs, where the company is constantly developing and testing customer solutions to streamline processes that put the customer first.


With more than 13,000 employees, ArcBest offers services ranging from LTL via ABF Freight, ground expedite through Panther Premium Logistics, household moving via U-Pack, and vehicle repair under FleetNet America. The company’s main focus is always the customer, ranging from the smallest operations to the largest and most complicated supply chains. ArcBest was recently named the No. 2 employer in Arkansas by Forbes and Statista Inc.

Global Gateway Logistics

St. Louis, Missouri-based Global Gateway Logistics recently made headlines for delivering more than 2 million pieces of PPE to their local community with the help of global partners, in an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19. Global Gateway Logistics offers services ranging from international air freight, international ocean, rail transport, ground transport, analysis consulting, hospitality logistics and customs consulting.

Axle Logistics

The Knoxville, Tennessee-based 3PL, which is among the fastest growing in the industry, provides safe, reliable, advanced logistics services for companies throughout North America. Axle Logistics’ freight brokerage and transportation management operations support shipper needs for truckload, less-than truckload (LTL) and intermodal as well as integrated warehousing and distribution services. The 3PL recently expanded its engagement with Trucker Tools, deploying its Smart Capacity predictive freight-matching software. The added services build upon its current use of Trucker Tools load tracking, which has helped Axle increase tracking compliance among truckload carriers from below 30 percent to 80 percent.


PITT OHIO, which prides itself on having one of the best safety ratings in the logistics industry, is the recipient of numerous safety awards, including the American Trucking Association’s President Trophy. The family owned company offers services including small package, truckload and LTL, which is the company’s legacy service. PITT OHIO works with their customers to create custom solutions to their logistics challenges, providing quality service every step of the way.


Founded in 1999, CaseStack offers collaborative supply chain management services for CPG’s retailer logistics programs and cloud-based supply management products. CaseStack’s platform works to combine LTL deliveries to reduce shipping costs and improve delivery performance, while their cloud-based program allows CPG companies to manage their accounts, improve forecasting and sourcing, and much more.


Founded in 1932 by John Ruan, what started as a gravel hauling company in Des Moines, Iowa, now boasts more than 300 operations nationwide, with 6,000 team members and 10,000 trailers. Placing a high precedent on safety, Ruan was the first transportation company in the U.S. to develop a safety program, and it is their commitment to safety, performance, customer satisfaction, people, improvement and teamwork that drives the company to this day.

Echo Global Logistics

Echo Global Logistics was founded in 2005 with the goal of simplifying transportation management. Its user-friendly, proprietary technology enables vendors, partners and clients to operate more nimbly, adapting to changes with real-time visibility. The company’s expansive coverage allows your merchandise to get to its final destination when it’s needed—no matter the means.

Kane Is Able

Kane Is Able works with consumer goods manufacturers who sell through ecommerce, retailers and grocers to improve supply chain efficiency. The company’s employees work as an extension of your business, helping to ensure that you get the best service for your logistics dollar, round the clock. The company employs Lean and Kaizen methodologies to constantly improve performance, which translates to a better experience for their customers.

Hub Group

Founded by Joyce and Phil Yeager in a “one-room, windowless office,” Hub Group has grown from its modest beginnings to become an award-winning 3PL specializing in customizable multimodal solutions. Hub Group attributes its success to providing the services that its customers need at a fair price. They offer LTL, FTL, expedited, intermodal and international freight services with the goal of long-term growth.

WSI Logistics

WSI Logistics was founded in 1966 in Combined Locks, Wisconsin, with just 30,000 square feet of warehouse space. Today, the company has grown to become one of the largest privately held logistics companies in America, with a network that includes American Warehouse LLC, Warehouse Specialists LLC, Material Logistics & Services LLC (MLS), Fulfillment Specialists of America, Inc. (FSA), LLC & WSI Freight Solutions and 360data. WSI Logistics offers fulfillment, transportation, import/export, warehousing and distribution, contract services and 3PL.

Logistics Plus

One of the fastest growing privately owned logistics companies in the world, Logistics Plus has annual global sales of over $300 million, with 450 employees spanning 28 countries across the globe. Logistics Plus offers services ranging from LTL, freight forwarding, truckload, warehousing and fulfillment, global trade compliance, project cargo, import/export and customs brokerage. Despite their rapid growth, Logistics Plus is still small enough to meet their customers’ unique logistics needs but big enough to solve the most complex of logistics challenges.

