Kansas City Aims to Become Next Major Distribution Hub

Apr 02, 2013 9:25 PM  By

kansas-city-skylineThe new major distribution hub in the United States could become Kansas City, according to an article the Kansas City Star.

In anticipation of the new BNSF Intermodel facility in Kansas City, combined with increased congestion and operation costs  in other major distribution hubs, fulfillment insiders are looking to the City of Fountains for a central location where they can process and ship orders, according to the article.

Within the past decade, the article states, “bulk warehouses” in Kansas City, defined as buildings bigger than 200,000 square-feet with at least 28-foot ceilings, have increased by 47.5%. The bulk space, according to the article, is expected to grow even more within the next 10 years due to the first phase of the BNSF Intermodal center.

According to reports, the “first project at the BNSF complex is expected to break ground next month, a 500,000-square-foot speculative distribution center.”

The article states that the 443-acre Intermodal center will be able to unload a half-million containers every year compared to another BNSF Intermodal yard also in Kansas City which handled 330,000 containers last year.

But this isn’t the only major distribution center in Kansas City, there are several by the city’s airports and a “1.1 million-square-foot distribution center opened in 2010” near I-35 and the former U.S. 56. There is also a 1.1 million-square-foot building and 919,000-square-foot building both in future phases in the city.

Dan Jensen, a principal at Kessinger/Hunter, told the newspaper that there had been a substantial shift in how companies viewed logistics, the method of transporting and storing goods. They’ve discovered it doesn’t take much more to operate a 500,000-square-foot building than a 100,000-square-foot version.

Some of the major corporations that have distribution facilities in Kansas City, according to the article, include Coleman, PacSun, PureFishing, Musicians’ Friend, and FedEx SmartPost.

Besides less congestion and cheaper costs to run operations, according to the article, Kansas City is the nation’s largest rail center by tonnage. “By hauling containers here by train from Pacific ports, the distance required to truck the goods to their final destination is shortened greatly,” the article said.

Ecommerce also played a major role in the growth of Kansas City as a distribution hub. According to the article, “As retailers sell more of their products online, the demand is increasing for big places where it can be stored and shipped quickly to customers.”