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North Carolina has come a long way over the past several decades. More businesses are moving into the state in order to enjoy the beautiful weather, and the ability to enjoy both mountains and the Atlantic Beach is all within the same state.
A variety of top universities are found throughout North Carolina, thus providing residents with a great education. Industries range from manufacturing to engineering to hospitality. Some of the top industries are aerospace and defense, automotive and machinery, and biotechnology/pharmaceuticals. Many Fortune 500 companies call the state home as well, making it a great place for warehousing services companies to be found.
North Carolina is a premium state for transportation because of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. I-95 runs throughout the state, connecting it from Maine all the way to Florida. There are also other major highways, allowing it to branch out easily into the Midwest and all the way to the Pacific Ocean, including I 40. There are also several rail lines throughout the state, and it’s also possible to send inventory out on barges at the Port of Wilmington. It opens the possibilities, allowing for every business to have options.
North Carolina fulfillment providers are a great choice because they are located near the ocean and major U.S. populations. This state’s location is ideal for companies looking to ship to East Coast markets, Latin America, the continental United States and worldwide.
North Carolina shipping ports are based in Wilmington and Morehead City with many mainland terminals to choose from. Recently, the Maersk Line in Port of Wilmington has added port weekly calls to Panama and Costa Rica. Shippers using the Port of Wilmington now have access to Costa Rica, Panama, Puerto Moin, Puerto Cortes, Santo Tomas, Honduras and Guatemala.
North Carolina provides a convenient setting for shipping to anywhere on the East Coast, as well. North Carolina is very close to UPS, FedEx and USPS shipping hubs, making your deliveries much faster.
But location alone isn’t the only consideration when outsourcing 3PL, warehousing, fulfillment, and shipping in North Carolina. At WarehousingAndFulfillment.com, we specialize in painlessly matching you with the best fulfillment centers in North Carolina 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!
North Carolina is a central location along the east coast. The “Tar Heel State” has a colorful history and has been a hub for shipping and transportation for centuries. If you are looking to store or transport goods along the east coast, to central states or the west coast, 3PL Warehouse Companies in North Carolina offer an ideal solution. North Carolina has long been a centralized location for ships and rail and today, with several international airports and major highways, air and ground freight are easily accessible.
The state has a diverse landscape ranging from the Atlantic Ocean to the Appalachian Mountains. In 1629, King Charles I granted territory in America to his Attorney General, Sir Robert Heath, to be named Carolina, or the province of Carolina. First nicknamed the “Old North State”, the tar heel nickname actually came from the state’s long history as a “producer of naval stores–tar, pitch, rosin and turpentine–all of which were culled from the State’s extensive pine forests.” By the late 1700s, North Carolina had a large economic base in its Coastal Plain and Piedmont, there were settlements extending as far west as present-day Statesville. Wagons and boats took imported goods to the inland areas. Raleigh had the state’s first railway and by 1869, after the first transcontinental railroad was completed, a resident of North Carolina could travel by rail from Wilmington to Sacramento, California, in five to seven days. One last major form of transportation—aviation—created one of the fastest ways to migrate. North Carolina helped start airplane travel when brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first powered flight on December 17, 1903, in Kill Devil Hills. As time has passed and the state has gown and flourished a couple of cities have asserted themselves as centers of industry.
Among the most popular areas to locate fulfillment operations within the state of North Carolina include Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro. Other areas that have quality companies include Wilmington, Wilson, and Winston-Salem.
