Chicago Warehouse Vacancy Rates over 2% Lower Than National Average

Empty warehouses are becoming even more rare.

Real-estate brokerage CBRE Inc. reports that the availability rate for industrial property – which means warehouses and distribution centers – fell to 9.4% nationwide in the fourth quarter of 2015.  This news follows a 23 consecutive quarters trend of falling availability.  This almost 6 year run is the longest stretch of falling vacancies since CBRE started tracking it in 1989. 

The limited availability is a result of growth in demand as the economy recovers, along with a halt in new facilities being built.  

Locally, Chicago warehouse vacancy rates stayed fairly steady at 7.3%, over two percent lower than the national average. While 7.3% is a very slight increase on the quarter below (.03%) it is still drastically lower than the post-crash peak of 12.2% in early 2010, with no reason to believe it will begin to climb significantly.  

As expected with a shortage of space, rents continue to rise causing 3PL rates to also rise, making it tricky to build inventory.  If you are looking for available Chicago warehousing space, please contact Nexus today.  

Nexus Hires New General Manager

Dear Nexus Customers:

more

Nexus is pleased to announce that Marty Hart has accepted the position of General Manager at Nexus, effective October 11, 2016. 

Marty comes to Nexus with a robust logistics background and has earned several certificates in leadership, LEAN processes and procedures, as well as a degree in Business Management and Supervision. Most recently Marty held the title of Distribution Center Operations Manager with Boise, Inc.  In the 28 years he served Boise, he was responsible for overseeing warehouse operations and for collaborating with staff, vendors and customers to meet and exceed goals.  Perhaps most impressively, Marty improved service, exceeding 96% on-time delivery through his daily relationship management with carriers. Marty brings experience and a proven track record of success to the role of General Manager, which will be invaluable in meeting and improving Nexus’ operational goals and objectives.

Marty will be responsible for overseeing all Nexus facilities, as well as developing and pursuing strategic initiatives to support all transportation and warehousing operations.  Marty will provide dedicated management of safety, customer relations and leading teams in projects geared toward the goal of continuous improvement.

We are confident that Marty will be an excellent match for this position and a strong asset to Team Nexus. Marty will spend significant amounts of time at all three Nexus locations, however his office will be located at 6220 W. 73rd St, Bedford Park, IL (BP 16).

Marty is looking forward to using his unique skillset to enhance Nexus’s quality of service and establish long term partnerships with customers, vendors, and staff,  building upon the foundation of service excellence that has been a trademark at Nexus for 36 years.

Please join Nexus in welcoming him to the organization.

Now Hiring Local Chicago Drivers

Nexus is hiring!  We are currently seeking qualified candidates for the following positions:

Chicago Drivers:

Nexus has over 30 years of experience in 3PL distribution and is seeking experienced local drivers to join our fleet. We have steady freight originating from and delivering to our facilities so drivers spend more time driving and less time sitting. 

Benefits:

  •  Competitive Wages
  • Comprehensive benefit package: Health & Dental Insurance
  • Home every night
  • 90% of work is into or out of Nexus facilities. 
  • 30% of the work includes container
  • Paid Weekly
  • Paid Holidays and Vacation
  • SIGN ON BONUS

Qualifications:

  • High School Graduate.
  • 25 years or older. 
  • Valid Class A CDL (Must Maintain). Endorsements are a plus.
  • Minimum of two years of all weather, tractor trailer experience with demonstrated success in safe operations and handling of equipment and product.
  • Customer service orientated.
  • Must meet and maintain Department of Transportation physical and medical requirements and pass substance abuse screening; as a safety sensitive employee subject to random
  • Excellent written skills.
  • Self-starter, reliable, and can work independently.
  • Ability to work irregular hours, overtime and weekends when necessary.
  • No accidents in the last 2 years

If you are interested in applying for this position, please see our Career Center to fill out the Driver Application as well as Background Check Approval.  You may also call 847-590-6211 for more information.

more

Second Shift Spotter

Purpose of the Position:

Coordinate warehouse yard operations in accordance with company and DOT procedures and policies. Operate tractor-trailer in a safe manner as dictated by state and federal law. Transport and deliver product or material to meet our customer’s expectations.