Mallory Alexander International Logistics

Mallory Alexander International Logistics is a full-service logistics provider offering customers over 94 years of experience in the logistics industry. The company knows that it plays a vital role in the supply chain of their customers, and it strives to ensure the accuracy that will keep their clients’ businesses running smoothly. Mallory Alexander International Logistics also offers their own proprietary MyMallory Management Portal that allows users to customize their experience and get the information they need, when they need it.


One of the most recognized names in logistics, Penske offers a full suite of state-of-the-art solutions to get your cargo where it needs to go. Penske serves a wide range of industries, from automotive to chemical, consumer goods, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, electronics, industrial manufacturing, retail and more. With more than 35,000 employees around the world—and more than 300,000 vehicles—the company is poised to offer customers a wide array of solutions that will fit their individual business needs

Approved Freight Forwarders

Approved Freight Forwarders began its business serving Guam and is now one of the premier freight forwarders in the Pacific, connecting Hawaii, Guam and California to the rest of the world. Offering ocean, air and over-the-road transportation, Approved Freight Forwarders is the only freight forwarder with terminals on all four of the major Hawaiian Islands. Serving both individuals and business clientele, Approved Freight Forwarders has one of the lowest damage claims rates in the industry, thanks to the personalized attention they pay to each shipment.

Magnate Worldwide

One of the fastest growing companies in the logistics industry, supply chain management company Magnate Worldwide comprises wholly-owned subsidiaries that work tirelessly to offer premier logistics services, including global freight forwarding and expedited domestic transportation. With a high focus on customer service, Magnate Worldwide offers specialized services, specializing in time-sensitive, high-value shipments.

Kanban Logistics

North Carolina-based Kanban Logistics offers inbound logistics services for manufacturers, ecommerce and finished goods distribution. Kanban is certified to the ISO 9001:2015 quality standard by MCNA as well as the MCNA certificate of registration for AS9100D, the Federal Aviation Administration’s aerospace industry standard. Kanban also holds a superior rating by AIB International and is compliant with C-TPAT, an added security program. They are also a general purpose FTZ, enabling them to defer duties until products are shipped within the United States.

Burris Logistics

Pioneers in the cold chain logistics space, Burris Logistics began as a father-and-son tomato delivery operation in 1925 and has since grown to more than 2,000 employees. Burris Logistics puts a heavy focus on teamwork, with their ONEBURRIS initiative, which operates under the motto “team before self.” This guiding principle empowers the Burris Logistics team to not just work together, but to work together for betterment of their customers.

Neovia Logistics

Neovia Logistics works as a true partner to their customers, helping them grow their business. Neovia has more than 100 facilities in over 20 countries, spanning six continents. Working mainly with automotive, aerospace, technology and industrial customers, Neovia offers everything from warehouse management to inventory optimization, supply-chain technology and support, inbound logistics and much more.

Transportation Insight

Transportation Insight employs hundreds of highly trained logistics professionals across the United States. Specializing in unique supply chain solutions, the company deals with everything from domestic transportation to international logistics. Transportation Insight works with clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, help either find ways to cut costs and increase efficiency.

With these top 50 3PLs, you can rest assured your cargo is in good hands, affording you the peace of mind you need to get back to running your business the way it was meant to be run.



Women in logistics can be a rare find. That’s not to say women aren’t welcome in the typically male-dominated field; in fact, they often bring a valuable change of perspective.

However, many women simply do not choose careers in logistics. While there are many theories as to why this is, one thing remains for sure: Women in logistics are blazing new trails and helping to change the face of the industry with everything from initiatives that foster growth to environmental policies and even mentorship.

The following 10 women are no exception.

These Top Women in Logistics prove that women are valuable players in the logistics landscape. Here’s why.

Hannah Kain

Founder of ALOM, Hannah Kain grew her business from a single location to multiple facilities across the globe, including several new spots in 2019.

A proponent of environmental sustainability, Kain implemented programs within ALOM to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. Examples of this program include banning disposable plastic bottles across all facilities. Kain is also dedicated to workplace diversity–in fact, under her leadership, ALOM’s diversity spend was 46 percent in 2019 alone.

A champion of women entrepreneurs and business leaders, Kain served in the Danish Parliament in her 20s and currently serves as a mentor and community advocate, sitting on several boards including the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), where she is currently serving her second term.

