The 34th Annual Corporate Survey again reflects that logistics and labor remain the top criteria for corporate investment. Highway accessibility is especially important to the 60 percent of the respondents who are involved in manufacturing and warehouse/distribution.
Nearly 70 percent of all freight is hauled by trucks and over 80 percent of the communities in the U.S. are served by trucks only. Rising logistics costs and real estate prices aside, growing market demand is the ultimate investment driver as e-commerce, J-I-T manufacturing, and timely last-mile delivery require great highway access and proximity to markets. Improving one’s supply chain footprint is so important that most manufacturers and distributors start their site selection process by doing logistics analysis up front to determine their search area, then go out to find the best labor, real estate, regulatory/business environment, etc. within the search area.
The Corporate Survey also points out the ongoing concern investors have regarding the availability of skilled labor and overall labor costs. Locations large and small with meaningful educational institutions, focused labor training programs, and/or a “quality of life” that attracts and retains a skilled workforce will continue to attract investors.