Well-recognized firms such as American Eagle Outfitters, AutoZone, Michaels, Amazon, Bradley Caldwell, FedEx Supply Chain, Steelcase and The Nature's Bounty Co., have located and/or expanded in the northeast region, specifically Greater Hazleton.
The region offers:
Northeastern Pennsylvania is served by five Interstates, including I-80, I-81, I-84, I-380 and I-476 – the backbones of commerce in the Northeast. These Interstates traverse the region, providing optimal access to almost every destination in this major market area within six hours or less. Greater Hazleton is located at junction of Interstates 80 and 81, the Crossroads of the Northeast.
Low Operating Costs
A distribution center locating in the region will benefit from significantly overall lower operating costs than other advantageously located areas in Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, Central and Northern New Jersey, and the New York Metropolitan Area. A combined cost model for a representative distribution center that includes real estate, labor, outbound freight, utilities, and taxes for a distribution center employing 800 workers shows that a Northeastern Pennsylvania distribution center could offer an annual savings of $3 million over a Harrisburg location, $5.2 million over a Middletown, N.Y., site, and almost $7.2 million over a Central New Jersey location.
Labor would generate the most significant savings. In the cost model, an annual savings of $2.1 million to $4.8 million could be realized at a Northeastern Pennsylvania location over comparable locations in Harrisburg, Central New Jersey and Orange County, New York.
Freight costs for a regional distribution center in the region are also lower than locations in central New Jersey, Metropolitan New York and the Harrisburg area. For example, a distribution center with combined class 85 TL and LTL shipments destined for a 17-state and two-Canadian-province area (southern Ontario and Quebec), annual shipping costs from Stroudsburg are about $250,000 cheaper than a central New Jersey location, $721,000 cheaper than an Orange County, N.Y., location and just over $1 million cheaper than a Harrisburg site.
The region boasts a strong, well-established community college and vocational college network that offers customized training programs in those courses needed by transportation and logistics operations, such as warehouse/distribution management, distribution and supply logistics, logistics technologies, logistics and supply chain management, supply chain and information systems and auto, heavy equipment and diesel mechanics.
Pennsylvania’s Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) help employers recruit and screen potential employees at no cost to the employers. WIBs are non-profit boards of businessmen and women and community leaders engaged in the promotion of workforce development, planning, and oversight of local training efforts under the auspices of the Federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Once an employee is hired in NEPA, there are several grant programs available to help companies reduce their training costs, including the Guaranteed Free Training Program.
Available Sites and Buildings
The Hazleton area has “ready to go” sites and available buildings to accommodate new industry operations that want to take advantage of the area's assets. There are a number of vacant sites and buildings suitable for a range of industry needs, from small operations to big-box installations. The sites are properly zoned and fully served by utilities, many of which are located within Keystone Opportunity Zones.
Some of the larger distribution companies in Greater Hazleton include:
|American Eagle Outfitters||American clothing and accessory retailer||
|Michaels Stores||Northeast distributor of handcraft products||693,026|
|Amazon||Northeast distributor of books, cds, dvds||615,600|
|Office Depot||Northeast distributor of office use products||615,000|
|Auto Zone||Northeast distributor of auto parts||600,000|
|Romark Logistics||3PL - Food products||526,000|
|The Nature's Bounty Co.||Distributor of vitamins||413,600|
|FedEx Supply Chain||Supply chain logistics||408,200|
|EB Brands||Giftware distributor||360,360|
|Bradley Caldwell||Distributor of hardware, farm & pet supplies||335,000|
|The Packaging Wholesalers Co.||Distributor of packaging materials||293,493|
|Brake Parts Inc.||Distributor of aftermarket parts for automotive industry||289,000|
|Tootsie Roll Industries||Northeast distributor of Tootsie Roll products||240,000|
|US Cold Storage||Refridgerated storage||210,000|
The distribution facilities within the CAN DO parks obtain more than 7,000,000 square feet.
Source: 2006 Logistics and Transportation Industry Analysis - Prepared by Wadley-Donovan GrowthTech, LLC