She is passionate about education within the workplace and encouraging STEM education for children–especially girls–offering personally guided student tours of ALOM facilities and even hiring students as summer interns .

Katherina-Olivia Lacey

Katherina-Olivia Lacey is the co-founder and Chief Product Officer at the Singapore-based logistics technology company Quincus. From her modest beginnings, Katherina was working in a swimwear company managing inventory and doing marketing for the company, Lacey saw inefficiencies within the industry and set out to help solve them. Today, under the helm of Lacey, the company serves a global top two package delivery company and one of Asia’s largest airlines. Says nominator Kelley Prince, “Katherina is a north star for women within logistics or trying to break into it.”

Thanks in no small part to Lacey, Quincus has increased turnover by more than 1,000 percent. Today, Quincus has 70 staff and five location offices globally (India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and UK). Within Quincus, Lacey has spearheaded such committees as Women@Quincus, a mentorship group designed to foster teamwork and mentorship among women employees. Lacey is credited with fostering an environment of teamwork, charity, growth and work/life balance that helps unleash camaraderie and teamwork among Quincus employees.

Ana Bailey

The Director of LeanCor Supply Chain Group Training and Education, Ana Bailey leads a team of instructional designers and trainers in the creation and implementation of online education programs. Bailey is also the primary consultant for Lean transformations, driving customer value and fostering an environment of excellence at LeanCor.

Bailey implemented a cost reduction plan at two-times expected targets, with a 97.5 percent contract rate attainment in 2019 at LeanCor Supply Chain. She has taken the helm of LeanCor’s training and education services and has taught classes at institutions such as Georgia Tech University and the University of Kentucky. Bailey has also lead client engagements with such businesses as GE Transportation, Lexmark, JC Penney and A Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Bailey is bilingual in English and Spanish and holds a degree in Psychology.

Ashley Yentz

The Vice President of Supply Chain Solutions at LeanCor Supply Chain Group, Ashley Yentz works with clients to ensure everything from goal creation to supply-chain advancement.  Yentz is known for her innovative methods, working to challenge LeanCor’s corporate and social responsibility.

Under Yentz’s leadership, LeanCor has experienced a 10-20 percent improvement in on-time delivery and productivity, developing the company’s management system. Known as “a transparent, approachable leader,” Yentz manages a team of more than 10 remote leaders, still managing to make the team feel cohesive and included. Says her nominator “Some people teach, some people do. Ashley does both very, very well.”

Deanna MacDonald

CEO of BLOC (Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration) and co-founder of BunkerTrace, Deanna MacDonald is a blockchain innovator. At the helm of BLOC, MacDonald has helped the company develop maritime energy and blockchain solutions. Today, at just four years old, BLOC is the leading platform of its kind.

At BunkerTrace, which MacDonald co-founded in 2019, her goal was to use a combination of synthetic DNA and blockchain to enhance marine fuel traceability, a goal which the company has achieved in just one year’s time. A respected public speaker and proponent of open-source technology, MacDonald uses her expertise in the blockchain field to educate on many aspects of the emerging field.

Michelle Kodrich

Senior Director of Global Logistics at Note Logistics, Michelle Kodrich works to provide clients with end-to-end supply chain solutions around the globe. The role, which Kodrich originated, is meant to help cultivate an international supply chain and strengthen relationships with domestic services.

Kodrich has served in the logistics industry for more than 25 years, managing international supply chains for the retail and grocery industries. She is experienced in ocean contracts and TMS management implementation, as well as planning domestic shipments and freight bill auditing. A truly versatile expert, Kodrich’s experience in all facets of the supply chain makes her the perfect fit for her newest endeavor at Note Logistics.

Judy R. McReynolds

Judy R. McReynolds is the chairman,  president, and CEO of the logistics company ArcBest, where she has risen through the ranks in her 20-plus year tenure. Since joining ArcBest in 1997, McReynolds has held the titles of Chairman of the Board of Directors, Senior Vice President and CFO & Treasurer.

In addition to her role at ArcBest, McReynolds has been active on many transportation industry boards, as well as educational and local boards in her Arkansas community. Today, McReynolds also serves at OG&E as both the Chair of the Compensation Committee and on the board’s executive committee.

Kristin Decas

CEO and Director of the Port of Hueneme in California, Kristin Decas has served at the only deep water harbor between Los Angeles and San Francisco since 2012.  Among her many accomplishments, Decas oversaw the port’s generation of more than $1 billion in annual economic impact and more than 10,200 direct and indirect jobs.

