Beginning as a fur trading center more than 200 years ago, St. Louis has always been an ideal location for a distribution center for multiple reasons. From perfect geography and the low cost of doing business, to the already built infrastructure, Missouri has a history of operating as a hub for goods traveling in every direction.
Central Location: Time-to-Market Advantage
- St. Louis is geographically located in the center of the country.
- In terms of population, St. Louis is the largest metropolitan area located nearest the population center of the US.
- Trucks leaving St. Louis can reach 70% of the US population in less than 48 hours.
- St. Louis warehouse distribution centers are within 600 miles of the following:
- 52% of all manufacturing plants in the US.
- 50% of all US households.
Low Costs That Are Passed on to Customers as Savings
- A dollar goes a lot further in the Midwest. Missouri has the 16th lowest cost of living in the US.
- The average cost of a house in the Midwest goes for roughly $100 to $120 per square foot. On the East Coast, the cost for housing goes from $300 to $325 a square foot.
- A dollar is worth is worth much more in the Midwest. Research by the US Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), for example, found in 2006 a dollar purchased roughly 35 cents less in San Jose than in St. Louis.
- St. Louis also offers highly competitive labor costs. There are approximately 80,000 people in the St. Louis region who are employed in transportation or material movement jobs. The average hourly wage for these workers is $13.83, versus the national median of $14.06
- St. Louis is the third largest rail center in the country. It is the westernmost terminus for CSX and Norfolk Southern, the major Eastern railroads, and the easternmost terminus of the BNSF and UP, the major Western railroads. The city is also served by Kansas City Southern and Canadian National.
- St. Louis is the nation’s third largest inland port and the northernmost ice-free port on the Mississippi River. A total of 29 major industrial centers can be reached from St. Louis by barge.
- St. Louis is within 3 hours by air of most cities in North America. The metro region is served by five regional airports: Lambert St. Louis International Airport and Mid America St. Louis Airport for commercial travel and air freight, and three smaller regional airports that primarily serve corporate and personal aircraft.
- Four major interstate highways (I-70, I-64, I-55 and I-44) crisscross the St. Louis region, which makes the area attractive for distribution centers that need to ship large amounts of cargo by truck to locations throughout the US.
Unique Real Estate Opportunities: Repurposing
The city of St. Louis was once a major manufacturing hub. Unfortunately manufacturing went overseas leaving plenty of vacant real estate. FW has capitalized on this by using our intimate knowledge of the industrial real estate market to provide customers with flexible spaces that can quickly respond to changing needs.