TEXAS - Companies seeking a location for their next distribution facility are being welcomed to Texas with open arms, relatively low costs and a favorable tax environment.
When businesses choose a location they concentrate on such factors as geography, transportation infrastructure, labor supply and costs and business environment.
"The great thing about Texas is you can check off almost every box,” said Tom Sanderson, CEO of Transplace.
Texas's central location makes it easy to reach consumer markets all across the country, and the state has six of the country's 20 most populous cities: Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth and El Paso.
There is land available for greenfield distribution sites near major cities, and land costs and occupancy costs are reasonable compared with prices in metropolitan areas of a similar size.
Border towns of Laredo and El Paso have become hotbeds of logistics and distribution center activity.
Growth in trade with Mexico has sparked a boom in the distribution center market in Dallas-Fort Worth, as the metropolis has proved to be an attractive consolidation point for Mexican-made goods heading north on I-20 or east/west on I-35.
Texas is the country's top exporting state, with more than $297.7 billion in exports, according to the state's Office for Economic Development & Tourism. Principal exports include petroleum and coal, chemicals, computers, nonelectrical machinery and transportation equipment.
Texas has over 3,000 miles of highways, more than any other state. "We do not have, like a lot of other markets, heavy-haul corridors, and as result of that, trucks are welcome on all major thoroughfares," said Will Condrey of Cushman & Wakefield.
Texas is also home to the second-longest rail system in the country and is served by three Class I railroads: the Union Pacific, the Kansas City Southern, and the Fort Worth-based BNSF Railway. The rail system connects Texas to both coasts as well as to Mexico.
For oceangoing freight, the state is home to the 12th-busiest port in the world: the Port of Houston. The state also provides excellent air cargo service, with the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) alone handling more than $50 billion worth of cargo annually.
Texas also has a strong supply of labor, with a civilian work force of more than 13 million people, the second largest (and one of the youngest) in the country.