E-commerce and the Supply Chain

The Impace is affecting sourcing, transportation, fulfillment and more.


At the same time, consumers are increasingly looking for free or same-day shipping for their orders. “Same-day shipping means it will become more important to locate inventory in closer proximity to massive populations,” Schwegman pointed out. “This could mean more e-commerce fulfillment DCs in large, metro areas. This could also mean less distribution by online-only retailers in states such as Virginia, Indiana, Nevada and Tennessee, which will begin enforcing collection of online sales tax over the next year.”

One place e-tailers are heading is Kansas City, which has been in the midst of a transportation and warehousing build-out, driven in part by e-commerce.

The new BNSF Intermodal facility, set to open later this year, is a big draw. With 443 acres under development at the complex there’s plenty of room to handle the half a million containers that it will attract—and there’s space to eventually handle 1.5 million containers annually.

According to the Kansas City Star newspaper, congestion and rising costs in hubs like Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Memphis means “its Kansas City’s turn to land national companies seeking to consolidate their logistic operations or new Internet-based firms looking for a central location to process and ship orders.”

Indeed, over the last 10 years, “the amount of bulk warehouses in the area, defined as buildings bigger than 200,000 square feet with at least 28-foot ceilings, has grown 47.5 percent, from 13.1 million square feet to 19.4 million square feet last year,” the newspaper reported, and will more than double again in the coming decade.

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