Recognized by the Trade Administration for her notable encouragement of economic development and for her dedicated service to a number of port and shipping committees, Decas has served on numerous panels, including the Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC), the U.S. Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council (MTSNAC) and on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).

Elaine Forbes

At the recommendation of the Port Commission, San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee appointed Elaine Forbes Executive Director of the Port in October 2016, making her (along with Port of Hueneme’s Kristin Decas) one of 12 women port directors in the United States.  Before Forbes’ appointment, she served as Deputy Director for Finance and Administration for the port for six years.

Forbes leads the port to responsibly manage the waterfront as the gateway to a world-class city and advances environmentally and financially sustainable maritime, recreational and economic opportunities to serve San Francisco, the Bay Area region and California.

Jare’ Buckley-Cox

Vice President of Walmart Fulfillment Services, Jare’ Buckley-Cox helped roll out the successful Walmart eCommerce program, which enables third-party sellers to sell through Walmart, allowing the retail giant to provide warehousing, packing and shipping for these vendors.

Prior to her tenure at Walmart, Buckley-Cox served at as Director of Logistics Shipping & Delivery Support, Product Director of Global Support Services, Technical Product Director, Post Purchase Delivery Experience and as the Director of Customer Service Operations for North America.

As the field of logistics becomes all the more important in this increasingly global economy, women remain a valuable resource for innovation, dedication and education. These logistics trailblazers and many more bring years of hard work and diverse experience to the table, all while shattering the glass ceiling along the way.

While the next generation of logistics leadership remains to be seen, we can only hope to see more women entering the logistics field, especially with such exemplary leaders for inspiration.



Being the Nos. 1 & 2 busiest roll-on/roll-off (Ro/Ro) ports in the nation isn’t quite good enough for the ports of Baltimore and Savannah/Brunswick. At least the Maryland Port Authority and Georgia Ports Authority are not resting on their laurels, anyway. These East Coast ports are doing their best to maintain their top-two rankings through initiatives such as investments in expansion and training programs for warehouse workers that are designed to increase efficiency and reduce damage and accidents in the loading/unloading process.

These growth initiatives are helping to not just cement the ports’ statuses in the Ro/Ro world—Baltimore has been the No. 1 Ro/Ro port in the United States for eight years running—but it’s making them even more desirable and competitive places for automobile manufacturers to do business.

Port of Baltimore

The Port of Baltimore continues to expand and thrive despite an uncertain trade climate. Larry Johnson, sales manager of Trade Development, Automotive, credits his port’s success to efforts to maintain positive relationships with their automotive industry partners, keeping those industry partners loyal.

One such partner, Volkswagen Group of America, recently began a partnership with Port of Baltimore to begin importing vehicles through the Tradeport Atlantic in Sparrows Point, which could provide an increase of 120,000 vehicles annually—and an additional 100 jobs.

The port also benefits from its proximity to the Midwest—it’s the closest seaport to Middle America—and with top notch services like efficient rail, cargo can get to destinations faster than from any other port on the East Coast. Baltimore’s strategic location is within two-thirds of the U.S. with just an overnight drive.

The Baltimore port’s training initiatives have helped cultivate the lowest damage rates in the industry. The port has also pioneered a program, Ro/Ro Rodeo, which is an intensive class to educate manufacturers in the highly specialized processes required to handle each specific type of vehicle that is processed through the port. Ro/Ro Rodeo has even developed a program for the highly specialized processing of farm and other industrial equipment

With almost 200 acres of pavement at the Dundalk Marine Terminal alone, the Port of Baltimore consistently breaks its own records for Ro/Ro processes, often increasing its volume as frequently as month to month, and their investments in expansion and training will likely keep that volume increasing for years to come.

“The Port of Baltimore is the No. 1 auto port in the nation and continues to break cargo records every month,” says Maryland Governor Larry Hogan in the September/October 2019 edition of Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore Magazine. “Our administration is committed to furthering this growth and strongly supports our great port and its thousands of hardworking men and women handling the millions of tons of cargo coming in throughout the year.”

Ports of Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) is the No. 2 Ro/Ro port in the United States. Its Port of Savannah increased volume almost 250,000 TEUs in 2019, according to the GPA. This growth of 5.6 percent over the previous year came at a time when auto sales are actually dropping–a true testament to the hard work of the port employees at Savannah and Brunswick.

