How can a region transform into a hotspot for logistics? Southern Arizona serves as an excellent example of such a scenario. As a result of its transformation over the last ten years, the region contributes $18.7 billion to the economy. The area has been revitalized, its population is growing and employment has been created for thousands of people.
The success of one of the most rapidly growing regions of America, can be linked to the fact that it has been able to successfully market its strengths in supply chain, to major logistics companies. The area has an extremely reliable workforce, well developed infrastructure and is a prime location. Therefore, in recent years, some of the biggest distributors (Target, Tractor Supply Company, HomeGoods), have been drawn to the region.
Using Southern Arizona as a template, it is possible to transform your region into a hotspot for logistics. Here are some of the things you can do.
Any region that is a hotspot for logistics has the common feature of a workforce that is skilled. Given that a large part of the population in the US is close to retirement, companies are now targeting regions for expansion, which have a skilled and young pool of employees.
Taking the example of Southern Arizona, officials collaborated with the University of Arizona and Pima Community College with the objective of imparting valuable business skill sets to students numbering in thousands. This makes promoting the area to companies easy for officials that are responsible for its economic development. A skilled workforce would ready to work for the companies that would want to expand there.
Any region that has access to the larger markets of the country immediately becomes an attractive location for logistics. Such is the case with Tuscon. Companies prefer establishing their distribution centers at such locations because they can conserve their resources in order to reach their customers. Logistics hotspots need to be near big metropolitan areas in order to appeal to large distribution chains and suppliers.
Arizona’s political, social and business ties with Mexico, grant the region a sizeable advantage in terms of the access it permits to the Mexican market. This results in the creation of new opportunities for business and an expanded reach for supply chain centers. This in turn promotes trade to occur between Mexico and the US, and balances export and import levels.
A functional and well maintained infrastructure is necessary for any transportation and logistics company to be effective. One of the crucial factors responsible for transforming Southern Arizona into a hotspot for logistics was the Port of Tuscon, an intermodal rail system. It offers a range of transporting options via rail within the Southwest.
Tuscon’s proximity to deep water ports at the West Coast is attractive for companies that conduct business at a global level.
South Arizona has also successfully been able to focus on and develop the assets that enable logistics functionality. Infrastructure, workforce and location are all strengths that the region has successfully leveraged.