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Once famous for potatoes, Idaho has busted out of the farming stigma and has become one of the fastest growing states in the union. Stars, like Oprah, have winter homes there and the economy is booming, making it an ideal state to locate your fulfillment operation.
Officially the Gem State, it’s a NW state nestled conveniently to reach all the NW, West Coast, and Midwest within a day. Like nearby states to the north, you’re also not far away from Canada to reach those valuable markets.
As an added bonus, the safety record in Idaho is usually exceptional. Perhaps you’ve never considered the natural disaster prospect when it comes to the fulfillment center you choose. Idaho isn’t usually known for having as many natural disasters as other regions. It’s always better off to pick a safe state for your 3PL since you need to keep your fulfillment center running at all times. If they close down, then you don’t get your packages delivered to customers.
Idaho is a uniquely beautiful state with diverse geography and amazing views. While Idaho is known worldwide for its famous potatoes, there is much more to the Northwestern state. Idaho has a growing economy and burgeoning technology industry. Idaho is a prime location for a business hub, with low costs for business and energy, and an extensive infrastructure aimed at making it easy for companies to access their markets.
Since Idaho shares a border with Canada, it is the perfect state choice for Western Canadian companies that want to do business with the U.S. It is particularly a good fulfillment location for companies based in Alberta, since Alberta and Idaho are right next to each other, but is also well positioned for Canadian companies within the British Columbia region.
But location alone isn’t the only consideration when outsourcing 3PL, warehousing, fulfillment, and shipping in Idaho. At WarehousingAndFulfillment.com, we specialize in painlessly matching you with the best fulfillment centers in Idaho for your company’s specific needs. In addition to location, we match businesses based upon:
And performance metrics aren’t the only consideration we take into mind. We also match you with companies that are best suited for the products you sell, the channels you sell through, the technologies you use, and any other requirements necessary. Get in touch with your ideal matches today – fill out a request for quotes or call us for FREE matches and quotes!
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Idaho’s location gives it an advantage as a key point for access to the Contiguous United States and beyond. The state has strong infrastructure with multiple modes of transportation available. There are seven airports available for commercial air freight. The Boise Airport is a state-of-the-art facility with service to all major U.S. cities and easy connections to international flights. More than 300 million pounds of cargo passed through Boise Air Terminal in 2012.
Idaho has more than 1,500 miles of active railways. More than 100 million metric tons of freight travel across the state by rail every year. Established Class I railroad companies such as Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe operate within the state and provide competitive shipping costs.
Companies also have the option for cargo via the Port of Lewiston, which is the furthest inland seaport on the West Coast; it is located 465 river miles from the ocean. The port is “a hub for break bulk and containerized cargo transportation directly adjacent to rail, road and warehousing options located within the Northport area.”
Idaho has five major interstates including I-84 and I-90. There are also 20 U.S. highways, and 30 state highways making ground transportation simple.
I-84 mentioned above goes through Boise, though it also winds through prominent towns like Twin Falls and Glenns Ferry. I-90 to the north is another prominent interstate that takes you into Canada. However, this highway covers well-known towns like Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls.
In the lower eastern portion of Idaho, I-15 can help you reach towns from Spencer to Downey. It goes through Pocatello as well, which is a good market to cover and not always thought of first.
I-86 connects to I-84 and I-15 as a trio of useful roadways. Through I-86, you can get to small towns like Rupert and Burley. Never discount important roadways that gain fast access to small towns where you sometimes find high populations.
Idaho has a strong technology industry, “The science and technology industry is the largest industry sector in Idaho accounting over 25% of the state’s total revenue and over 70% of their exports. Idaho’s energy costs are the lowest in the U.S. at 30% below the national average. With an extensive multi-modal infrastructure and low costs for business Idaho makes and ideal location for a business hub. Several cities stand out as the top locations for warehousing services companies in Idaho including Boise, Nampa, Coeur d’Alene and Twin Falls.
Currently, Idaho is the up and coming state for the recreation technology industry. This is no surprise, since the state is home to so many recreation locations, such as ski resorts, sand dunes, lakes, deserts, hot springs and snowy mountains. The various terrain types allow producers to field test products near their fulfillment center. The city of Boise is making significant investment in the recreational technology industry and in businesses on the whole, trying to attract new start-ups and growing businesses to Idaho. The city is also just a couple of hundreds miles away from Oregon and Washington to reach all your NW customers.
Boise, the capital of Idaho has established itself as a center for semiconductor manufacturing. Forbes notes that, “One of the biggest sectors is science and technology led by semiconductor maker Micron Technology. Other companies with a major tech presence in Idaho include Oracle, Hewlett-Packard and ON Semiconductor.”
Several highways and interstates including I-84, which connect Boise with Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City, Utah, I-184 aid Highway 55 aid ground transportation. Commercial air service is available through the Boise Airport.
There isn’t any question that capital city Boise is popular in Idaho, and various distribution advantages surround the area. Being near here gives you access to Boise Airport, which is a good central location for sending cargo to west coast markets.
Air cargo shipments grew considerably in this airport after hi-tech manufacturing technology evolved quickly in the state. With 30 air freight and package express companies working here, the airport touts unmatched transportation services anywhere in the country.
Boise Airport has more chance for cargo expansion since they aren’t burdened for space like airports in Seattle and San Francisco. Even so, you have considerable intermodal transportation in the Boise area. I-84 is a major interstate highway that takes you into various surrounding states within one day.
