Top 10 Cities for eCommerce Fulfillment

May 25, 2017

Winning eCommerce customers means fast, affordable delivery—for both you and your customers.

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**We've updated this information! For the latest and greatest, visit our article, On-demand warehousing 101: Top 10 locations for Warehousing & eCommerce Fulfillment.

Winning eCommerce customers means fast, affordable delivery—for both you and your customers. Achieving a lower cost-per-order value means getting your products closer to your customers to shorten the last leg of delivery—ultimately, adding more fulfillment centers to your distribution network.

On-demand fulfillment is a way for retailers to add fulfillment centers quickly. You can pop-up capacity when and where you need it. It takes half the time to set up (three weeks vs. three months) and costs a fraction of the price of traditional solutions because there are no long-term commitments or service fees.

Retailers have started popping-up fulfillment centers across North America. The additional capacity and fulfillment services are helping them compete with Amazon’s delivery speed and improve customer satisfaction.

Here are the top 10 most popular cities for fulfillment centers in the United States. These centers tend to be located near centralized population hubs, large airports, and seaports.

  • Seattle, Washington
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Edison, New Jersey
  • Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • Orlando, Florida

On-demand fulfillment can be particularly useful for high-growth eCommerce retailers looking to test and expand into new markets, offer pop-up promotions, and improve customer delivery promises. With scalable, on-demand capacity, it’s easier to procure space when volumes peak and there’s a strain on your infrastructure.

During peak seasons, there is a bump in pop-up fulfillment centers in these three cities:

  • Seattle, Washington: As the PNW continues to grow at an exponential pace, many eCommerce companies are realizing the value of having fulfillment centers in the area to meet the growing demand.
  • Edison, New Jersey: Located near the Big Apple, Edison is a high-density location for meeting demand and moving goods. It’s location makes it the ideal city for reaching all major cities in the Northeast and New England markets.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: Indianapolis is a staple in supply chain operations because of its central location and proximity to Chicago.

On-demand fulfillment is an old idea with a new twist. Retailers have been adding capacity to their distribution networks for years, but nothing about the process has been modernized or streamlined.

“Short-term” warehousing traditionally meant signing a one-year lease and committing to a service contract. Today, technology exists to make this process on demand.

As the supply chain enters a new era—an era entrenched in digitization, innovation, the “now economy,” and the “sharing economy”—operations have to change to keep pace with increasing consumer demands.

With on-demand fulfillment, smaller companies can afford to add more distribution points, and larger retailers can add capacity to create more agility within their network.

For example, in Q4 when the holidays hit, companies like Walmart and Urban Outfitters hit about 80% of their warehouse capacity. Online sales go through the roof and they are trying to push orders through a pipeline that can’t hold that volume. On-demand fulfillment provides a relief to help them manage that extra 5 to 10% volume for that short period of time. They can continue meeting their customer delivery promise and meet baseline standards with minimal disruption or cost.

For smaller retailers, on-demand fulfillment can help them add locations to meet their demand pattern during peak seasons. With inventory closer to customers, they can shorten delivery times and offer one- or same-day shipping on certain products to improve conversion rates and reduce shopping cart abandonment.

As the market for one- and same-day delivery continues to climb, on-demand fulfillment solutions will help more retailers meet customer demands and exceed expectations.