11/04/2021

Houston: A Pioneer of Logistically-Centered Cities

As NFI continues to grow its North American logistics footprint, Houston has emerged as a leading supply chain hub. The area serves as a distribution hotspot with its intricate interstate highway, railroad systems, and access to major seaports for global trade. 

Houston is a top-ranked market for transportation, distribution, and all aspects of the supply chain. The region is an ideal base for companies needing national distribution due to its equidistance from the east and west coasts and the ability to reach any metro in the country in just hours. [1] Ranked as the sixth-largest industrial market within the nation, Houston is highly competitive in the logistics and distribution space. As Houston helps to ease the congestion of other significant ports and ramps up air freight, the area is truly staking its claim as a national and global transportation and logistics hub. No matter what the transportation, distribution, and overall supply chain needs, Houston can offer an impressive assemblage to get goods moved around the country or world by land, air, or sea. 

MOTIA Paves the Way for Trade and International Affairs

Since its humble founding, Houston has grown to become the nation’s fourth-largest city by total population and is the energy capital of the world. Houston is a globally recognized leader in life science, manufacturing, logistics, and aerospace. As the city’s global presence and influence grow, the Mayor’s Office of Trade and International Affairs (MOTIA) is an important link between Houstonians and the world, serving as the city’s international liaison and trade development leader. Whether welcoming heads of state, building international diplomatic ties, attracting foreign direct investment, or assisting Houston businesses seeking markets abroad, MOTIA’s core mission is the preservation, promotion, and continued growth of Houston’s standing as a premier international city. [10]

Warehousing Competitive Advantage

As one of the 32 foreign trade zones (FTZs) in Texas, several distribution centers in Houston can assemble, manufacture, process, or package company goods without the intervention of U.S. customs authorities [8]. Access to these FTZs improve cash flow, increase global logistics efficiency, reduce redundant or unnecessary logistics costs, and retain flexibility. Coupled with the exemption from business and property taxes for foods purchased in Texas, the Houston area is attractive for many companies with cross-border operations. 

Growing Employment Sector

The nation’s fourth-largest city is home to one of the fastest-growing and most diverse populations in the world. Metro Houston saw the third-largest increase in population growth in the U.S. at the end of June 2020. From 2010 to 2018, Houston added 1.1 million new residents. [7] This metro area’s increase in population puts the new population at 7.1 million residents, estimated to grow to 7.2 million over the next year. [9] In August 2021, the Houston area added more than 4,800 jobs. 

Houston’s central location, global access to markets, and world-class supportive infrastructure for air, rail, road, and maritime cargo make it a valuable city that industries depend on for their own supply chain success, allowing companies to minimize their transportation and distribution costs in North America and worldwide. The diverse economy can offer companies a connection to the world. [3] Additionally, Houston accounts for $97.1 billion of goods exported annually, 45 percent of the entire state of Texas’s exports overall. [6]

As NFI continues to break into the growing Houston market, learn more about the area’s warehousing, transportation, and port service opportunities by contacting the NFI team today.

houston market infographic

Additional Resources

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[1]  https://www.houston.org/why-houston/industries/transportation-logistics

[2] https://www.houston.org/houston-data/economy-glance-october-2021

[3] https://www.houston.org/houston-data/monthly-update-houston-metro-employment

[4] https://porthouston.com/

[5] https://www.houston.org/houston-data/monthly-update-aviation

[6] https://www.houston.org/houston-data/monthly-update-foreign-trade

[7] https://www.houston.org/why-houston

[8] https://gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/business/texasftzs.pdf

[9] https://www.houston.org/news/houston-metro-population-surpasses-71m-region-adding-250-people-day

[10] http://www.houstontx.gov/motia/