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Illinois is a major financial and business hub and a popular Midwest location. It is also quickly becoming a leader in technology and is hailed as an advanced manufacturing leader. This means that you will be able to secure top-notch fulfillment services in this state. Many have already placed Chicago as one of the Top Ten places to base a 3PL.
The competition in finding a fulfillment center in Chicago is usually intense. It’s still worth investigating what’s available. While there isn’t any shortage, the advantages to Chicago being the third most populous city in America shouldn’t go unnoticed.
But location alone isn’t the only consideration when outsourcing 3PL, warehousing, fulfillment, and shipping in Illinois. At WarehousingAndFulfillment.com, we specialize in painlessly matching you with the best fulfillment centers in Illinois 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!
Since Illinois is in the Midwest, it is conveniently located for business with cities such as New York, Detroit, Cleveland and Indianapolis. We can find you the best fulfillment centers in Illinois and surrounding states for free. Simply fill out the form on the left and we will pre-screen high-quality providers to meet your needs. You will be presented only the best to choose from, saving you valuable time.
Illinois is a natural transportation hub, with a location in the Midwest and an extensive multi-modal transportation system including land, water, and air transport facilities. Access to the Contiguous United States is made easy by the central location. Illinois is an ideal location for a warehousing services company.
In Illinois, companies have access to one of the most efficient multi-modal transportation systems in the country. Ground shipping is made possible by a network of highways, which includes interstates I-80 and I-90, and I-70. There are also 15,989 miles of state highways and more than 7,200 trucking establishments within Illinois.
Freight transport by rail is made possible by a system that connects to the Contiguous United States, Canada and Mexico. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, “Illinois is at the center of the nation’s rail network. It has a comprehensive rail network consisting of approximately 9,982 miles of railroad tracks, 7,792 of which are operated by Class I railroads – primarily BNSF Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad. Class I railroads are large freight companies, Class II and Class III are small regional railroad companies. The remaining 2,190 miles of track are operated by Class III short line or regional railroads. A total of 41 railroads currently operate in Illinois.”
Illinois also has 1,095 miles of navigable waterways, which provide connections to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The port of Chicago has terminals that handle ocean and lake vessels as well as barges.
Illinois also has over 100 public and private airports. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport consistently ranks among the top 10 airports in North America and in the top 25 of the world in terms of its annual air cargo, with a total of 1.5 million tons. Goods that move through O’Hare can reach over 200 cities non-stop.
Illinois plays a vital role in the transportation of goods across the country and internationally. The extensive system of roadways, railways, waterways and airports make it a great location for warehousing, transportation and business. Several cities stand out as top locations for warehousing services companies in Illinois including Chicago, Springfield and Rockford.
CNBC rated Illinois the #5 state for technology and innovation and the state is outpacing the rest of the nation when it comes to tech job growth. Chicago, according to the Startup Ecosystem Index, is rated 10th in the world for high-tech startups. Since Illinois is quickly becoming a leader in technology, this ensures that you will be able to find a fulfillment center with up-to-the-moment software and dashboard options. The best technology will make shipping, inventory, and customer service hassle-free.
Illinois is a Midwestern U.S. state. The Prairie State is quite diverse, it has everything from rich farmland and small towns to industrial centers and thriving cities. The state has the greatest concentration of land, water, and air transportation facilities in the entire world. Illinois is a natural center for transportation with its location in the middle of the United States, access to the Great Lakes and rivers like the Mississippi, Ohio and Illinois, an extensive road network and major international airports. When your company is looking to store and transport goods within the U.S. and beyond 3PL Warehouse Companies in Illinois provide a key location.
Illinois officially became a state on December 3rd, 1818. In 1823 Illinois experienced its first industrial boom. Lead was discovered at Galena and miners flocked to the area. In 1837 John Deere, who was a blacksmith, perfected a steel, self-scouring plow. By 1858 he had incorporated his business which quickly became the world’s largest plow producer. Then in 1847 Cyrus McCormick opened a plant in Chicago which manufactured automatic reapers. These two entrepreneurs helped make Illinois a center for agricultural products. The Illinois Central Railroad was completed in 1856 and allowed goods from the state to reach national and even international markets. Chicago’s first large-scale iron works appeared in 1857. The first steel rolled in the United States was produced there in 1865.