Today, Charlotte has the largest population of any city in North Carolina. It certainly stated out from more humble roots. The city of Charlotte is in the Carolinas’ Piedmont region, between the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west and the flat coastal plain along the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The eastern parts of North Carolina had been settled for over 100 years before the first settlers came to Charlotte in 1753. The settlement sat where two trails intersected. One ancient trail was known as the Trading Path, because traders from eastern Virginia followed it south to trade with the Native Americans in the 1750’s. Now, U.S. Highway 29 follows part of this route. The growth of Charlotte was heavily influenced by the railroad. It first arrived in 1852, and in 1854 work began on a state-owned railroad from Raleigh and Goldsboro to Charlotte, in part to connect the eastern cities with the railroad to Columbia. Charlotte’s importance increased with addition of two more lines in the next seven years. In 1860 a railroad company known as the Atlantic, Tennessee, and Ohio began running trains out of the city. When the U.S. began its Interstate Highway program Charlotte became a center in this new system, which would strengthen Charlotte’s place as a distribution center. In 1958 east-west I-85 opened, linking the city with Atlanta, Durham, and Richmond. Soon after, construction began on north-south I-77 through the city, which created a link to Columbia, South Carolina, Roanoke, Virginia, and the Midwest.
Now, Charlotte is not only a transportation and distribution hub it is also a “major U.S. financial center and is the second largest banking center in the United States after New York City,” according to Forbes. It is ranked 14th on the list of best cities for businesses and careers. Charlotte is also home to several notable universities including Johnson & Wales University, Queens University of Charlotte, Johnson C. Smith University, and the Charlotte School of Law.
Charlotte is the banking capital of North Carolina, with corporate headquarters of Wells Fargo and Bank of America found here. It’s also a popular travel destination with the NASCAR track being right here. Lake Norman is the largest man-made lake in the city, bringing in those who want to enjoy the great outdoors. Charlotte consistently makes it on the list of one of the best places to live in the United States as well.
As one of the biggest commercial hubs in all of North Carolina, Charlotte is an immediate favorite for businesses to find fulfillment centers. With the biggest population of any NC city, you can also reach a big customer base thanks to 842,501 currently living there. You won’t find just a minimal list of 3PL’s here for obvious reasons, making Charlotte warehousing and fulfillment services overly competitive.
Raleigh is the state capitol of North Carolina. It is known as the City of Oaks for its many oak trees. In 1587, Under direction of Sir Walter Raleigh, John White founded the “Cittie of Raleigh.” As more settlers came to America the city began to grow. Raleigh is an early example of a planned city, chosen as the site of the state capital in 1788 and incorporated in 1792. In 1833 the first railroad in the state was completed in Raleigh. Riding the train became a popular means of entertainment for Raleigh society. The Raleigh & Gaston Railroad opened in 1840 with 86 miles of track. The steam locomotives had the animated names of “Tornado,” “Whirlwind,” “Volcano” and “Spitfire.” In August 1892 the Union Rail passenger station opened. Raleigh became a stop on the first regular passenger airline flight from New York to Miami in 1931.
Today, Raleigh has the second largest population in the state. It is part of the Research Triangle, which is “one of the largest research parks in the world”. It is named for the three hub cities of Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill, or more properly for the three major research universities in those three cities, Duke University, NC State University and the University of North Carolina.” This area is one of the most prominent technology centers in the United States. The park is home to over 190 companies employing 50,000 workers and 10,000 contractors.
Recent surveys have found Raleigh to be among America’s most friendly environments for small business and one of the nation’s new “opportunity cities” according to Rocket Lawyer’s Semi-Annual Small Business Index. Raleigh ranked in second place in Forbes’ 2014 poll of America’s 20 fastest-growing cities with the 2013 jobs growth rate of 2.44 percent and population increase of 2.15 percent. The city also has the Raleigh–Durham International Airport, and multiple shipping and transportation centers.
Raleigh, North Carolina has just as many warehouses and isn’t too far from Charlotte. You’re also not far from the Virginia border to reach other nearby southern markets, which makes for a potentially good option for your fulfillment location in North Carolina.
Known for having a technological business boom, Durham is right in the middle of the state to give you a good logistical advantage in covering the entire state.
Another city near Charlotte, Greensboro holds 287,000 people, showing how high the populations are in places like North Carolina. If you wanted to serve just the region alone, you could.
Greensboro is found to the north of the state and is home to many factories. This includes No Nonsense pantyhose as well as Kent cigarettes. Tobacco, furniture, textiles, and other things are what dominates the industries in this city, and a few US headquarters for international brands also call this part of North Carolina home. Tourism is heavy within the city as well, with Wet ‘n Wild, Greensboro Science Center, and The Bog Garden being amongst some of the family friendly attractions that are available.
