The Dallas-Ft. Worth Distribution Advantage

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As the world regains its footing post-pandemic, the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area continues to grow economically. One of only two large U.S. metros to post three-year job gains, the Dallas region is recovering to pre-pandemic employment levels faster than all other large U.S. Metros.[1]

Dallas ranks as the ninth-largest city in the United States with the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metropolitan area ranking fourth. With 22 Fortune 500 companies in the region generating $857B in 2020 revenues, second only to New York, Dallas has been among the United States’ economic growth leaders and logistic center strongholds.[1] Serving as a distribution hub with its intricate interstate highway and railroad systems and its access to major seaports for global trade, Dallas is a top-ranked market for transportation, distribution, and all aspects of the supply chain.

North American Logistic Centricity

Dallas and its surrounding Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area offer a unique location with its centricity to the entire United States. An intermodal and logistics district that encompasses 7,500 acres and 5 municipalities, the IIPOD is located at the hub of the nation’s best logistics transportation infrastructure. Home to one of the busiest airports in the world, the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport serves 73 million passengers and 22 cargo airlines providing worldwide freighter service.[2] This major airport puts the city 3.5 hours from the major business districts of North America, while three major railroads put 98 percent of the U.S. population within reach by 48 hours. Additionally, Dallas is at the core of five major interstate highways and 19 state and federal highways, making 35 percent of the U.S. population within 48 hours of Dallas by truck.[3] With a strong foundation in air, rail, and road cargo, the Dallas area is a key supply chain location for shippers and providers.

Growing Workforce and Labor Supply

The Dallas-Fort Worth region grew faster than any other major U.S. metro between 2015-2019.[4] In addition to its affordable cost of living (at 96.1% the national average) and engaging cultural lifestyle, a draw to the region is its support for four pilot programs to provide workforce training in construction, healthcare, and logistics.[5] A diverse economy offers many opportunities for dual profession families and assures a strong pool of talent for area businesses.

Pandemic Recovery
Most recently, The Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzed three years of net change in employment data, highlighting the economic strength metros exhibited heading into the pandemic as well as the speed of employment recovery. Total employment in the Dallas region was 3.76M in May 2021, which is 97.9% of pre-pandemic employment, the highest rate among large metros. The region’s pre-pandemic industrial diversity may help reduce the length of a recovery period as compared to metro areas that are dependent on only a few industries. As comparable hubs struggle to entice their labor pool to re-enter the workforce, the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s unemployment rate stands at 5.3% as of May 2021.[1]

Warehousing Competitive Advantage

As one of the 32 foreign trade zones (FTZs) in Texas, several distribution centers in Dallas-Fort Worth can assemble, manufacture, process, or package company goods without the intervention of U.S. custom authorities[6]. Together with exemption from business and property taxes for foods purchased in Texas, the DFW area is attractive for many companies with cross-border operations. The warehouses operating out of the area receive between $1-$5 billion worth of merchandise and make between $1-$5 billion worth of shipments annually. Additionally, Dallas, alone, exports $9.8 billion to the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) region and $391 million to the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) region.[7]

Cross-Border Trade in Texas

Not only is Dallas a central location for the U.S., but it also is in close proximity to Mexico and several seaports, making Dallas, and Texas as a whole, a major trading hub and gateway to global business. Texas has 27 vehicular bridges to Mexico and 29 ports of entry facilitating nearly $650 billion in international trade from 2015, making it a unique location for imported and exported goods.[8] With top exported goods being petroleum and coal products, computer and electronic products, chemicals, and machinery, Dallas and Texas as a whole are at the core of global trade and the centrality within the U.S. and Mexico helps to improve efficiency for a shipper’s global supply chain process.

The Dallas/Ft. Worth industrial market continues to have one of the highest levels of activity, demand and absorption in the country. Its central location, business friendly state government, relatively low cost of living and first-class international airport have established DFW as a destination for brand-name users. However, its biggest demand driver is continued population growth, most recently from several large corporate relocations with distribution hub components from California.[9] With a supportive infrastructure for air, rail, and road cargo along with accessibility to countless cities throughout North America, Dallas is a valuable city that industries depend on for their supply chain success.

To learn more about the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area and its distribution center opportunities, contact the NFI team today.

Additional Resources


Expansions & Relocations

Industry Diversity

Labor Supply

Global Trade

Cost of Doing Business

Cost of Living

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[1] https://www.dallaschamber.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/DRC-Economy-in-Brief-210629.pdf

[2] https://www.dfwairport.com/business/about/facts/

[3] https://www.dallasecodev.org/414/International-Inland-Port-of-Dallas

[4] https://www.dallaschamber.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Talent-MigrationforWebsite.pdf

[5] http://www.dallasecodev.org/344/Workforce-Development

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

[7] http://www.dallasecodev.org/474/Access-the-Dallas-Advantage

[8] https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes/2020/july/trade.php

[9] https://www.cbre.us/research-and-reports/2020-Industrial-Big-Box-Dallas-Fort-Worth