A banner year for the ports, the Ocean Terminal recently won contracts with both Volvo and General Motors. The Colonel’s Island Terminal in Brunswick is a Ro/Ro-only port that is already home to International Auto Processing, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions and Mercedes Benz USA.

The GPA properties are undergoing an expansion that will eventually create an additional 150,000 spaces for automobiles, bumping their processing capacity from 900,000 annually to 1.5 million. There are currently three dedicated Ro/Ro berths that process cargo via nine different steamship lines.

“Both Savannah and Brunswick are outperforming the market, with Garden City container trade growing at a rate three times faster than the U.S. total, and Brunswick Ro/Ro units increasing despite a drop in U.S. vehicle sales in 2019,” says GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight in a Jan. 28 statement.

Growth Despite Uncertainty

Strategic locations, ample space and work ethics that include faster cargo processing, in-depth training and safety records that far eclipse many competing ports are just a few reasons that these ports are leading the pack in Ro/Ro. With the onset of trade tariffs, such as those imposed on China, and reports that the United States’ manufacturing industry has experienced slowed growth recently, these ports have nevertheless managed to increase growth consistently. Growth when economic uncertainly looms large is a true testament to the power of excellent service and sound investment.

If these and other Ro/Ro ports can continue to capitalize on trends such as exporting goods to other countries competing for business with China, they will have learned that they can not just maintain their positions in the Ro/Ro processing rankings, but keep growing.


Lifelong Learning: Enhancing Your Supply Chain Skill Set at Any Age

Even the most seasoned supply chain professional will tell you they can always learn a little bit more about their field. Whether it’s mastering a new software program or simply brushing up on your business skills, the more you learn the better you can invest that education into growing your business.

Work experience will only get you so far. That’s where supply chain education programs come into the picture. From degree programs at top-tier universities to certificates at trade schools and distance learning facilities, today there are more continuing education options than ever before.

If you are considering returning to school to brush up on or better hone your supply chain education skills, or even looking to recruit new employees with the most cutting-edge education, check out these programs, and get some ideas about what to look for when searching for a supply chain education program.


A training or certificate program can boost your skills and resume without the heavy investment in a degree program. They also generally take less time to complete than degree programs, but they may not carry as much weight as degree programs would, either. Still, they provide valuable education and insight into many specific aspects of supply chain, and those skills can still be very useful to your business. Check out:

Northwestern University-Kellogg Executive Education. This program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management runs just three days and offers executive training on transportation, outsourcing, facilities management, inventory and more. It gives students a further peek into the latest supply chain technologies and techniques to help them keep running their businesses in a way that works for today and the future.

American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS). A professional supply chain organization with its own certification program, APICS is open to Association of Supply Chain Management (ASCM) members as well as non-members. The program offers students strategies to level up their skills, earn the APICS certification and do so without the time investment of a major degree.


Though they require significant time and often a significant financial investment, degree programs not only provide valuable education, but they also pad your resume so you can carry the education with you should you ever transfer jobs. Degree programs can also help improve your salary and position at your current job. Here are some of the top supply chain higher education programs in the country.

Michigan State University. Ranked No. 1 in supply chain and logistics management programs by U.S. News & World Report for three years running, Michigan State’s full-time MBA program covers everything from supply-chain management to logistics systems and technology. The program offers certificates ranging from Master to Advanced Master in topics such as global supply chain management and integrated supply chain management. Many other MSU-specific certificate options are also available.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The supply chain management program at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is the No. 2 ranked program by U.S. News & World Report, which also places MIT’s business school at No. 3 overall. Meanwhile, Eduniversal ranks MIT’s supply-chain program the No. 1 program of its kind in the world. The MIT program will earn you your master’s in supply-chain management in just 10 months. The program covers all aspects of supply-chain management, and the school is the founding member of the MIT Global Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence Network (SCALE), an organization that allows for collaboration between students, faculty, researchers and industry experts. The SCALE program was designed to promote new research, processes and technologies for the betterment of the industry.


Whether you’re in a professional setting and never got a complete supply-chain education, you’re looking for programs for someone else, or you’re trying to recruit new supply chain graduates, undergraduate and high school or vocational supply chain programs are excellent resources. These programs are often taught by industry insiders and have access to some of the newest technology and techniques, giving program graduates an up-to-date education in the supply-chain industry. Also, because they are focused on supply chain and generally nothing else, these programs can be completed faster than traditional college degree programs, which means less time waiting for the right candidate.

