Logistics helps North Carolina Reach CNBC Best State Status Again

North Carolina has once again been recognized as the “Best State for Business” by CNBC. And factors related to logistics in North Carolina remain a big reason. In this article, we’ll look at the characteristics that make the Tar Heel State number one for the second year in a row.


CNBC Best State for Business

logistics north carolina

North Carolina continues to rack up the ‘best state’ awards. In addition to claiming the top spot in last year’s CNBC ranking, North Carolina has been ranked as the Best State for Business by Forbes for several years in a row, as well as by Business Facilities.

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 – 1,628 (up from 1,580 in 2022) – was the highest in the nation. The 10 categories are as follows.

  • Workforce: 2023 NC rank: 1
  • Infrastructure: 2023 NC rank: 16
  • Economy: 2023 NC rank: 3
  • Life, Health & Inclusion: 2023 NC rank: 34
  • Cost of Doing Business: 2023 NC rank: 18
  • Technology & Innovation: 2023 NC rank: 6
  • Business Friendliness: 2023 NC rank: 10
  • Education: 2023 NC rank: 7
  • Access to Capital: 2023 NC rank: 6
  • Cost of Living: 2023 NC rank: 27

Workforce is the most heavily weighted category, and North Carolina jumped all the way to the top position this year (up from #12 last year). According to Governor Roy Cooper, “Our talented, educated workers are the foundation of our economic success.”

Key workforce highlights for North Carolina:

  • The state receives high marks in attracting and retaining employees across many industries
  • Areas like Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham are seeing workforce growth within the financial industries
  • The state’s universities and community colleges are driving in-state labor growth
  • 89% of participants in worker training programs within the state gained employment within 6 months – the third-highest rate in the country

In terms of the economy and business friendliness, the state is seeing more and more large manufacturers set up shop in the Tar Heel State. These include:

  • A new $1 billion Apple facility – the company’s first East Coast Hub
  • A $458 million biomanufacturing facility from ProKidney
  • A $130 million expansion project from Bosch power tools
  • A $58 million turkey production facility from Select Genetics
  • A new plant from EV manufacturer VinFast
  • Expanded operations from semiconductor materials producer Wolfspeed


Logistics in North Carolina at a Glance

Much of the state’s economic growth, business friendliness, and infrastructure prowess relates directly to its supply chain strengths, which include the following.

Prime East Coast location: North Carolina sits 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. population 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 neo-panamax 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, and was recently connected to the Port of
Wilmington via the Wilmington-Rocky Mount Express.


Lean on Kanban for logistics in North Carolina

If you’re considering calling 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 1.5 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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