By the 1920s Illinois had become an industrial center. Many products and goods were being produced in the state including rail cars, rolling steel, agricultural implements, aluminum, fine machine tools, knitting machines, watches, stoves, and telephone and communications devices. Chicago, Joliet, and Granite City all had large steel mills, Alton rolled brass and blew glass bottles, and there was an oil boom in southern Illinois. Between 1939 and 1947 the manufacturing output went from $2.1 billion to $6.68 billion. Zenith, Motorola, and Western Electric were producing televisions and electronics. General Motors was building new diesel locomotives. Bally pinball machines and Wurlitzer jukeboxes were being produced in Chicago. The state was thriving and had positioned itself as a manufacturing and cultural hub.
Today, Illinois still has a strong economy with diverse industries. Chicago is home to many of the United States’ largest companies including Boeing, McDonalds, Motorola, and United Airlines. The Chicago area also headquarters a wide variety of financial institutions and is home to the largest futures exchange in the world, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The 2014 total gross state product for Illinois was $745 billion, placing it fifth in the nation. Major industries in the state include technology, healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services. The cost of doing business in the state is 1.5% below the national average. Illinois has the fourth-most big companies in the United States and has great incentives for small businesses.
Chicago has long been a center for industry and culture. It is the third most populous city in the United States. Chicago is an international hub for finance, commerce, technology, telecommunications, and transportation. In 2012, Chicago was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network and ranked seventh in the world in the 2014 Global Cities Index. Chicago has the third largest gross metropolitan product in the United States at about $547 billion according to 2012 estimates. The city has also been rated as having the most balanced economy in the United States, due to its high level of diversification.
Chicago has two international airports, O’Hare and Midway. O’Hare International Airport is the busiest airport in the world when measured by aircraft traffic. Chicago also has the largest number of U.S. highways and railroad freight. In 2014, the city had 50.2 million international and domestic visitors. Chicago is a cultural center. Visual arts, film, theater, comedy and music all flourish within the city. Forbes highlights, “The city’s distinct neighborhoods offer a large array of cultural, historical, sporting and entertainment focal points that bring thousands of tourists to the area yearly. Grant Park hosts the annual Taste of Chicago festival, while also featuring Millennium Park, home to the iconic Cloud Gate Structure, Buckingham Fountain, and the Art Institute of Chicago.”
Chicago sits along Lake Michigan. The city is a hub for finance, commerce, technology, telecommunications, and transportation. The Globalization and World Cities Research Network rated Chicago as an alpha global city. According to 2012 estimates, Chicago has the third largest gross metropolitan product in the United States at about $547 billion. The city is also a center for culture and a popular tourist destination.
Chicago is vital to global distribution. It is the third-largest inter-modal port in the world. There are two international airports, O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport. Chicago also has the largest number of U.S. highways and railroad freight lines. Seven main interstate highways run through the city including I-80, I-88, I-90, I-190, I-290 and I-294. Six of the seven Class I railroads in the U.S. meet in Chicago. According to U.S. Department of Transportation, the volume of imported and exported goods transported via rail to, from, or through Chicago is forecast to increase nearly 150 percent between 2010 and 2040.
The Port of Chicago has several major facilities and the warehouses in Chicago are some of the best in the country. Iroquois Landing Lakefront Terminal includes 100 acres of warehouses and facilities on Lake Michigan with over 8,390,000 square feet of storage. Lake Calumet terminal includes three transit sheds totaling over 315,000 square feet adjacent to 3,000 linear feet of ship and barge berthing. The storage facilities along Lake Calumet can accommodate 14 million bushels of gains and 800,000 barrels of liquid. The Illinois International Port district also operates foreign trade zone No. 22, which extends 60 miles from Chicago’s city limits.