Rutgers University. The Supply Chain Education Partnership at Rutgers in Newark, New Jersey, is a comprehensive program for high school students who would like a career in supply-chain management. Though the program is just one week long, it covers a great deal of information, including business logistics, global procurement and sourcing as well as information technology systems and systems, applications and products (SAP). Open to local students, the program is designed to introduce students to the world of supply-chain management and hopefully attract them to the field as a university major and future professional.

Other vocational/high school programs. Many high school programs offer hands-on training through classes, vocational school and internships to help train the younger generation in all facets of supply-chain management. For some, these programs may be enough of a baseline education to be hired straight out of school without needing a degree; for others the classes may pique an interest in the field and help students determine their college major. Check your local school district for schools that may offer these programs.


Online classes allow students to attend a supply chain education program from anywhere in the world, which is especially helpful when no such program exists at your local university. Many prestigious universities offer online classes, so there is no need to miss out on a top-quality education simply due to geography.

University of Texas, Dallas. The university boasts of a distance learning master’s program that includes supply chain management courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. However, the distance learning program also makes it easy for busy professionals to get a world-class education without having to live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The comprehensive program covers every facet of the supply-chain industry, including management, operations and quality of service and goods.

With so much changing in the supply-chain industry, there’s only so much you can learn by doing things one way, whether it be reading textbooks, attending webinars and lectures, or simply working in the field. Both education and hands-on experience in the supply-chain industry are necessary for comprehensive mastery. From the highest person at the executive level to middle management or the newest worker on the warehouse floor, a combination of skills from all ends of the spectrum are invaluable keys to your supply-chain education—and to the success of your business.


Global Trade’s Annual Logistics Planning Guide Reveals the Year’s Top Trends

Sometimes buying your business into the latest trends isn’t the best idea. Saddled with high costs and incompatible programs, trendy new technology can often make business processes more difficult for your business, not less. But there are some industries where the latest really can be the greatest, and one of those industries is the logistics industry.

Let’s face it: Logistics make the world go round. Whether it’s shipping perishables to community markets or lifesaving machinery to medical clinics, there’s a lot riding on the shoulders of logistics providers. That’s why it often pays to rely on cutting-edge technology. From tracking and tracing to locating items in your warehouse, new technology can often get the job done faster and more accurately. Plus, with the growing e-commerce market, logistics is more important than ever before as businesses push to get their products into customers’ hands at the speed of retailers such as Amazon.

So, what’s on the horizon for the logistics industry this coming year? Here’s what’s on our radar—and should be on yours—for the best (and one troublesome) new innovations and trends in logistics in 2020.


When it comes to logistics, information technology (IT) may arguably be the most important innovation of 2020. That’s because without a solid tracking system in place you’re not only causing potential backlogs for your workers, but you could be causing frustration for your clients, too. After all, if your customer can’t see where their merchandise is in the supply chain, they may bring their business to someone else who can. This is where an excellent Warehouse Management System (WMS) comes in. Using RFID and GPS, warehouse management systems can now monitor and trace every piece of inventory in your warehouse, providing real-time data to both you and your customer.

Other systems expected to be used with increased frequency in the new year include order entry systems and transportation management systems (TMS).

But logistics IT isn’t just what the customer sees, or even what your employees interact with. It goes well beyond that. Logistics IT also encompasses the back end of your IT solutions—not just the IT product itself but also the customer support that goes along with it.

We all know the logistics industry doesn’t just run from nine to five. When there’s a problem like a software bug or outage, is your IT provider available to offer technical support when you need it? Does your provider strive to make software updates that are meaningful to your business, and that integrate seamlessly into your other systems? Does your provider notify you when there are new versions of your system that could benefit your business? These are all signs of a good IT provider—a trend you definitely don’t want to miss the boat (or train, plane or truck!) on.

Logistics providers are using the latest technology, such as Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR) and Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), to satisfy ever-changing customer requirements. DHL Express introduced a fresh TC55 technology that works on the Android platform and is simple to use, as well as the navigation skills in the global positioning system (GPS).


Artificial intelligence, or AI, is another way technology is streamlining the logistics industry. Currently, the biggest benefit of AI is arguably its ability to automate many of the processes logistics providers provide every day, including repetitive tasks that exhaust human capital and don’t challenge workers. Though many workers worry that AI will someday replace human workers, currently the technology is actually assisting them.

