Each year, supply chain specialist Chicago Consulting identifies what it calls the 10 Best Warehouse Networks. While the list might not have quite the cachet of, say, Vanity Fair's annual "Best Dressed" list, it nonetheless has a certain standing in the logistics community.
The 10 Best Warehouse Networks list identifies the cities from which companies could theoretically serve the greatest percentage of the population in the least amount of time. Uniquely, the list looks at networks consisting of from one to 10 facilities. For example, if a company uses only one warehouse to serve the entire United States, then locating that facility in Vincennes, Ind., would provide the lowest possible transit times to customers. The average leadtime to customers would be 2.31 days, and the average distance to customers would be 819 miles, according to Chicago Consulting's analysis.
For a network of three warehouses, placing them in Boyertown, Pa.; Jackson, Tenn.; and Porterville, Calif., would produce the shortest possible average transit time—just 1.33 days. To achieve that, a company would have to ship 33 percent of its goods from Boyertown, 44 percent from Jackson, and 23 percent from Porterville.
The firm cautions that its Top 10 list consists of generic networks and that these networks are not intended as recommendations for any particular company.
To see the entire list, go to Chicago Consulting's website.