Asheville is tucked within the mountains, providing stunning views of the Great Smoky Mountains. There are several parks and trails that bring tourists from all over, as well as a lot of shopping and cultural venues. Some of the top employers in the area include Mission Health System as well as the City of Asheville. Several of the resorts are also big employers and unemployment is low year-round. Steady tourism is what helps to keep the city booming.
Chapel Hill is located southwest of Durham and offers a lot of history, trees, and small businesses. Approximately 14,000 businesses are registered here who have less than 10 employees. Entrepreneurship isn’t the only thing the city has going for itself, however. The local University of North Carolina campus is a large employer, as is the UNC Health Care System. Many people come here for the small town feel and stay because of the many opportunities to get involved and find a quality place to live.
North Carolina is home to many different industries from arts in Asheville, to technology in Raleigh, and distribution in Charlotte to several military bases across the state. There are multiple international airports including the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and the Piedmont Triad International Airport. Major highways run throughout the state, as well as railways and there are still coastal shipping ports. All of this means easy access to any shipping, warehousing, and transportation services. North Carolina is a centralized point on the east coast, making transportation to anywhere in the U.S. easy.
There are far too many websites these days that are listing the supposed “top 3PL companies” in North Carolina. They sites claim to provide unbiased lists of the “best” companies. What we’ve found, however, is that they are largely paid for lists, or brokers and intermediaries trying to earn ongoing commissions to advertise certain 3PL warehouses over others. Needless to say, these lists are far from independent and honest. In fact, we compiled a list of the most frequently referenced companies on these lists. Our reviews of the companies are below. As you can see, some of them are high quality, but many of them are not. And can any of them claim to be the “best”? That seems to be a very difficult claim to make.
Charlotte Bonded Warehousing located in Charlotte, NC is a Warehousing and Distribution
Company with container freight station for De-Consolidations and Local Trucking in the (NC & SC Areas). They are a smaller company which makes them great for small businesses and maintain a close relationship. They don’t get the best reviews, but they also just don’t have a lot of reviews. One pro of using Charlotte Bonded is the pricing list on their website. It is very clear and specific. We love a company that is upfront about all costs. They do only have one location and their website is not secure. Those are a few of the cons to using Charlotte Bonded Warehouse, including their lower review ratings, and location on the east coast only.
Distribution Technology Established in 1969, is a privately held, warehousing operation that has grown from 100,000 sqft and seven full-time employees to 1.2 million sqft and over 250 employees. They offer warehousing, transportation management, ecommerce fulfillment, manufacturing support, direct rail access and imports. Pros for using Distribution Technology is their location in North Carolina allows them to handle imports. They have a large facility and an online platform for customers to see their products being moved in real-time. Cons are reviewers stating that the new supervisor isn’t as attentive to details, and that they did not meet their scheduled time deadlines. 3.2 Google review stats are very low and it is mostly due to customer service, and time management.
Since 2005, Allpack Fulfillment has been a company that specializes in every size business big too small. They offer temperature Controlled warehousing, total inventory management, transportation and freight logistics, and inbound container receiving. Allpack consistently receives five-star reviews from the few reviews we can find online. There are some concerns about their customer service. We also cannot find any place on their website to get a quote, and there are no pricing sheets available. Allpack lists their BBB rating on their website, but they are not accredited by the Better Business Bureau. They have a solid central location in North Carolina but using the information available one cannot tell how big their warehouse is.
Pinpoint Warehousing is a 3rd Party Warehousing and Distribution company that offers fulfillment and packaging based in Charlotte North Carolina. They do not have a website to be reached by. Pinpoint appears to have gone out of business, but they still show up in search engine results. This is a prime example of what to be careful of!