Another use for AI in the logistics industry relates to the driving of vehicles. As many are aware, initiatives from companies like Google have in recent years invested time and resources into developing self-driving cars, i.e. autonomous vehicles. These vehicles may be manned by a human driver, but they allow the driver to take breaks from driving while still traveling. This in turn gets deliveries to their destinations quicker, a fact that is projected to save logistics providers a lot of money. In fact, according to Mckinsey, autonomous vehicles could save logistics providers up to 45 percent, a savings providers can then pass along to their clients. These savings could then be passed to the consumer in the form of lower prices or lower shipping rates.


With many seaports developing green initiatives and land- and air-based logistics providers initiating a greater push for a reduced carbon footprint, 2020 is set to be a big year for reducing carbon emissions. Some land-based initiatives include more efficient route mapping, video conferencing and net-zero emissions.

Route mapping works by eliminating excess travel on longer routes. The idea is that a more direct route cuts fuel waste as well as carbon emissions. Video conferencing saves both money and the need for travel to meetings. As for net zero emissions, many logistics providers are investing in low or zero-emission vehicles and alternative fuels that emit less carbon into the air.

Logistics companies with warehousing services are also increasing their push toward a lower carbon footprint, using sustainable packaging and ramping up recycling efforts with the packing, shipping and packaging of products.

Maritime initiatives include the restoration and protection of wetlands as well as the planting of trees at some ports. Strategies also include the use of more efficient photosensitive lighting, such as the switch to LED lighting. Some ports have even switched over to the use of electric equipment instead of diesel fuel equipment, the establishment of fuel efficient requirements for ships which frequent the port and much more.


If you’re in the logistics world, you’ve likely been hearing about blockchain for several years now. But what is it? Simply put, blockchain is a way of recording data which cannot be altered, using a technology called cryptology. Blockchain data is nearly unchangeable. The “chain” in blockchain refers to the chain of messages that originate from a single entry. To edit the chain, all members who posted to the chain must be willing to alter their own data to support the potentially edited data. This reduces the risk of that data being falsified or otherwise compromised along the way.

Blockchain data can be used to do everything from order tracking to payment issues. Blockchain also streamlines the way we communicate, reducing the need for time-consuming paperwork. Blockchain works in real-time, so shippers can trace every detail of their shipment as it progresses and make necessary adjustments to their route and load temperatures as needed. This can save time and money, preventing delays or rejected shipments.

Blockchain can also aid in financial decisions regarding fleet vehicles. Similar to a Carfax report, blockchain can show whether a pre-owned logistics vehicle has been maintained as well as the previous owner claims, and can help the potential buyer make decisions that could cost them—or save them—significantly down both the literal and figurative roads.

Indeed, blockchain has become so big that an organization has been founded to monitor the industry. The Blockchain in Transport Alliance, or BiTa, was founded to help advance the Bitchain industry, developing rules and regulations and providing education for new and veteran Bitchain users. The organization already boasts an impressive member list, including representatives of UPS and FedEx.


In the maritime sector of the logistics industry, one revolutionary service that is “making waves” is TechnoMax, or TMX. TechnoMax works to streamline maritime operations by working with AI and the Internet of Things (IoT). The system provides risk and compliance data, app development, infrastructure development and data management. Some of TechnoMax’s capabilities include monitoring a ship’s emissions, analyzing cargo information and guiding navigation.


Now for some bad news. With trade deals between the United States and China again delayed, there remains a lot of uncertainty among retailers and manufacturers. Though there is no crystal ball to predict the future or what it holds for these industries, the potential for raised prices on goods is of big concern. Price increases would inevitably be passed down to consumers, who could cut out or cut back on goods, causing sales to plummet. This could in turn negatively impact the logistics industry, as fewer products will be warehoused and transported.

For now, the industry seems to be holding its own, with some businesses preparing for the looming tariffs by shipping larger amounts now to avoid elevated costs later. Whether this bulking up will cause a dramatic drop in shipments in the first few months of 2020 remains to be seen.


All things considered, 2020 seems to be gearing up to be a great year for the logistics industry, with many new technological and environmental advances on the horizon. From AI to blockchain, the industry is poised to become more efficient than ever, saving providers money which they can pass along to their clients, and in turn potentially to the consumer.

Even with the potential for steep tariffs on China (and vice versa) on the horizon, these positive advances should still make an impact on the industry in the coming year and decade.