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Tennessee is positioned in the perfect area to locate your shipping or fulfillment center. Fulfillment companies in this state are somewhat centrally located in the United States. For this reason, shipping to any part of the country is faster than if you had your center based on one side of the country or the other. Tennessee is also near major shipping hubs for FedEx, UPS and USPS. So, no matter who your shipping provider is, your packages will ship quickly. There’s no wasted transport time. Another great perk about Tennessee’s location is that it is in close proximity to major U.S. populations. Tennessee is one good example of being not only near convenient sea ports, but also being only one day away from most eastern states. Since logistics costs are no doubt a major factor in the state you choose, it’s worth looking at Tennessee as a way to reach customers faster.
You might think big Tennessee cities like Nashville are more about country music than warehousing logistics. In truth, Tennessee has become a great central point for distributing goods throughout the Southern U.S., and shipping via water.
What you might find surprising is it’s not all about Nashville when it comes to distribution. Other famous cities like Memphis are actually a major leader in overall American logistics.
As always, it pays to find a warehouse within a city containing ports. It’s one reason you should always consider being near coastal cities across the country to take advantage of these. Many of those areas are Foreign Trade Zones, offering you exponential savings on tariff fees and other international shipping issues.
Tennessee has numerous ports available throughout the state with big and small cities nearby to accommodate easy transportation.
But location alone isn’t the only consideration when outsourcing 3PL, warehousing, fulfillment, and shipping in Tennessee. At WarehousingAndFulfillment.com, we specialize in painlessly matching you with the best fulfillment centers in Tennessee 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!
The many Tennessee ports (particularly the Port of Memphis) have numerous intermodal shipping options. Even so, you’ll want to pick cities near some of the most notable interstate highways for quicker routes into the continental U.S. Plus, look out for auxiliary interstates, which are just as important for shipping to avoid traffic.
Some notable interstates to look out for include Interstate 24 that starts in Kentucky and goes through major Tennessee cities like Clarksville, Murfreesboro, and Monteagle.
Interstate 40 is the longest highway in the state and goes into Arkansas, plus North Carolina.
With the auxiliary interstates, you have I-124 that covers a lot of Chattanooga and I-240 in Memphis. You have three smaller interstates near Knoxville: I-140, I-275, and I-640.
Of all cities within Tennessee, both Memphis and Nashville are by far the most popular. However, here’s top cities for warehousing service companies in Tennessee – some of which you might already have on your list, or maybe overlooked.
Memphis is extremely popular due to the fact that it is the central U.S. hub for FedEx. For small package shippers throughout the U.S., injecting their shipments at this point in the distribution hub allows for increased speed of delivery, not to mention close proximity to FedEx headquarters and the perks of being close to middle and upper-level management decision makers. You’re right along the Mississippi River, giving you another shipping route by water. Plus, you’re near the border of Arkansas and Mississippi to cover more of the south by a day’s drive. With a long historical track record, it all centers back to Andrew Jackson who chose Memphis as a major port along the Mississippi River.
Basically, this city has a 200+ year track record of being a major channel for distributing goods. Thanks to containing the best cargo airport in America and being near FedEx’s main headquarters, fast delivery is an understatement.
Another strong suit is Memphis is only one of three U.S. cities with five Class I railroads. You’re additionally next to two major interstate highways, giving you a straight roadway to reach every state from east to west, or north to south.
Four-hundred trucking companies exist here as well, proving you have nothing overlooked in the way of intermodal distribution methods.
Noted as the fifth largest inland port within the U.S., the Port of Memphis has some superior local designations as well. It’s the second largest inland port along the shallow draft section of the Mississippi River. With the latter river a major route for getting goods through the south, picking Memphis as a central city for your warehouse is a good bet.
The port itself notes that it’s been hard by the economy in recent years, despite the economic impact in this region still being over $7 billion. They can back up their shipping facility quality based on the top-grade equipment, including extensive storage technology.
It’s worth noting that the port uses “International” in their title as a reminder they ship internationally. Being near the Mississippi River, they can ship goods covering 25,000 miles.
The problem is that Memphis warehousing and fulfillment companies are very competitive, so you might not find a warehouse available immediately. It’s worth looking at other nearby cities as alternatives.
Nashville is also a very popular city within the Tennessee market. Because it is a little closer to the East Coast, Nashville 3PL warehouses are a popular choice for East Coast distribution and fulfillment within the state of Tennessee. For logistics, it’s ideal because you’re near major interstates, and waterway shipping.
This port is along the Cumberland River with full river barge access to the Ohio River, Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, and the Mississippi River (giving you a route to the Gulf of Mexico). All of these rivers provide fast access to other cities within the state for domestic shipping. Although they also take you into the Gulf of Mexico for international shipping to places like Latin and South America. Nearby is PowerCom, which is soon going to allow barge access for waterway shipping.
Nashville is extremely viable as a place to transit products across the U.S. Growth in “The Music City” for shipping goods continues to expand based on the extensive supply chain services in the area. Nashville’s population has exceeded that of the entire state of Tennessee. So it’s already a place to hone in on for reaching the customers you need.
A charmingly smaller city, Tiptonville is an example of how you can find small cities and still get quality warehousing and logistics. In many cases, it’s better this way because there isn’t as much warehouse competition while still being relatively close to the bigger cities of Nashville and Memphis.
The key benefit is being close to the Port of Cates Landing, which specializes in loading and unloading raw and unfinished products. It’s a great alternative for barge travel with enough space to avoid interfering with other barges in the berthing area.
Warehouse labor jobs are strong here, so always look for alternatives when the big cities are full.
Located along the Tennessee River, you have yet another great waterway to ship goods through the state. Knoxville is in the northern center of Tennessee, giving you a one day’s drive up into Kentucky and Virginia.
Choosing the best 3PL warehouse in Tennessee is a complex decision. Below is summary information about Tennessee 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||7 million (2022)|
|Warehouses in State||12,320 (from reonomy)|
|Amazon Warehouses in State||10|
|Average Warehouse Labor Rate||$18.22/hr|
|Sales Tax Rate||7%|
|Property Tax Rate||0.64%|
|Personal Tax Rate||6%|
|Corporate Tax Rate||6.50%|
To get an idea of the types of companies that operate in Tennessee, check out the top 10 largest companies in the state.
|Business Name||Number of Employees|
|HCA Healthcare||249,000 employees|
|Dollar General||130,000 employees|
|Community Health Systems||120,000 employees|
|Cracker Barrel||73,000 employees|
|Brookdale Senior Living||62,550 employees|
|LifePoint Health||60,000 employees|
|Envision Healthcare||57,750 employees|
The below table gives a high-level idea of what average rates might look like in Tennessee 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|
Tennessee is a good state because it’s in a central point for covering southern states. It also has major river ports that connect to rail, runways, and major roads. But vetting 3PL’s is challenging, though, because there’s so many. It can also become a discouraging process if you’ve seen one in a perfect Tennessee city and find out the warehouse isn’t right for you.
At WarehousingAndFulfillment.com, we want you to learn about your warehousing needs to help you find the best warehouses in the state you want. We’ll help you find only top-rated warehouses in Tennessee and perhaps locate one you’d otherwise overlook doing a general Google search.
Our vetting service encompasses rigorous screenings, impartial advice, and no fees.
Contact us to find out more about Tennessee and finding the logistics you need there to stay in the competitive game.
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