Springfield in the capital of Illinois and the largest city in the central part of the state. The most prominent industries in the city are healthcare, education and technology. The cost of living in Springfield is 12% below the national average. Forbes ranks Springfield 19th on its list of Best Places for Business and Careers and 3rd in Cost of Doing Business. Major industries in the area are healthcare, education, and technology. Springfield is a great option for a low-cost location that also has access to ground and rail freight shipping. Interstates in the area include I-55, which runs from north to south and I-72, which runs from east to west. Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport serves the city.
Springfield is the hometown of President Abraham Lincoln. Forbes highlights, “The main tourist sites include the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site, Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site and Old State Capitol State Historic Site. Springfield is also home to the Hoogland Center for the Arts which house several live acts such as the Springfield Ballet, Springfield Municipal Opera and a number of touring acts.”
Rockford is the largest city in Illinois outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. Also known as Forest City, Rockford is known for various venues of cultural or historical significance, including Anderson Japanese Gardens, Klehm Arboretum, Tinker Swiss Cottage, the BMO Harris Bank Center, the Coronado Theatre, the Laurent House, and the Burpee Museum of Natural History. Major industries in the area include technology and health sciences. The city also has low cost of doing business and low cost of living. Several interstates and highways including I-90, I-39 and U.S. Route 20 aid ground freight. The Chicago Rockford International Airport serves the area. The airport is currently home to United Parcel Service’s second largest air hub. It is ranked as the twenty-second largest cargo airport in the nation when measured by landed weight. Freight rail is served by Rockford is served by several different railroad lines including the Union Pacific, the Canadian National, the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern (Canadian Pacific), and the Illinois Railway.
Unfortunately, all too many sites are jumping in on the popularity of 3PL services over recent years and creating their own Top 3PL companies in Illinois listing. Whether it’s the 3PL companies themselves creating the lists and ranking themselves as the number one option, or completely unrelated companies ranking companies in an industry where they have no experience, these lists are proliferating the internet. Frankly, it makes choosing a 3PL company extremely difficult, but many unsuspecting businesspeople naturally trust the reviews.
But to show some of the flaws of these lists, we searched the Web for the companies most listed on these lists in Illinois, and did our own research on them, including their reviews and information we’ve heard about them or experienced with them. What you’ll find below is that many on these lists aren’t the highest rated companies. Ultimately, we urge you to take caution in doing an extensive amount of due diligence when choosing a 3PL in Illinois, or get our help with our matchmaking service.
Below are the most frequently listed 3PLs in Illinois with our thoughts and experiences:
Tagg is an ecommerce order fulfillment provider with multiple US locations. They were recently acquired by Hub Group. Founded in 2006, the Pennsylvania-based Tagg has grown into a nationwide fulfillment provider. They have over 4 million square feet of warehouse space, and 18 facilities. That large footprint allows Tagg to reach almost 100% of the U.S. population within two days. While a large company, they may not be best suited to handle startup companies, or companies of a smaller size. Employees state that pay is low, and that the merger has caused a decline in the quality of their customer service. There is social media, but it has not been used since the merger. Surprisingly, they only have a 3.6 Star review, which is below the 4 Star benchmark for a “top” company.
Amware is a full-service transportation logistics and 3PL company with over 60 years of service in the industry. They offer streamline quoting using an auditing system. Gone are their manual processes. You can now sign up to have control over your pricing, rate, and carrier management without a subscription or contract. They have several contact us features to help provide good customer service including phone, email, and chat options. They do however have multiple bad reviews online pointing to their slow loading times, poor customer service, and appointment times not being met. They have active social media sites and would probably benefit the smaller client.
Headquartered in Chicago, Diamond Fulfillment’s Midwest distribution facilities are ideally positioned to satisfy customers’ national fulfillment requirements with competitive rates and fast coastal delivery times. In 2002, they expanded and consolidated our three distribution facilities into one facility in Waukegan, IL. Several years later they expanded their facility to 100,000 square feet. They manage regulated materials and products in a secured FDA approved facility. For a company in business this long we were unable to find many reviews. Reviews are needed to get an idea about the reliability of a company. Performance reviews have long been standard operating procedure. They should request reviews from current clients, even if not all positive, and establish online social media sites.
