Logistics & Distribution

A strategic location, advanced transportation networks, and a strong workforce draw logistics companies worldwide to the Gateway Region, from major e‑commerce distributors to medical devices, groceries and all industries in between.

  • Seaports, airports, railroads, and a population of almost 1.5 million are all inside the workforce area
  • Proximity to Port of Virginia for international shipping
  • 41 percent of the U.S. population is within a day’s drive
  • Shovel-ready sites and existing high-bay distribution space with direct interstate access and rail siding are available
  • There are over 100 trucking companies with more than 21,000 trucks based in the metropolitan area
  • Norfolk Southern and CSX operate intersecting Class 1 rail services locally, with half of Virginia’s total truck-railcar intermodal facilities
  • UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service operate major hubs in the area and provide third-party logistics (3PL) services, along with expertise concentrated at the UPS Freight national headquarters
  • U.S. military logistics training and operations cluster includes Army Logistics University at Fort Lee and the Defense Supply Center Richmond, concentrating much of the Army’s logistics and contracting personnel and expertise in the area
  • Foreign trade zone status in many parts of the region lowers import/export costs


  • The workforce area counts more nearly 50,000 employees in the Logistics and Distribution and boosts specializations or competitive advantages in Logistics and Distribution industry-sectors.
  • A minimum of 20 percent of the employed labor force in the cluster works in the Warehousing and Storage industry-sector.

  • Top Industry-Sectors 

    Industry (NAICS) Workforce Area Employment Location Quotient
    General Warehousing and Storage (493110) 11,292 2.17
    Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers (425120) 2,481 0.98
    General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance, Truckload (484121) 2,549 0.87
    General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance, Less than Truckload (484122) 2,130 1.58
    Industrial Machinery and Equipment Merchant Wholesalers (423830) 1,683 1.04
    Other Grocery and Related Products Merchant Wholesalers (424210) 1,305 1.15
    Drugs and Druggists’ Sundries Merchant Wholesalers (493120) 1,184 1.03
    Total, All Logistics and Distribution Cluster 50,253 -

    Note: A Location Quotient (LQ) is a statistical measure indicating the industrial specialization of a region compared to a larger geographic area (the nation in this case). By formula, the LQ measures the region’s industry share of total employment to the nation’s share of total employment for the same industry. An LQ greater than 1.00 indicates that the region has a higher industry concentration than the nation. Source: JobsEQ, Second Quarter of 2019 (preliminary data excluded).

  • Sample Occupations 

    Occupation Title (SOC)  Workforce Area Average Annual Wage National  Average Annual Wage Workforce Area Employment Workforce Area Extended Employment
    Transportation, Storage & Distribution Managers (11–3071) $103,900 $102,900 490 20,346
    Logisticians (13–1081) $77,000 $78,700 969 n/a
    Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers (53–3032) $41,600 $45,600 10,127 6,664
    Laborers and Freight, Stock & Material Movers, Hand (53–7062) $28,700 $30,900 14,715 n/a
    Packers & Packagers, Hand (53–7064) $22,900 $26,500 3,132 7,408

    Note: Employment extended includes trainable persons currently employed in occupations with similar skills than the specified occupation. Source: JobsEQ, Second Quarter of 2018 (preliminary data excluded).

  • Top Employers 

    Company Product/Service Employees
    Amazon.com E‑commerce fulfillment 3,800
    Defense Logistics Agency Defense supplies contracting 2,318
    United Parcel Service (UPS) Mail & 3PL 2,490
    Walmart Department store distribution 545
    Food Lion Grocery distribution 500
    Standard Motor Products Distribution Center 400
    Goya Food Distribution 60

    Source: Virginia’s Gateway Region’s internal database, 2018.

Workforce Development

Virginia State University: Offers a degree in Logistics and Industrial Technology which prepares workforce skill sets in supply chain, distribution and transportation fields, with approximately 50 enrolled annually.

Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA): Offers certifications such as Production and Inventory Management, and other relevant logistics courses ranging from operations management to truck driving, preparing individuals for a career in transportation, distribution or logistics. CCWA also delivers custom-designed instruction and training programs for companies, tailoring training according to companies’ specific occupational needs and utilizing regional expertise to teach the classes. Classes give consideration to special company processes, practices and culture, ultimately crafting a company-specific workforce.

Virginia Commonwealth University: Offers a master’s program in Supply Chain Management. This program partners with Fort Lee’s logistics expertise and local businesses expertise to explore global supply chain strategies.

John Tyler Community College: Offers Logistics Specialization Virginia Colleges and Universities: Additional programs in the state produce graduates that live and work in the region, with degrees and certificates in Managerial Economics and Logistics, Business Management, Supply-Chain Management, Process Engineering and more.

Government and defense logistics concentration: The Department of Defense designated Fort Lee as the global logistics center for the U.S. Army’s worldwide operations, doubling the installation’s population and footprint between 2006–2012 to enhance training and operative functions related to logistics. The post contributes approximately 400 of the over 600 military exits per year in the workforce area, offering a significant workforce advantage for local companies, with at least 50% of these veterans having specialized training in logistics and order fulfillment and heavy equipment operation. The region also enjoys proximity to major U.S. defense centers in Hampton Roads, Virginia and the Washington, D.C. area. Learn more about military presence in the region

Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems (CCALS): R&D center is a collaboration among Virginia universities, the Port of Virginia, and industry partners like Logistics Management Resources and LMI. Research focuses on modeling and simulation and intellectual property, along with workforce development impact on local logistics workforce, adds to the region’s status as a center of excellence in logistics.