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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:
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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.
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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