Get to Know Logistics in the Greater Baltimore Region
The Greater Baltimore region can boast that its logistics industry is a significant economic generator not only for the Region but the entire state. The Region’s strategic location on the east coast provides close proximity to one of the top performing ports in the U.S., as well as access to significant freight rail, interstate highways, and three commercial airports - two with direct international flights - within a one-hour drive of one another. This article will touch briefly on the importance of the logistics industry to the Region’s economy.
The answer is all of the above, and more. The logistics industry includes a broad spectrum of services and specializations, including not only the transportation and delivery of goods, but also the storage, handling, inventorying, packaging and distribution of these goods.
The logistics industry and all of its components are being transformed by technology, and the growth of e-commerce has become a significant driver in how “traditional” warehousing and distribution centers are now engaged in managing the flow of goods into and out of their facilities. Logistics is also playing a transformative role in the rise of the “direct to consumer” market, and the industry is the backbone of the manufacturing sector.
First, some statistics specific to the Greater Baltimore region: this is the seven-jurisdiction Region which the EAGB represents; slightly different than the Baltimore Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in that it includes Cecil County, but does not include Queen Anne’s County. The Bureau of Labor Statistics categorizes logistics under Trade, Transportation and Utilities (TTU). According to Maryland’s Q3 2018 Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages:
- 52% of Maryland’s TTU jobs are in the Greater Baltimore region (238,000 jobs)
- Just under 14,000 TTU firms are located in the Region
- Total annual wages for TTU jobs are approaching $11 billion
From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- 81% of the subcategory of warehousing and storage jobs in Maryland are located in Greater Baltimore
- Jobs in warehousing and storage more than doubled in the Region between 2012-2017 (7,500 jobs added)
The assets that provide the foundation for and fuel the growth of the logistics industry in the Region are many. More information can be found in the “Industry Spotlight” section that follows, but to call out a few highlights:
- Baltimore County’s Tradepoint Atlantic (TPA) currently employs nearly 4000 in companies including Amazon, FedEx and Under Armour. Major distribution centers are under development for Home Depot and Floor Décor, and nearly 10,000 people will be directly employed at TPA upon full build out. Baltimore County is home to the third largest concentration of employers in the logistics industry, including transportation and distribution.
- The Port of Baltimore is ranked #9 in the U.S. by the value of trade flow and in the past year alone has experienced increases in general cargo (1.83%), containers (5%), roll-on/roll-off cargo (12.71%) and autos and trucks (8.69%). The Port of Baltimore handles more autos and trucks than any other U.S. port.
- Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Thurgood Marshall Airport’s freight business increased by 18.5% in 2018.
- The Region has two Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ). The FTZ program helps eligible U.S.-based companies improve their competitive position versus their counterparts abroad through various incentives such as allowing them to defer, reduce or even eliminate customs duties on products admitted to the zone. Many companies find that their inventory control and quality control systems run more efficiently in FTZs, thereby increasing their competitiveness:
- FTZ #74 is managed by the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) and includes properties in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Harford, Howard and Queen Anne’s Counties.
- FTZ #73 is located at BWI and is managed by the Maryland Aviation Administration.
Logistics will continue to play an important role in the Region’s economic growth by creating career pathways from entry-level jobs to highly-skilled positions. These jobs will increasingly require varying degrees of technological training and skills as the industry continues to embrace new technologies to improve efficiency and productivity.
FOUR TRENDS THAT ARE IMPACTING THE LOGISTICS INDUSTRY INCLUDE:
- Artificial Intelligence is helping companies accumulate and analyze data by identifying patterns and generating insights into every link of the supply chain, thereby transforming how logistics companies operate.
- IoT (the internet of things) is being applied to track goods between the manufacturing facility and vendors, producing data that allows companies to identify patterns, predict customer preferences and identify potential breakdowns in the supply chain.
- Blockchain can enable the tracking of products, improving safety and security by facilitating the discovery of possible fraud. Blockchain’s application to the industry will continue to grow, improving efficiencies across the entire spectrum.
- Robotics allow several jobs to be performed simultaneously, of particular importance to e-commerce, which requires a heightened level of speed and efficiency to meet the rapid growth of online sales.
The Greater Baltimore region is rich in highly-skilled workers in many of our growing industry sectors. It is critical that our educational and workforce training institutions understand the changing landscape of the logistics industry as it increases its reliance on advances in technology to increase productivity and efficiency. There are already several programs in the Region that have curricula and skills training that address the skills required by workers wishing to enter and/or advance their careers in the logistics industry.
The Greater Baltimore region is the location of choice for businesses that rely upon efficient transportation and fulfillment for their success, and the companies that ensure that goods are delivered on time to the proper location. Many of the Region’s counties are in our "Spotlight" this month due to their distinctive logistics offerings:
Anne Arundel County
Shankara Naturals skin care line is moving its corporate, manufacturing and R&D operations from San Antonio, Texas to Greater Baltimore this summer for an ideal location near major transportation hubs. Anne Arundel County provides the perfect spot for the company to make deliveries of their fresh products faster while accommodating employees living in the area.
Foreign Trade Zone, FTZ #74, managed by the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), was established in 1982 and has been continually expanded and modified due to various requests for additional space. Zone space, originally 60,000 square feet, currently includes more than 900 activated acres at multiple sites in the Greater Baltimore region.
For more information, contact: Baltimore Development Corporation
(410) 837-9305 email@example.com.
Baltimore County is a critical hub for Transportation, Distribution & Logistics
Baltimore County’s strategic east coast location makes it a critical hub for the Transportation, Distribution & Logistics (TDL) industry, which is central to the Region’s economy. With strong locational assets, including access to one of the nation’s leading ports, miles of rail and major highways, the TDL industry is well situated for continued robustness and growth.