Position Responsibilities:  

  • Marshall drivers and coordinate trailers to ensure efficient dock operations and a safe yard environment. Switch empty/full trailers in shipping yard for optimum loading patterns.
  • Transport loads and/or trailers over required local routes to proper destination, observing all traffic laws and safety regulations. Chock rear wheels of truck or trailer before any unloading takes place. Remove chocks before driving away from shipping dock.
  • Obtain bills of lading, packing list, necessary signatures, and return completed paper work to corresponding office.
  • Scan and handle product as required.
  • Check receipts and orders as required.
  • Attend daily shift meetings with supervisor.
  • Maintain driver log and any related records required.
  • Remove empty skids from trailer and deliver to designated piling area.
  • Perform daily preventative maintenance service duties such as checking oil, water, gasoline, and tire pressure. Report any maintenance malfunctions to the Fleet Supervisor.
  • Assist in the loading and unloading of trailers manually and by using forklift, clamp truck, or electric pallet jack. Sweep out truck body as required.  
  • Act as an ambassador for Team Nexus while on the road, visiting customer sites, and liaising with drivers in the yard.
  • Work irregular hours, overtime and weekends when necessary.

Essential Qualifications and Experience:

  • High School Graduate.
  • 21 years or older.  
  • Valid Class A CDL (Must Maintain). Endorsements a plus.
  • Minimum of two years all weather, tractor trailer experience with demonstrated success in safe operations and handling of equipment and product.
  • Demonstrated skills with spotting trailers and marshalling drivers in a warehouse facility.
  • Forklift/Clamp Certified – must be maintained.
  • General knowledge of warehousing operations to include but not limited to – material handling,  

product scanning, and checking of receipts and orders.

  • Customer service orientated.
  • Must meet and maintain Department of Transportation physical and medical requirements and pass substance abuse screening; as a safety sensitive employee subject to random substance abuse screening under company policy.
  • Excellent written skills.
  • Demonstrated skills with reading and comprehending product labels.
  • Self-starter, reliable, and can work independently.
  • Ability to work irregular hours, overtime and weekends when necessary.

If you are interested in applying for this position, please see our Career Center to fill out the Driver Application as well as Background Check Approval.  You may also call 847-590-6211 for more information.

Provider Selection: Outsourcing Part 3

Outsourcing the logistics function of a company is an important decision that will hopefully affect business in positive and profitable ways.   After determining that outsourcing will be beneficial and deciding what is needed from a provider, you'll begin your search.  We've put together a list of attributes to look for, what to expect and some tips for talking to prospective partners in an effort to assist you in the right program for the right price.


 Key Attributes- What to Look For

- Cutting edge TMS, WMS and EDI systems (see sidebar)

- Easy On-Boarding, including a thorough data and expectation collboration process.  Providing accurate data and program expectations will lead to accurate pricing assumptions and an efficient start up.

Ample space  and growth potential to accomodate your business as it grows.

- A company that can add value to the entire logistical process from warehouse expertise to freight optimization capabilities

-Strategic location (proximity to interstates and rail yards as well as optimal location for your business needs.)

 

What To Expect- What Providers Are Looking For

Once you've reached out to a prospective provider you should be prepared to provide information about your business and your needs.  Expect to answer questions such as what type of product you have, what type of storage you need (refrigerated?  Hazmat?), how often you expect your product to come in and go out and what transportation needs you may have.  Some providers may have a minimum pallet requirement; some may only deal with certain materials and certain temperatures.  Have all of this information at the ready for a smooth provider search.

 

Tips for Talking To Prospective Partners

Once you've narrowed down your choices and have reached out for quotes from a few providers it will be time to talk about the goals you established in part two.  Be open to the provider's ideas, too.  Collaboration is what makes outsourcing partnerships flourish.  Be clear but reasonable about your anticipated spend for the project.    

 

Importance of Quality Onboarding

Lastly, the importance a successful onboarding cannot be overstated.  A team who is experienced in onboarding new customers will ask thought provoking, forward thinking questions in order to uncover opportunities for new efficiencies.  Some companies view onboarding as the stage in which "our system learns to talk to yours".  However, a true logistics partner will use the implementation as an opportunity to begin the consultative process.  The end result is not simply process automation, but process improvement.  

 

We would like to invite you to preview Nexus' Data Request Form.  If you choose to complete this form you are eligible for a free rate quote.

 

 

What's Your Goal? Outsourcing Series Part 2

In our new three part series, we are going to cover the basics to help you decide if outsourcing is the right choice for your company.  In the first part we uncovered what a logistics provider should be able to do for you.  Today we'll talk about different levels of outsourcing.  In our next and last part, we'll cover how to make the final decision, what to look for in a provider and the steps to take to locate the best provider for you.  Essentially providing steps to help you determine which provider can best serve you today and tomorrow.

