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Kentucky’s position makes it a great place to locate your shipping or fulfillment center. It is centrally located, making shipping to any part of the country faster than if your fulfillment center was located on the coast. It is also the home of a major shipping hub for UPS, FedEx and USPS. This insures that no matter what provider you use for your shipping, your packages will ship quickly because transport time isn’t wasted. In addition, Kentucky’s location is in close proximity to major U.S. populations, without all of the traffic and pollution that you may find in a more populated state. It’s a great central place to reach many nearby states like Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee. Also, the logistics industry employs over 3% of the population there, making it an important part of their economy.
But location alone isn’t the only consideration when outsourcing 3PL, warehousing, fulfillment, and shipping in Kentucky. At WarehousingAndFulfillment.com, we specialize in painlessly matching you with the best fulfillment centers in Kentucky for your company’s specific needs. In addition to location, we match businesses based upon:
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!
When dealing with a new area or any number of areas across the country, it can be difficult to decide on a warehousing company or region when you are unfamiliar with the resources there. Get to know the top cities for warehousing services in Kentucky with a variety of useful information provided below.
Kentucky is a great location to consider for your warehousing needs, as its viable locations span over most of the state. However, be wary when searching that you don’t waste your time on companies that have simply used the word warehouse in their title or name. For some reason, there are several like this in the state. This would be easily noticed eventually, but better to spot it right away and not waste valuable time.
When seeking out full-service public warehousing, consider all of your needs and look for the company that satisfies the highest quantity with quality results. Location is not everything. Does the warehouse deal in all of your product types? Are they known for customer service? Keep in mind that their customer service would soon be identified as your customer service as well. Are they flexible when special orders or eccentric clients come into play?
It’s challenging to quote statistics on the warehousing industry in Kentucky, since the data compiled includes transportation, because of the connection between actual warehousing and the delivery to and from warehouses and customers. That being said, wages and activity in both transportation and warehousing in Kentucky have steadily grown since 1998, which is a clear sign of success and progress in any field. Why would wages be important to you? There are two reasons. Happy employees are working hard, taking care with your product and treating your customers right. An industry that can pay their employees well, is definitely doing something right. Employee retention keeps operations running smoothly with less chance of error or delays sometimes caused by new employees. These facts would not typically indicate a group of companies who are not satisfying their customers.
Kentucky is a centrally located southern state. Also known as The Bluegrass State, it has a long history of manufacturing that continues today. Kentucky has a growing economy, and its cities are often listed as great places for business and community. When your company is looking for a shipping and storage hub 3PL Warehouse Companies in Kentuckyoffer an economically sensible and central base.
Kentucky has a diverse landscape with many resources, including the world’s longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park, and vast navigable waterways and streams. The state is bordered by rivers on three sides, the Mississippi River to the west, the Ohio River to the north, and the Big Sandy River and Tug Fork to the east. Kentucky officially became the fifteenth state in the Union on June 1, 1792. In the early 1800s Kentuckians used canoes and flatboats to travel throughout the state on the extensive waterways. They would transport goods like herbs, corn, tobacco and livestock. By the 1820’s steamboats took over and “plied the state’s waterways, transporting goods valued at more than $10,000,000 annually.”
By the 1870’s the “Age of Railroading” began in Kentucky. From 1870 to 1900 railway mileage tripled. The Louisville & Nashville, Mobile & Ohio, Illinois Central, Cincinnati-Southern, Chesapeake & Ohio and Norfolk & Western plus a host of intrastate lines competed with each other in various regions of the state. The ease of transportation that came with railways allowed for expansion of Kentucky’s economy. Coal production rose to a million tons in 1879. By the end of the century the output equaled more than 5,000,000 tons. The production of oil and natural gas also increased as did the mining of limestone, zinc, lead and flurspar. During this time manufacturing was also on the rise. “Between 1870 and 1900 the value of the state’s manufactured goods tripled to the amazing figure of $150,000,000, and the number of wage earners doubled to some 65,000. Increased manufacturing activities centered in the Bluegrass, although the production of hard-ware, dry goods, and textbooks, the milling of flour, the distilling of whiskey and the processing of plug and smoking tobacco gave Louisville commercial domination in the state.”
This strong legacy of manufacturing continues today. Manufacturing makes up 15% of the overall employment in the state while trade, transportation and utilities make up another 20%. Forbes notes that “The state has 474 motor vehicle-related facilities that employ 86,672 workers. Kentucky produces the third most cars of any state in the U.S.” Kentucky exports reached a record $22.1 billion in 2012, with products and services going to 199 countries. The cost of doing business is 5.5% below the national average. Job growth is projected to continue throughout the state. There are two well established cities that stand out as centers for business in Kentucky.
