Logistics helps North Carolina Rank #1 State for Business

North Carolina has again been recognized as the “Best State for Business.” This time, by CNBC. And factors related to logistics in North Carolina are a big part of the reason. In this article, we’ll look at the CNBC recognition and explain why logisticians love to call the Tar Heel State home.


CNBC Ranks North Carolina #1

NC warehouseNorth Carolina is no stranger to a number-one ranking. Forbes has recognized the state as the Best State for Business for several years in a row. Business Facilities bestowed the same honor on the Tar Heel State last year.

This year’s CNBC ranking looked at 10 categories that weighted differently for a grand total of 2,500 possible points. North Carolina’s total score – 1,580 – was the highest in the nation. The 10 categories are as follows.

  • Workforce: 410 possible points (NC rank: 12)
  • Infrastructure: 380 possible points (NC rank: 17)
  • Cost of Doing Business: 345 possible points (NC rank: 26)
  • Economy: 325 possible points (NC rank: 1)
  • Life, Health & Inclusion: 325 possible points (NC rank: 28)
  • Technology & Innovation: 250 possible points (NC rank: 5)
  • Business Friendliness: 200 possible points (NC rank: 22)
  • Education: 165 possible points (NC rank: 14)
  • Access to Capital: 50 possible points (NC rank: 2)
  • Cost of Living: 50 possible points (NC rank: 22)

Workforce is the most heavily weighted category this year and North Carolina was ranked 12th in the nation for this key metric. According to Governor Roy Cooper, “Talking to CEO after CEO, workforce is the driving force for them right now. They see North Carolina as place where they can rely on our community colleges, our greatest array of public and private universities in the country to make sure they have the workforce they need.”

The economy is another heavily weighted category, and this time the Tar Heel state ranks first in the nation.  Factors driving this ranking include an excellent credit rating, sound fiscal balancing, strong economic growth (6.7% last year), and strong job growth (3.6% last year).

The CNBC article attributes much of the business friendliness in the state to the ability of Governor Cooper (a Democrat) and the state’s Republican leaders to work together for the good of the state despite their differences. Examples of this cooperation include the creation of incentives packages to lure large corporations to the Tar Heel state including Apple and electric car manufacturer VinFast.


Logistics in North Carolina at a Glance

While CNBC is the newest media outlet to recognize the value of doing business in North Carolina, logisticians have been well aware of the state’s greatness for a while. This is due, in no small part, to the following characteristics.

Prime East Coast location: North Carolina sits smack in the middle of the East Coast, midway between Miami and Boston, with easy access to several vital interstate highways like I-95, I-85, and I-40. It contains multiple freight rail systems and is also home to seaports in Wilmington and Morehead City as well as two inland ports. The Port of Virginia in Norfolk is also accessible to much of Eastern North Carolina.

Lower logistics costs: As noted by FORBES, North Carolina ranks #4 in the U.S. in terms of favorable business costs. That extends to logistics as NC has lower costs for industrial space, lower labor costs, and lower transportation costs (i.e., access to lower-cost rail, and the ability to reach 70% of the U.S. OTR within one business day).

Continued infrastructure investment: North Carolina continues to invest in its infrastructure, specifically its ports and intermodal capabilities. Port infrastructure enhancements in recent years have included new neopanamax cranes at the Port of Wilmington, new partnerships with major container shipping alliances and port renovations to accommodate larger ships. On the intermodal side, the CSX Carolina Connector in Eastern NC went online in 2021. The Connector is an intermodal hub where freight can transfer from rail to truck (or from rail to rail).


Lean on Kanban for logistics in North Carolina

If you’re considering calling the North Carolina home for your logistics operations, you would do well to partner with a 3PL provider that already has a logistics infrastructure within the Tar Heel State. Located in the Eastern part of the state, Kanban Logistics offers over one-million square feet of warehouse space to support the distribution of products to manufacturers and retailers. To learn more about Kanban’s services, contact us today.




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