The Chicago metropolitan area represents an attractive manufacturing environment and is a large market for both industrial and consumer products. As such, many businesses require warehousing in and around the metropolitan area that is accessible by train, plane, and truck. Warehouses in Chicago can facilitate the movement of inventory either out of the area to other markets or into other area distribution or retail centers, but there are a number of factors to consider in choosing one that can inform the price you pay per square feet.
First, are your goods moving into or out of the Chicago area, and how are they getting in or out? If they’re moving out by plane, then being near the airport is a probably ideal, since premium pricing paid for warehouses’ locations are usually offset by lower transportation costs. On the other hand, if products are coming in by train to be redistributed to the Chicago market, then warehousing that is on or near the tracks, easily accessible by trucks, and the shortest distance from their destinations is probably ideal.
As far as accommodating how goods get to and from the warehouse, Chicago offers a lot of different specialties. While all warehouses are easily accessible to trucks, some are certainly better than others. Consider how many loading docks are available and how close the inventory will be held to the dock. Closer inventory and more docks mean less likelihood of a backup, which will save businesses a lot of money.
Next, consider the type of good, as this will dictate the type of space and type of equipment needed to move it once it’s in the warehouse. Consumer products stored on pallets don’t usually require special environments and can be moved by pallet trucks, whereas industrial products can require special handling equipment and hazardous materials require special environments and people qualified to handle it and transport it around the facility.
Of course price can be a deciding factor in choosing a warehouse Chicago. Sometimes a big space needs to be filled and warehouses are willing to offer it at a steep discount in return for a longer-term commitment. In these rare cases, it makes sense for businesses to mold their logistics to the opportunity. A logistics specialist like TSI can help determine just how flexible a business should be with its inventory and logistics practices in order to take advantage of special warehousing opportunities, and can perform the proper cost-benefit analysis that make it easy to choose the right warehouse, in the right location, at the right price.