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Gain a Competitive Edge with an Indianapolis 3PL: A Q&A with ITS Logistics Leadership

Indianapolis 3PL services for an agile and flexible supply chain

Engaging with an Indianapolis 3PL provider for supply chain operations can offer a unique logistical advantage. The Indianapolis market has been investing in its infrastructure for decades and quickly became one of the most robust logistics corridors in the US. Indiana is known as the “Crossroads of America” and lies within one day’s drive to nearly 80% of the population. This strategic location offers an optimized position for logistics and distribution operations, ensuring a higher likelihood of finished goods arriving on time.

The state of Indiana has invested $10 billion over ten years into transportation enhancement plans. The efforts resulted in 400 miles of new highways, dozens of bridge projects, and other infrastructure expansions. These new partnerships and programs include a long-term agreement with the Indiana Railroad Company (INRD) and the Canadian National Railway (CN). The agreement gives Indiana companies access to a secure network of rail lines with the potential to lessen transit times by 8-10 days for imports from Asia-Pacific.

With three maritime ports and the only statewide port system with direct waterway access to two US coasts, Indiana ranks seventh in the US for waterborne shipping. The state is home to the second largest FedEx hub in the world and Indianapolis is a short drive from two other major logistics hubs. Chicago is less than three hours away, the largest rail hub in the US and the third largest intermodal container and trailer port in the world. The UPS Worldport Air Hub is less than 2 hours away in Louisville, Kentucky, the fourth busiest cargo airport in the world and the second busiest in the US.

Indianapolis 3PL Campus with 1.3M sq. ft. of Distribution and Fulfillment Space

In 2021, ITS Logistics first expanded into the Midwest with its first location in Indianapolis (Indy 1). The 350,000-square-foot facility was joined by a second 260,000-square-foot distribution center earlier in Q2 2022 (Indy 2). The second expansion also added regional trucking operations including dedicated contract services, drayage, line haul, expedited, storage and drop trailers, rapid replenishment fulfillment and transportation, and special projects/warehouse moves.

A third 700,000-square-foot newly built facility (Indy 3) has joined the Indianapolis campus in 2023, totaling more than 1.3 million-square-feet of space. These three combined with three Reno-Sparks and one Dallas/Ft.-Worth distribution center offers nearly 4 million-square-feet of capacity with services that can reach more than 95% of the United States in two days.

A Q&A with ITS Logistics Leadership

  • Ryan Martin, President of Assets
  • Kasia Wenker, Director of Supply Chain Solutions
  • Mike Green, General Manager – Indianapolis Campus

Why has ITS Logistics continued to grow and invest in the Indianapolis market?

MG: “Originally for us, getting into the Indianapolis market was about the competitive advantage that it offers. This is a unique location that can touch the majority of the country with two-day shipping. From Indy 1 to Indy 3, it’s allowed us to continue to expand that footprint and add capacity from the warehousing standpoint on the parcel delivery side. It’s been key being in Indy–the Crossroads of America. Indy is unique, we’ve got FedEx and UPS here, we’ve got accessibility to the rail in Chicago, which makes the transit times for incoming and outgoing freight pretty competitive.”

RM: “Indy has always been a great market in terms of where it is in the region and labor and workforce. Historically, it has proven to be a top 5 market when it comes to the workforce. It’s in a strategic location from a shipping advantage standpoint. From a carrier standpoint, like FedEx or UPS, it’s close to a substantial hub network in either Louisville or Indy. This offers significant advantages in terms of time in transit to a majority of Eastern/Midwest US from a parcel standpoint. These are some of the key reasons why we continue to grow because we see a significant advantage within that region. We chose this specific location as it allows us the opportunity to continue to grow our campus strategy which maximizes our workforce in terms of labor utilization between the buildings and affords ITS the opportunity to provide superior service to our customers.”

KW: “When you look at the Indy campus it is a complementary strategic location for our existing network in Reno and Dallas and allows us to offer nationwide solutions with a two-day shipping advantage across the country. The growth we have experienced in this region has been so fast largely because of its total network advantage and proximity to population centers with exponentially high demand. Products continue to be sourced in Asia and Indy has the advantage of being serviced by West Coast ports and rail. This is a huge advantage from time in transit and cost perspective and helps to drive down inventory carrying costs for our customers.”

What are the advantages of Indy’s proximity to ports and rail ramps?

KW: “Booking containers from the West Coast ports to the Chicago rail is the most cost-effective and fastest way to get your freight to Indy. You have the option to go to either the Chicago rail ramp or the Indianapolis rail ramp. Booking IPI through the Port of LA to the Indianapolis or Chicago rail ramps would take on average 5-8 days. From there our ITS fleet with our own professional drivers can retrieve your freight and take it to the distribution center. This allows us to integrate vital parts of our customers’ supply chain and significantly reduce impacts to delays and cost.”

What are some benefits of the regionalized trucking model for manufactured goods?

RM: “We are looking to mirror what we do in the Reno-Sparks market with manufacturing, especially with rapid replenishment and food manufacturing. For example, in food manufacturing where manufacturers might need help planning out warehousing space, we can ship in just-in-time raw goods and then ship out the finished goods to their retail customer base which allows our manufacturing partners to focus on what they’re really good at which is making quality products for their customers. We are a provider that offers full-service solutions from raw goods distribution, receipt and distribution to shuttling services with our own regionalized based fleet and distribution to various retailers, inclusive of ecommerce and omnichannel fulfillment.”

What are the expansion plans for regionalized trucking in the Indianapolis market?

RM: “Our new Indy 3 building will be the terminal for what will one day be a 75-tractor fleet fully encompassed with around 200 trailers and 100+ chassis. This will complement our overall campus well with the customer base that we have and continue to build out over time.

The automotive and automotive parts industries are undergoing significant growth. How does ITS Logistics offer solutions?

KW: “We have developed a tire-specific distribution capability. One of the three buildings is dedicated to tire logistics distribution and fulfillment. Historically the auto parts industry has grown about 3.5% to 3.9% per year. The shared logistics network in the automotive industry is becoming very attractive because of space requirements and production dynamics. We have also strategically invested the leadership in Indy when it comes to the automotive vertical.”

MG: “Prior to ITS, multiple members of the Indy leadership team have more than 15 years of combined experience in everything from parts distribution and OEM to tire handling operations. The team that works in the warehouse undergoes specialized training for tire and automotive part handling to ensure the highest level of service and safety.”

RM: “This is our strategic vertical in this region, and we are continuing to support it on both the warehousing and transportation side. Our strategic goal is to have 2 million square foot campuses in each market which allows us to offer stability and scalability for our customers. We currently offer nearly 4 million square feet across three regions in the US. Our focus and dedication in servicing our customers has allowed us to exceed our strategic plan over the last five years and grow faster than we originally anticipated.”

Engaging with a strategic 3PL partner

ITS Logistics offers an Indianapolis 3PL campus that is strategically located in Whitestown, Indiana. The ideal location for a Midwest distribution center, the three building 1.3M sq. ft. campus offers a full suite of logistics services including comprehensive B2B, D2C, retail and omnichannel from a single small parcel ecommerce delivery to LTL and full truckload distribution.

With nearly 4 million square feet of distribution space, a footprint in 50 markets in North America, and a knowledgeable team of logistics experts, the team at ITS can offer unique nationwide solutions. Combine any 3PL logistics services like dedicated transportation, intermodal and drayage, distribution and fulfillment, and more to create an integrated and dependable supply chain.

There is 700,000 sq. ft. available NOW in the Indy 3 facility. Call us today for more information at 855-449-2885!

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