Five Reasons Large Distribution Centers are Choosing Kansas City


By Brent Peterson – Vice President, Director of Industrial Brokerage

Kansas City has always been a center for commerce and in recent years, has established itself as a leading distribution center within the United States.

According to the Kansas City Area Development Council, “Kansas City is experiencing one of the largest industrial booms in its history and is a center of choice for warehousing, manufacturing, and distribution.  Business has prospered in large part due to the region’s abundant multi-modal transportation network.”  In 2017, the metro saw growth in distribution facilities from 100,000 to 1.2 million square feet, which included eCommerce companies like Amazon, HyVee Aisles, Dollar Tree, Spectrum Brands, and Horizon Global.

So, what makes Kansas City so attractive to large distribution centers?

  1. Rail. Currently, the metro receives more tonnage by rail than any other city in the United States in large part thanks to Kansas City’s efficient rail lines that come into the city and leave with little incumbrances.  The multiple rail yards are the perfect spots for finished and raw goods, including grain, vehicles, and coal.
  2. Location.  Companies can reach 90% of the continental U.S. and nearly 99% of their customers within a two day drive time.  Its central location makes it a natural crossroads for transcontinental rail, interstate, and waterway.
  3. Interstate. Distribution Centers can piggyback on the large interstate system running all directions, including I-70, I-35, I-29, the 435 loop, and I-49. This allows companies to move goods more efficiently without congestion.
  4. Labor Cost.  The cost to operate in the Kansas City metro is significantly less than some other major metros such as Chicago, Dallas or Los Angeles.
  5. Community. Kansas City is mainly comprised of the non-transient workforce who come to the region and choose to stay in the area.  A low cost of living, big-city amenities and small-town feel, along with jobs and schools all contribute to why potential employees stay.