Pack Dash caters to the logistical needs of small- to mid-size retailers and operates out of the Chicago area. They opened a fulfillment center near downtown Tucson in August 2021. Known as a third-party logistics company, PackDash offers a range of customized services, including custom kitting, and responsive support with a dedicated Slack chat channel and agent for each client. Reviews state that they are responsive, accessible, and are sensitive to the needs and issues that small businesses face. Pros are multiple locations, and catering to the smaller client. For the cons, it appears the Illinois location might be closed – which is significant if true. Most reviews are positive, but they are mostly several years old. And the get a quote link on their homepage doesn’t provide a quick quote. You would then have to email the company to get a quote.
Partners warehouse is a logistics services company handling all aspects of supply chain management needs. They were recently acquired by Red Arts Capital. The pros of using Partners for your warehousing and fulfillment needs is that they have been in business a long time. Partners Warehouse, founded in 1989 to provide rail transload services, has grown to offer a multitude of rail logistics solutions, handling thousands of cars annually. They have international warehousing services, and can handle consumer, industrial and bulk goods. They have a proven track record of efficiency and high customer service morale. The cons would be uncertainty. Now that they have been purchased by a larger conglomerate will they still be able to offer a wonderful customer service to smaller companies. They may have outgrown the small to mid-size businesses.
Mai in Chicago offers full-service B2C and B2B solutions for their clients. They offer warehousing and fulfillment, cross-docking, kitting, call centers, and freight services. MAI is a large company servicing some well-known companies such as Smucker’s and Serta. Due to their size and volume minimums, they may not be a great option for smaller startups. They do not publish their prices on their website. You can however request a quote after giving them information. They offer only one location, and it is hard to find any customer reviews. There are a couple of reviews that appear to be from past employees with a negative review of the workplace. But they do have a greater than 4 Star review, albeit from a low number of clients.
Edler Warehousing is a warehousing and fulfillment company located in Chicago, Illinois. For over 85 years, Edler Warehousing has specialized on providing superior, individualized service that goes above customer expectations. Edler Warehousing has had a good number of online reviews, all of which point to the company as being very helpful. They have an on-site IT department and use a warehouse inventory software to manage clients’ accounts. Edler Warehousing uses its state-of-the-art warehouses to provide great services to clients and can provide several services. Overall, Edler Warehousing is a good option for your Chicago based warehousing provider.
eShipping Distribution is a warehousing and fulfillment company with locations in various cities around the United States, as well as Chicago, Illinois. eShipping Distribution offers state-of-the-art warehousing and distribution services that are tailored to your company’s needs. Unlike other companies, eShipping Distribution has their companies pricing on the website for everybody to see. eShipping Distribution does not have many online reviews (with an overall rating that is a bit lower than we would normally like to see) to discern the company off, but employees do rate the company highly. Overall, eShipping Distribution offers high value services and is a great option for small businesses.
Axis Warehouse is a third-party logistics and warehousing company with numerous locations in Illinois. Axis Warehouse offers innovative warehousing solutions and that fit their clients’ needs and work to dissolve the disconnect between high rated customer service and efficiency. Axis Warehouse offers more than 1,000,000 sq.ft. distribution centers and has proximity to the O’Hare Airport. Axis Warehouse does not have any reviews to view, which is a concern.
SPC’s fulfillment center is located within their digital print center in Niles, IL. They can combine both inventory fulfillment and digital print-on-demand while providing a safe and secure environment. SPC is in proximity of Chicago where an amazing 30 percent of all consumers in North America live within a one-day truck ride. SPC has invested heavily in next-gen digital and finishing equipment, being the first in the country to purchase Canon’s state-of-the-art Oce ProStream 1000 Inkjet press. This family run company is not only innovative but offers many new age technologies including AI and Augmented Reality. While SPC is offers many products and services, they may be too large to build the tight knit relationships most smaller companies look for. They also seem to specialize in printed matter, and may not be a great fit for many product fulfillment oriented deals.
