Michigan is centrally located in the Great Lakes region. It is surrounded by Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Erie. Michigan is rich in natural resources and has vast infrastructure to support ground, rail and air transportation. The state also has a skilled workforce and friendly environment for business with low costs and taxes. All of which makes Michigan an ideal location for warehousing services.
Michigan has established infrastructure to make multi-modal transportation accessible for business throughout the Contiguous United States and Canada. When it comes to ground transportation, interstates including I-69, I-75, I-94 and I-96 run through the state. There is also a network of smaller highways to make reaching other cities easy, this network includes 26 business routes and 23 business loops that connect on both ends to their parent highway.
There is a system of railways making rail freight shipping a great option, with almost 4,000 miles of operating rail track, which handle almost 94 million tons of cargo per year. Michigan is served by four Class I railroads, the Canadian National Railway, the Canadian Pacific Railway, CSX Transportation, and the Norfolk Southern Railway. Additionally, there are several dozen short line railroads. Most of the rail service in the state is used for freight.
Shipping through air freight is made available by multiple international and regional airports including Bishop International Airport in Flint, MBS International Airport in Freeland, Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport in Portage and Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids.
Rounding out the infrastructure are Michigan’s 38 deep-water ports. According to Great Lakes Ports and Shipping, “The U.S.-Flag fleet includes more than 60 carriers and tankers, as well as dozens of smaller tug and barge units. These vessels team up to haul upwards of 125 million tons of cargo during a typical 10-month shipping season.”
Michigan’s competitive infrastructure gives the state a clear advantage when it comes to shipping and warehousing services. It is an optimal location for a business hub. Several cities stand out in the state as top locations for warehousing services companies including Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.
Detroit is located on the eastern side of the state. It is known worldwide for automotive manufacturing, but there is much more to the city. Major industries include manufacturing, technology, bio-science, finance and health care. The city is also a cultural hub. The cost of living is well below the national average and tax incentives for businesses make it an attractive location.
Detroit is an important port on the Detroit River, which is a strait that connects the Great Lakes system to the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Due to its proximity to Canada and infrastructure including highways, rail systems, ports and airports it is an important transportation and trade hub. Detroit has three international border crossings, the Ambassador Bridge, Detroit–Windsor Tunnel and Michigan Central Railway Tunnel, which link the city to Windsor, Ontario. The Ambassador Bridge is the single busiest border crossing in North America, carrying 27% of the total trade between the U.S. and Canada. A new Detroit–Windsor bridge is expected to be completed by 2020. Detroit also has a major airport, the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The city is the second-largest economic region in the Midwest.
Lansing is the capital of Michigan; it is centrally located in the Lower Peninsula. Major industries in the area include technology, health care and insurance. It is home to several colleges and universities including three medical schools, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and Michigan State. Hi-tech manufacturing is a growing industry in the area. Low taxes, cost for business and cost of living are positive for companies developing in the area. Lansing is an important center for education, culture, government, commerce, and industry in Michigan.
Ground transportation and freight trucking are aided by an extensive highway system including I-69, I-96 and US-127. Freight shipping by rail is made easy through several railroads including Canadian National Railway, CSX Transportation, and the Jackson & Lansing Railroad. Commercial services are available through the Capital Region International Airport.
Grand Rapids is the largest city in West Michigan; it is on the Grand River about 30 miles east of Lake Michigan. The city has long been a manufacturing hub, particularly furniture manufacturing. Today, Grand Rapids is diverse economically. Industries include health care, bio-science, information technology, automotive, aviation, and consumer goods manufacturing. Residents of the city can enjoy art galleries, theater, eateries and several festivals throughout the year.
Freight trucking is available in the area with highways including I-96, I-196 and US-131. CSX, the Grand Elk Railroad, Marquette Rail, and the Grand Rapids Eastern Railroad provide freight service by rail. Commercial air services are available through Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
The city of Kalamazoo is in the southwest part of Michigan. It sits 150 miles from Chicago to the west and Detroit to the east. Kalamazoo has a diverse economy with major industries including education, health care and life sciences, research development and industrial design. Residents also enjoy the Kalamazoo Mall, which is an outdoor pedestrian shopping mall.
Several highways run through the area including I-94, US-131 and M-96. The Grand Elk Railroad provides freight by rail. Air freight is available through the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport.
Michigan as a Warehousing Hub
Michigan offers several advantages including location, easy access to the Contiguous United States and Canada, low costs for business, job growth and an expansive multi-modal transportation network. Tax breaks are also available to help companies moving to the state. Michigan is continuing to grow and expand with new opportunities and investment in infrastructure and industry. Contact us today for more information on the best warehouse solutions for your company.