Regional impacts include:
- Over 14,000 employers
- $10 billion associated worker income
- 235,811 jobs
Baltimore County is home to the 3rd highest number of TDL employers in Maryland, including Coty (formerly Proctor & Gamble), Element Fleet Management, Stanley Black & Decker, Cowan Systems and UPS Supply Chain Solutions.
Businesses on the County’s east side access the locational assets of Sparrows Point-Dundalk for their TDL operations, including:
- Amazon Fulfillment Center
- General Motors
- Access World
- Sparrows Point Shipyard
- Under Armour
- FedEx Ground
With 9,500 jobs, the Port of Baltimore is the largest TDL employer in the state.
Penguin Random House is Carroll County’s Logistics Blockbuster
Penguin Random House (PRH), Carroll County’s largest private employer, expanded its Westminster facility for the seventh time by 192,000 square feet in 2018. Capital investment in the project was over $14 million and they now occupy a total of 1.6 million square feet. Over one million books a day are delivered from the Westminster distribution complex.
Did you know? In 2018, PRH U.S. ranked #1 on Forbes list of America’s Best Midsize Employers, and PRH celebrated its fifth anniversary as the world’s largest trade book publisher. In 1998, Bertelsmann AG bought Random House and merged it with Bantam Doubleday Dell and it soon went global. In 2013, Random House merged with the Penguin Group and continued its worldwide expansion of the trade publishing giants. The PRH corporate headquarters is in Manhattan.
Principio Business Park sees logistics growth
When determining where to locate, logistics-minded firms must focus on three primary factors: an available skilled workforce, access to major markets and transportation infrastructure. With a setting halfway between Baltimore and Philadelphia and I-95 and CSX rail lines running through the middle of the county, Cecil County has seen tremendous logistics growth over the past 2.5 years. Companies such as Amazon, Smithfield, Lidl and Medline have built 3.5 million square feet at Principio Business Park in that time, increasing the park’s total build-out to 6 million square feet.
Did you know? With the completion of a new interchange at I-95 for direct access into Principio expected in the next five years, Principio Business Park could see an additional 14 million square feet, with the potential to create over 8,000 direct jobs for Cecil County and the Region. This development master plan would make Principio Business Park the largest business park in the Mid-Atlantic. Bainbridge, a former 1,200-acre Naval Training Center in Port Deposit, will also soon see industrial activity. A developer expects to break ground on 3 million square feet of logistics operations in the next two years.
Harford County is home to a number of leading distribution and e-commerce businesses, including:
- Rite Aid’s Mid-Atlantic Customer Distribution Center (1,000 employees)
- Sephora USA and Sephora Americas (800 employees)
- Kohl’s E-Fulfillment Center (600 employees)
Harford County recently welcomed Universal Supply Company, a leading distributor of specialty building products on the east coast, as it opened its newest location in Edgewood. Learn more.
Howard County received approval earlier this year from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Foreign Trade Zones Board to be included in the expansion of Foreign Trade Zone #74. Read more here.
It is no surprise to locals in the Greater Baltimore region that our state is ranked #1 in the country when it comes to the concentration of STEM jobs. These jobs and the talent required to perform them are critical to the success of the Region’s growth industries. This is true of logistics due largely to the technological advances impacting the transportation, warehousing and distribution sectors.
Maryland WorkSmart acts as a seamless “single point of contact,” connecting businesses to the vast breadth and depth of the training services that take place at Maryland WorkSmart centers located at all community colleges across the state. Training is provided at a nearby college or on-site at the business location. Following is a list of top logistics training programs available at community colleges in the Greater Baltimore region:
Community College of Baltimore County
- Aviation, Flight and Air Traffic Control, AAS and Credit Certificates
- Transportation, Distribution, and Maritime Logistics, Credit Certificate
- Automated Facilities and Logistics Technician, Continuing Education Workforce Training Certificate
- Certified Logistics/Warehouse Distribution Associate (CLA), Continuing Education Workforce Training Certificate
- Diesel Technician/Mechanic, Continuing Education Workforce Training Certificate
- Facility Management Professional (FMP), Continuing Education Workforce Training Certificate
- Single courses include Forklift Operator Training, Distribution and Logistics Management, and Drone Pilot Training (Continuing Education)
Baltimore City Community College
- Transportation and Supply Chain Management Program Learning Outcomes, AAS and Certificates
- WICA: Certified Logistics Associate (CLA)
- WICA: Forklift - Forklift Operation & Safety
- WICA: OSHA 10-hour General Industry Training
- WICA: Warehousing and Inventory Control Specialist (WICS) Program
- NEW-Diesel Technician & Mechanic Certificate
Anne Arundel Community College
- Transportation, Logistics and Cardo Security Certificate
- Supply Chain Management, AAS and Certificate
- CDL A & B Training
- Manufacturing & Warehouse Distribution Training
Harford Community College
- Green Supply Chain Professional Certificate
- Distribution & Logistics Management Certificate
- Freight Broker/Agent Training
- Commercial Truck Driving Training
- Drone Technology Certificate
- Forklift Operator Certificate
- Transportation Logistics and Management, AAS
- Supply Chain Management, AAS and Certificate
Carroll Community College
- Commercial Truck Driving Training
- Commercial UAS Drone Pilot, Certificate
Howard Community College
- CDL Learner's Permit Prep
- Forklift Operator Training
The Maryland WorkSmart Program is a joint initiative of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges, Maryland Department of Commerce and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. For more information, contact Melanie Koorey, Director, Maryland WorkSmart: firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-777-7212.