January 2007 | Sponsored | Knowledge Base

The Indianapolis Region: A New Logistics Leader Has Emerged

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Images of central Indiana may bring to mind the Indianapolis 500, the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning or the NCAA Final Four. However, for logistics professionals, the Indianapolis region is becoming a dream destination for moving goods around the world.

Site selection consultants and local Indianapolis region logistics and distribution companies are finding that available real estate, central location, transportation infrastructure, strong work ethic and low costs are making the Indianapolis region one of the best places to do business. In fact, in 2006, KPMG ranked the Indianapolis region as the third least-costly large city in which to do business.

Indianapolis will move over 5 billion tons of air freight through the region every year, ranking the airport as the 20th largest in the world and 7th in the United States in total air cargo. To further improve capacity, the Indianapolis International airport will complete a $1 billion mid-field passenger terminal in late 2008.

The Indianapolis International Airport is also home to the second largest FedEx hub in the world and provides a unique opportunity to move goods efficiently. FedEx Express also announced a major expansion in conjunction with the airport. The current FedEx facility at the airport is 1.6 million square feet, with the expansion bringing an additional 600,000 square feet.

This project will help ensure that we have the required processing capacity for the added volume in Indianapolis,≤ said David Bronczek, President and Chief Executive Officer for FedEx Express.

Indianapolis is actively recruiting international cargo companies to take advantage of its central location and low cost business environment. Cargolux, Europeπs largest air cargo carrier, announced new service to Indianapolis in 2006, and has already added non-stop flights from Europe. In addition, the foreign trade zones make Indianapolis even more attractive.

The new Cargolux gateway in Indianapolis will prove very beneficial for our overall distribution network, in line with our expansion plan, and will meet the highly sophisticated requirements of our clients, with main support from the pharmaceutical industry,≤ said Ulrich Ogiermann, President and CEO of Cargolux. Location, Location, Location

Certainly, air cargo is one of the Indianapolis regionπs key strengths but so is the highway system. Indianapolis is dubbed the Crossroads of America for a reason ≠ it is the most centrally located major city in the United States. Seventy-five percent of all businesses in the United States are within a one day truck drive and more interstate highways intersect in the Indianapolis region than anywhere else, including I-65, I-70, I-74, I-465.

The Indianapolis region is also ranked #1 in the country in total highway miles and is virtually delay free when it comes to truck freight transport. This provides for quicker fulfillment, better customer satisfaction and lower costs.

The Indianapolis region is already home to 1,500 logistics-focused companies, employing over 50,000 experienced workers. Companies like Celadon Group Inc., Ozburn-Hessey Logistics, Logisco, Online Transport Inc. and Venture Logistics have found the skilled workforce needed to make their business successful. World-class universities offer degree programs and curriculum specifically related to logistics, including Indiana University, Purdue University and Ivy Tech.

Indiana state and local government are ramping up competitive incentive and assistance packages including refundable employment-based income tax credits, employee training expense assistance, single sales apportionment tax factor, infrastructure cost assistance and local property tax abatement allowances. Recent wins that demonstrates how Fortune 500 companies are recognizing the logistical advantages of the Indianapolis region include new operations for Toyota, Honda, Wellpoint, Arbonne and Nestle. These expansions and strong existing worldwide companies, such as Wellpoint, Eli Lilly, Rolls Royce, Dow AgroSciences, Allison Transmission, NCAA and Roche Diagnostics contributed to a record year in economic development. The Indy Partnership announced that the Indianapolis region attracted over $1.7 billion in capitol investment for 2006, more than doubling 2005πs total.

While the Indianapolis region garners worldwide attention in sports, donπt overlook the great opportunities to improve supply chain management, where goods can move faster than an Indy Car coming out of Turn Four.

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