Louisville is located in the northern part of the state. It is often describes as a city that has southern hospitality mixed with Midwestern progress. Louisville sits along the Ohio River. Forbes notes that, “Recently, Louisville has emerged as a major center for the health care and medical sciences industries. Louisville has been central to advancements in heart and hand surgery as well as cancer treatment.” Livability highlights that, “The airport houses the worldwide hub of UPS. Students can attend the University of Louisville, and other key economic sectors are healthcare, medical sciences and whiskey distillation.” Several Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Louisville including Humana Inc, Yum! Brands and Kindred Healthcare Inc. The city is also home to the annual Kentucky Derby.
In terms of the most popular areas for fulfillment locations within the state of Kentucky are both Louisville fulfillment centers as well as the Hebron/Florence Kentucky areas. Louisville, as the states most populated area, is home to the major hub for UPS – so merchants that ship using “Brown” will certainly benefit by injecting their shipments into their system within this city. However, there are other cities that have great fulfillment options, including some smaller cities that are closer to the Ohio border and Cincinnati in particular. For instance, both Florence and Hebron are home to a number of smaller and mid-sized fulfillment firms, offering some great options within close distance of the UPS shipping hub.
Elizabethtown is probably the next best option as far as having a number of warehousing and distribution locations. These locations have taken care to highlight their distribution services as well.
Florence and Frankfurt are going to be the smallest of cities that have more than one option for warehousing in Kentucky.
There are several smaller towns in northern Kentucky, just bordering Cincinnati, Ohio, all with warehousing facilities available.
Kentucky is unusual in that they have warehousing locations all over the state, in small, obscure places that you might not expect. Towns like Russellville, Hebron and Murray are just a few. Keep in mind that these smaller suggestions are often owned and managed by larger firms with warehousing all over the country, so their location does not indicate a lack of experience or capability.
Known as the horse capital of the world, you have 723,849 people in the area, making it a valuable market if focusing locally.
Places for Business and Careers. Livability also ranks Lexington on it’s list of 100 Best Places to Live saying, “But what you may not know about Lexington is its affordability, vibrant cultural scene, highly educated population, and welcoming vibe that delights both visitors and residents.” Lexington has several universities including Transylvania University, the University of Kentucky and Bluegrass Community & Technical College. Lexmark International is headquartered there, as well as ECampus.com, and Ouibox. Mayor Jim Gray says, ““Lexington is progressive, open-minded, ambitious and aspirational. There is an emerging technology scene and an entrepreneurial spirit here, which is drawing young people who want to stay and live and raise families – all encouraging signs of a progressive city.” The city also has a thriving arts community which includes a professional orchestra, two ballet companies, professional theatre, several museums and a highly respected opera program at the University of Kentucky. The Festival of Bluegrass, Kentucky’s oldest bluegrass music festival is also held in Lexington.
Lexington and Louisville are both large and well-known cities in the state of Kentucky. Both provide a comparable number of options for warehousing needs, but Louisville is on the Indiana border and therefore has that state’s needs to consider as well. For this reason Lexington has less demand and less options, as a result.
Choosing the best 3PL warehouse in Kentucky is a complex decision. Below is summary information about Kentucky 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.
|4.51 million (2020)
|Warehouses in State
|5,499 (from reonomy)
|Amazon Warehouses in State
|Average Warehouse Labor Rate
|Sales Tax Rate
|Property Tax Rate
|Personal Tax Rate
|Corporate Tax Rate
To get an idea of the types of companies that operate in Kentucky, check out the top 10 largest companies in the state.
|Number of Employees
|Fruit of the Loom
|Papa John’s Pizza
The below table gives a high-level idea of what average rates might look like in Kentucky for fulfillment services, based upon surveys of outsourced warehousing companies throughout the US.
|B2C Order Fulfillment Fee Per Single Item Order
|B2B Order Fulfillment Fee Per Single Item Order
|Pallet storage fee per pallet per month
Kentucky is a major transportation and manufacturing hub. The state has low costs for business and an exceptional workforce. There are culturally rich and diverse cities for business and employees to thrive in. There are several airports including the Louisville International Airport. There are extensive railways with more than a dozen active companies. Many major interstate highways run through Kentucky including I-24, U.S. Route 421 and I-75. The Bluegrass State is expected to continue with steady economic growth over the coming years. When your company is looking for a transportation and warehouse hub Kentucky offers a great location with easy access to the Continental United States.
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