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Logistics & Distribution

No One Moves Like Memphis

With a world-class infrastructure and the ability to operate 24 hours a day for 365 days a year, it’s no wonder Memphis has earned the title of America’s Distribution Center. And our four modes of transportation – runway, road, rail and river – ensure that Memphis is the most reliable and cost-effective location for your logistics and distribution company.

The 4 R's

Logistics and Distribution

As the home of the FedEx World Hub, our airport ships all night long. In fact, it’s the second busiest air cargo airport in the world. If turnaround time is your priority, Memphis is your answer.

World’s Busiest Air Cargo Airports – 2016

AirportTotal Cargo (Metric Tons)
Hong Kong, HK (HKG)4,451,000
MemphisTN, US (MEM)4,291,368
Shanghai, CN (PVG)3,440,280
Anchorage AK, US (ANC)2,762,501
Dubai, AE (DXB)2,534,786

Give us 48 hours and your goods can reach 45 states, Canada and Mexico by rail. Memphis is one of only four U.S. cities served by five Class I rail systems:

Union Pacific (UP) operates its most eastern location in Memphis, connecting our city to the western United States and moving cotton, lumber, processed foods and more.

BNSF Railway (BNSF) expanded its Tennessee Yard to 1,000,000 container lifts per year from 250,000. The expansion includes parking for more than 6,000 trucks, an automated inventory tracking system, five loading cranes and more.

Norfolk Southern (NS) operates three intermodal tracks and provides stacking capabilities, on load and off load services and access 7 days per week.

Canadian National Railroad (CN) completed a $100 million expansion to its Harrison Yard with a new capacity of 3,100 freight cars with 45 tracks which allows it to handle 35 or more freight trains per day.

CSX Corporation (CSX) shares an intermodal yard with CN and operates intermodal and automobile distribution terminals in Memphis.

Thanks to its natural geographical advantage, Memphis serves as a connection point for some of the nation’s key interstates and can reach more markets through overnight truck service.

Markets Served Through Overnight
Truck Service

CityTotal Metro Markets ServedTop 100 Metro Markets Served
St. Louis14638
Kansas City10924

Source: CTSI

With a long history as a river city, the Memphis port continues to be an important part of the nation’s intermodal transportation network.

  • The port generates more customs duties than most major U.S. seaports, including the port of New Orleans.
  • In 2016, the Port of Memphis handled more than 12.184 million short tons.
  • The Port of Memphis is the fifth largest inland port in the U.S.

Major Logistics and Distribution Operations

FedEx Corporation chose Memphis as the location for their global headquarters and provides supply chain and logistics solutions – including overnight delivery – to companies around the world. Proximity to the world hub guarantees some of the latest drop-off times for overnight delivery in the country.

Target Corporation invested in a new e-commerce distribution center in southeast Memphis. With a guaranteed workforce and a world-class infrastructure, Memphis was the obvious choice.

Nike opened its largest distribution center in the world in Memphis, Tennessee. The 2.8 million square foot facility allows the company to offer greater cost efficiencies, reduce shipping times and increase capabilities for their consumers and retail partners.

4,600,000 sf

4,300,000 sf

XPO Logistics Supply Chain
3,745,000 sf

2,735,300 sf

Nickey Warehouse
2,200,000 sf

DHL Supply Chain
2,100,000 sf

Patterson Warehouses
2,000,000 sf

Mallory Alexander
1,500,000 sf

McKesson Corp.
1,500,000 sf

Ford Motor Company
1,069,800 sf

Source: Memphis Business Journal Book of Lists

Logistics & Distribution Workforce

Memphis has more logistics workers per capita than any other metropolitan area in the country. 16.6% of the metro workforce is employed in the wholesale trade and transportation sector. 

OccupationEmployeesAverage Wage
All Transportation Occupations87,600$33,860
Laborers and Freight, Stock and Material Movers39,640$28,610
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers15,590$42,250
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers15,320$26,720
Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks7,580$29,890
Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators5,390$34,010
Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers5,360$37,840
First-Line Supervisors of Transportation and Material-Moving Machine and Vehicle Operators4,350$56,260
Packers and Packagers4,110$24,430
Cleaners of Vehicles and Equipment1,570$25,120
Management Analysts1,510$79,900
Transportation, Storage and Distribution Managers1,160$90,760
Industrial Engineers890$82,010
Machine Feeders and Offbearers170$27,750
Crane and Tower Operators60$47,880

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics,
Occupational Employment Statistics
May 2017

Find Out More

Want to know more about the Logistics & Distribution industry?

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