Federal Warehouse company has 105 years of experience in developing customized relocation plans to suit the unique needs of each of their customers. While we could find a little bit of information online, they do not appear to be in business anymore or they do not have a website – yet Google still shows them on listing sites and BBB. The past reviews for Federal Warehouse Company in Illinois were all very negative. From shady pricing, to promises not kept, these are the types of pieces of information that cause potential customers great pause.
R&K Logistics has two locations, one in Texas and one in Illinois. They can easily deliver all over the US and to Mexico and Canada. They offer an on-demand, web-based freight management system. With mixed reviews online we can see that some customers were unhappy with loads being cancelled and hidden pricing struggles. There was one positive Google review, but multiple negative reviews. Several customers were unhappy with communication. One negative is that R&K commented back to unhappy customers in a negative way that did not bring any solutions to their clients, which amounted to mostly back and forth arguing that makes the company look unstable. The customer is always right. They could respond to upset and unhappy customers by offering a remedy rather than arguing back and forth.
Choosing the best 3PL warehouse in Illinois is a complex decision. Below is summary information about Illinois’ 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||12.67 million (2021)|
|Warehouses in State||2440 (from reonomy)|
|Amazon Warehouses in State||18|
|Average Warehouse Labor Rate||$15.47/hr|
|Sales Tax Rate||6.25%|
|Property Tax Rate||2.16%|
|Personal Tax Rate||4.95%|
|Corporate Tax Rate||7%|
To get an idea of the types of companies that operate in Illinois, check out the top 10 largest companies in the state.
|Business Name||Number of Employees|
|Abbott Laboratories||99,000 employees|
|United Airlines||93,000 employees|
|Sears Holdings||89,000 employees|
|Harrisburg Medical Center||85,000 employees|
|Mondelez International||83,000 employees|
|Veolia Environmental Services North America||77,864 employees|
The below table gives a high-level idea of what average rates might look like in Illinois 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|
Illinois has several advantages as a warehousing services hub. The central location makes transportation of goods to the rest of the Contiguous United States easy and allows access to Canada and Mexico. Chicago is a center for industry and transportation, giving companies access to world-class facilities. The extensive multi-modal transportation networks give companies options. Many cities have low costs for business and great tax incentives.
Illinois is a natural transportation center. Businesses have access to one of the largest and most effective multi-modal transportation systems in the United States. The transportation infrastructure includes roads, railways, airways, waterways, canals, and terminals such as airports, railway stations, bus stations, warehouses, and intermodal facilities. Illinois plays a crucial role in the transportation of goods across the country and internationally. Major interstates in Illinois include coast-to-coast interstates I-80 and I-90, along with I-70 that extends from the east coast to Utah. There are also 15,989 miles of state highways. More than 7,200 trucking establishments within Illinois take advantage of this extensive network of highways.
Railways run throughout Illinois and connect to all of the Continental U.S., Mexico and Canada. “Illinois is at the center of the nation’s rail network. It has a comprehensive rail network consisting of approximately 9,982 miles of railroad tracks, 7,792 of which are operated by Class I railroads – primarily BNSF Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad. Class I railroads are large freight companies, Class II and Class III are small regional railroad companies. The remaining 2,190 miles of track are operated by Class III short line or regional railroads. A total of 41 railroads currently operate in Illinois.” The state has 1,095 miles of navigable waterways that provide connections to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The port of Chicago has terminals that handle ocean and lake vessels as well as barges. The state is home to approximately 107 public and private airports with over 4,800 registered aircraft. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport consistently ranks among the top 10 in North America and in the top 25 of the world in terms of its annual air cargo, with a total of 1.5 million tons. Goods that move through O’Hare can reach over 200 cities non-stop.
Illinois continues to play a pivotal role in the U.S., both economically and culturally. The state is a center for manufacturing and transportation. There is a growing technology and electronics industry that has roots in Chicago dating back to the mid-1900s. Music, art, literature, and theater all have a long and vibrant history in the state. With low costs of living and doing business, plus cultural centers, it is easy to see why Illinois will continue to grow and thrive for years to come. Businesses have long used Illinois as a central hub, utilizing the advantages of this transportation center.
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