Reprinted from CHICAGO SOUTHLAND BUSINESS, October, 2005

Chicago Southland makes strategic sense

Supply-chain solutions are evolving to meet the changing global dynamic of product sources and demand.

At DSC Logistics, we consider the greater Chicago Southland an exciting location within the Midwest and full of opportunities for us and other companies in this time of increasing globalization.

The manufacturing base may have shifted to Southeast Asia, but 65 percent of the United States' demand for those finished goods is still east of the Mississippi River. And, to satisfy growing U.S. demand and lower costs, most of the goods from Asia come into the U.S. through the West Coast ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., where congestion is such an issue that they've had to expand their hours of operation.

So far, the expanded hours has not solved the problem.

So, what does that mean for us here in the Midwest, in the Southland Joliet Chicago corridor, at the CenterPoint Intermodal Center in Elwood, at DSC Logistics' Logistics Center?

It means we're well positioned to execute a strategy for manufacturers that require an efficient flow of products from the manufacturing source, through West Coast ports and on to satisfy the demand east of the Mississippi. We've got it all: labor, traffic, proximity to interstate highways and rail, intermodal access and an operational Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ).

Because goods admitted into a FTZ are not considered part of U.S. commerce upon arrival into the zone, the customs entry procedure does not occur until the goods leave the zone for domestic distribution.

Not only can shippers avoid the congestion of the West Coast ports by shipping to the CenterPoint Intermodal Center, they potentially have lower customs fees and less paperwork.

After all, a port is simply where goods enter the U.S. To bypass the congestion at the West Coast ports, goods can be loaded directly on trains and sent to the Foreign Trade Zone at DSC's Logistics Center at CenterPoint. It's even possible to select a level of service that gets those goods from the West Coast to the Midwest in as little as 72 hours.

It's a convergence of the location and all its attributes that makes this a suitable location for manufacturers seeking efficient solutions to move goods through U.S. ports to the Midwest and on. In addition, the area is well suited to a design that supports complex solutions needed for the multiple geographies that products are coming from, and for the multiple sets of relationships that must be established in getting products from international manufacturing plants to a domestic distribution location and fulfilling customer demand from there.

Take the case of one large housewares company with products coming through the West Coast docks from Asia and a distribution center located just south of Indianapolis, Ind. Unhappy with the service limitations and cost of their supply chain, the company was almost resigned to moving their operation to Southern California to be close to the ports to improve access to their products. However, leveraging the attributes of the Midwest's geography would allow them to remain close to their customer base in the Midwest while overcoming the service limitations of a global supply chain.

As part of the thriving Southland business community, DSC Logistics is looking forward to future opportunities and expanding business with existing customers. We are ready with solutions that meet the demands of today's evolving global supply chains.
© Copyright Chicago Southland Business October 2005. Insights Guest Columnist. All rights reserved.

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