Since 2009, Sweetwater Logistics has assisted numerous entrepreneurs grow their business from small, ship-from-home operations to profitable and sustainable companies. They have their own cloud-based management software system that allows them to work extensively with their clients. They have a beautiful website with a chat feature and pricing strategies laid out for the client so there will be no secrets. They have exceptional reviews. They have offered fulfillment, warehousing and distribution, logistics and supply chain consulting since 2009. They have no monthly minimums or contracts to sign. Their clear and fee schedule charges clients only for the services they use, with no hidden fees. They also explain their fees in detail. They have achieved mostly positive reviews and only one negative review found. This is the type of company that you can count on.
Kanban Logistics is a North Carolina 3PL provider. Their core services include inbound logistics support for manufacturers, finished goods distributors and eCommerce fulfillment. They are hazmat certified, e-certified to the AS9100 aerospace quality standard, they have multiple food-grade warehouses that are FDA compliant, and they support the automotive and pharmaceutical industry. Pros of Kanban Logistics include:
Cons of Kanban Logistics include:
Overall, Kanban seems like a reputable company that is large with three different warehouse locations. While having no reviews is troublesome, from what we can tell they offer different services to fit small to large size company’s needs.
Conwareco’s Inventory Depot is a warehousing, distribution, and third-party logistics company based in Hickory, North Carolina and has been in business since 1955. Their website, https://www.theinventorydepot.com/, does not match the company name therefor making it hard to locate. Pros of Conwareco include: they have a quoting option on their website, but it does not work well as some of the links are broken; there are no negative reviews, but there are no positive reviews either; they are family owned and operated by a husband-and-wife team. Cons of Conwareco include: there are no pricing guides on their site as a place to begin; they appear quite private and hidden, with no real reviews found online; they have a warning on their main website telling clients that there may be staffing issues. Overall, these are very concerning, making it challenging to recommend them.
Bonded Logistics is a supply chain service provider, with 10 buildings and 2.4 million sq. ft. of space in the Charlotte region and over 300 employees. They focus on providing customized supply chain solutions for global brands across a wide variety of industries such as food and beverage, manufacturing, healthcare, and consumer goods products. Pros of Bonded Logistics include that they are family owned (once owned by the parents, and now owned by the son and daughter), have been in business over 50 years, and in 2022 they surpassed 50 years in the family business. Furthermore, a location in North Carolina is wonderful central location on the east coast with quick access to ports for eastern shipping. Cons of Bonded Logistics are that they are large (the size and growth of Bonded Logistics would mostly fit larger companies, but small to midsize startup companies might find it hard to get personalized attention and support), the company is only in North Carolina (it would benefit them to expand their reach beyond just North Carolina, with the ability to service customers throughout the US), the company has no reviews found online (which they could easily remedy by having current clients leave reviews and include those on their website as well). Overall, Bonded Logistics appears to be a well-run company offering many services. While there are a few improvements they could make, like including some prices on their website and reviews, it is rare to see a family run business handed down to the son and daughter.
Choosing the best 3PL warehouse in North Carolina is a complex decision. Below is summary information about North Carolina 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.
|Warehouses in State||23,185 (from reonomy)|
|Amazon Warehouses in State||8|
|Average Warehouse Labor Rate||$18.45/hr|
|Sales Tax Rate||4.75%|
|Property Tax Rate||0.77%|
|Personal Tax Rate||5.25%|
|Corporate Tax Rate||2.5%|
To get an idea of the types of companies that operate in North Carolina, check out the top 10 largest companies in the state.
|Business Name||Number of Employees|
|Compass Group||595,841 employees|
|Lowe’s Companies||310,000 employees|
|Bank of America||204,489 employees|
|Honeywell International||131,000 employees|
|Total S.A.||104,000 employees|
|Quintiles Transnational||70,001 employees|
|Food Lion||65,250 employees|
|Family Dollar||60,000 employees|
The below table gives a high-level idea of what average rates might look like in North Carolina 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|
North Carolina has many fulfillment providers to fit your needs. Don’t sort through all the choices alone. Let us find the best provider to meet your needs. Fill out our form on the left and we will gather a list of pre-screened providers that will work with your requirements. This service is free, and you are under no obligation to choose a provider that we suggest.
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