Nampa is the second principal city of the Boise-Nampa metropolitan area; it is located about 20 miles west of Boise. Nampa has a strong manufacturing base, with furniture, boxes, wood products, and computer chips as some of the goods produced. Several major roadways run through the city including I-84 and Highway 55. Fourteen commercial truck lines serve Nampa. The Union Pacific Railroad runs through Nampa, connecting Salt Lake City and points east with the Pacific Northwest. Air freight is handled at Nampa Municipal Airport.
Twin Falls is the largest city in Idaho’s Magic Valley region. It is the largest city in a 100-mile radius. As such, it is a commercial center for southern Idaho, northern Nevada and western Wyoming. Manufacturing is a growing industry in the city. Cost of living is well below the national average. Several major highways including US Route 30 and US Route 93 serve Twin Falls. Access to Interstate 84 is available by a junction with U.S. Route 93. Commercial air service is provided at Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport.
Coeur d’Alene is the largest city in northern Idaho Panhandle. With over 44,000 total population. The city is situated on the north shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene. The city is 30 miles east of Spokane, Washington. This unique city has been experiencing significant growth in recent years. Cost of doing business and cost of living are low. The major industries include publishing and health sciences. The location of Coeur d’Alene allows for direct access to the Pacific Northwest at affordable costs. Interstate 90 runs through the city and leads right into Washington state. There are multiple airports in the area including Coeur d’Alene Airport – Pappy Boyington Field and Spokane International Airport.
As the largest city in Eastern Idaho, Idaho Falls is still a smaller city comparatively at around 67,000, it is similar to many Idaho cities have lower populations, making it a quite challenging to find good 3PL’s here.
In the southeast corner of Idaho is Pocatello, with a population of approximately 54,000. This is another charming city, one of many in Idaho that you’ll love to visit when you come to meet with your 3PL’s staff. It’s important to do some personal inspections of your fulfillment center to see what’s really going on internally. You’ll still want to make sure your screening is out of the way long before you come in for an inspection.
Here you have the most inland port on the entire west coast, despite being a leader in intermodal shipping to various U.S. cities and Canada. You’re only 103 miles to Spokane, Washington, 465 miles to Portland, Oregon, and roughly 800 miles from North Dakota.
While the latter above might seem a considerable distance, interstates provide easy truck routes that only take a day or two. Overall, the port provides numerous shipping methods by river, rail, road, and air.
Recently, you can do some limited container shipping directly to the Port of Tacoma. It shows the interconnected byways that help you reach other west coast ports in a short time. For reaching Asian markets, you don’t have to live along the coast to quickly ship internationally.
Choosing the best 3PL warehouse in Idaho is a complex decision. Below is summary information about Idaho population, number of warehouses, and taxes so that you can make a more informed decision about whether the state offers your company the best fulfillment services potential.
|Population||1.84 million (2020)|
|Warehouses in State||1,825 (from reonomy)|
|Amazon Warehouses in State||1|
|Average Warehouse Labor Rate||$17.94/hr|
|Sales Tax Rate||6%|
|Property Tax Rate||0.69%|
|Personal Tax Rate||1%-6%|
|Corporate Tax Rate||5.8%|
To get an idea of the types of companies that operate in Idaho, check out the top 10 largest companies in the state.
|Business Name||Number of Employees|
|Panera Bread||50,000 employees|
|Micron Technology||31,400 employees|
|WinCo Foods||18,000 employees|
|St. Luke’s Health System||12,825 employees|
|J.R. Simplot||10,000 employees|
|Heatercraft Marine Products||8,250 employees|
|Lamb Weston||7,200 employees|
|Glanbia Foods||6,600 employees|
|Boise Cascade||6,370 employees|
The below table gives a high-level idea of what average rates might look like in Idaho for fulfillment services, based upon surveys of outsourced warehousing companies throughout the US.
|Pricing Type||National Average|
|B2C Order Fulfillment Fee Per Single Item Order||$3.13|
|B2B Order Fulfillment Fee Per Single Item Order||$4.33|
|Pallet storage fee per pallet per month||$16.21|
When looking for west coast warehouses, you’ve perhaps overlooked Idaho, simply because it isn’t really connected to the Pacific Ocean. One thing to remember about choosing a 3PL in a particular state is you’re basically connecting to an entire region of the United States rather than staying local. Idaho is a good example of this where you can quickly ship to numerous states in the west coast and Midwest.
Idaho has some notable advantages. It is ranked second in patents issued per capita; it has the second lowest energy costs in the U.S. and it in ranked seventh for renewable energy electricity generation. Idaho is poised to become a leader in the emerging technology areas of alternative energy and environmental heath. Idaho will likely surprise those who are unfamiliar with the state. It is a beautiful place with large wilderness areas, parks and unique geographical features.
It is also a thriving center for technology, healthcare, manufacturing, renewable energy and transportation. There is diversity in industry and culture, which will continue to propel the state forward. Leading universities and corporations attract an exemplary workforce to the area. All of this combined with low costs for companies make Idaho an ideal location. Contact us today for more information on the best locations for warehousing services companies.
Now that you know Idaho is a great location for a 3PL, how do you properly vet one? Here at WarehousingAndFulfillment.com, we have everything you need to find the right 3PL warehouse designed to meet your business demands.
Contact us to get started on your warehouse search in Idaho, or any state nationwide.
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