 

After determining that outsourcing your logistics is the right choice for your company, now the task of determining what level of logistics support is going to work best for your company.  When it comes to partnering with a provider you should have options about what level of involvement they will have with your business.  The intricacies of your project's personalized plan can vary greatly.  As an example we'll look at three general levels today.  The best guide to determine how to proceed will always be your project goals.    

 

Goal 1: Manage your distribution costs.

Logistics Support Needed: Your 3PL will coordinate your tactical functions.

Result:  Short term results will be produced due to accomodations of volume fluctuation through multipile resources, expert consolidation, strategic location, and access to value added services. Although savings are realized, the potential for additional savings can be developed with further investigation of services.

Goal 2:  Manage distribution costs, increase revenue,decrease operating costs, and decrease personnel expenses.

Logistics Support Needed:  An experienced logistics provider who can assist with forecasting, analytics and staffing as well as your day-to-day tactical functions.

Result: Alignment of your company's growth plan with skilled resources to execute and support that plan.

Goal 3:  Manage distribution costs, increase revenue, decrease operating costs, decrease personnel expenses, reduce capital investments, gain access to new markets, decrease development costs.

Logistics Support Needed:  A best in class Warehouse Management System and Transportation Management System (See sidebar).  Your data is fully visible at all times, integrated into your system to achieve seamless communications between your logistics provider, your clients and yourself.  Collaboration with industry experts who are also assisting with forecasting, analytics, staffing and your day-to-day tactical functions.

Result: A comprehensive partnership that will not only sustain but encourage year over year growth and efficiency.  

Of course, everyone wants to know what these results are going to cost.  How is outsourcing going to save your company money?  An experienced supply chain management provider will be able to customize the right program for the right price.  How?  Companies like Nexus will look at your needs and help you choose the services that you need (to be cost effective) and leave services that would be extraneous on the table, because they wouldn't be the best use of your resources.  Nexus knows that your growth means ours, so your success is always our priority.   

In our final installment we'll discuss the steps to selecting the perfect provider to match your needs, what to expect, and what your on-boarding process should look like.   

We'd love to hear about your goals.  If you are ready to discuss the results an experienced provider can realize contact us today!

 

-------------

More news!  

Nexus Adds Accellos TMS to Powerhouse Technology Suite

Nexus announces addition of Accellos Transportation Management System to their IT technologies.  Terri Bennett, Chief Information Officer, says, "The acquisition of the Accellos TMS system furthers our ability to integrate with our client systems as well as support the growth of all parties."  

Key Accellos TMS Highlights:

- Cusomizable triggers for e-mail Alerts and EDI Transactions

-Skytrack and Saferwatch integration

-POD Image Management

-Carrier Compliance and Performance Tracking 

To learn more about how the Accellos WMS + TMS suite can work for you, contact us today.

The Decision To Outsource

DO YOU NEED TO OUTSOURCE YOUR LOGISTICS?

These days there seems to be a lot of talk about choosing the right logistics provider.  Of course this is an important business decision that must produce a beneficial relationship with a strategic partner, or cause a break in your supply chain.  But, what if you aren't even sure if you need a logistics provider?  Is outsourcing even for you?

 

In our new three part series, we are going to cover the basics to help you decide if outsourcing is the right choice for your company.  In the first part we'll cover what a logistics provider should be able to do for you.  In the second part we'll talk about different levels of outsourcing.  Lastly, we'll cover how to make the final decision, what to look for in a provider and the steps to take to locate the best provider for you.  Essentially- determining which provider can best serve you today and tomorrow.

 


Part 1- What Should A Logistics Provider Be Able To Do For Me?

 

Are you often asked/asking questions like:

 How is our shipment accuracy to our customers?  Can we improve?

 What are we doing to stay current with industry trends and cost saving technologies?

Do we have resources allocated to logistical studies and savings opportunities?

Are our inventory levels in line with product demand?  

What is the cost savings potential if a leaner supply chain was in place?

If any of these questions give you pause, outsourcing your logistics is probably an idea to explore.

A quality supply chain management company will be able to provide metrics regarding on-time receiving, shipping and delivery, receipt processing time, inventory accuracy, order picking accuracy, space utilization, productivity, damages, accident rates, volume trends, turns performance and compliance.

An experienced logistics provider has the team to accomplish these and other important tasks.  There is an industry wide talent shortage in logistics- there are six job openings for every supply chain management graduate.  A good supply chain company has already attracted and trained those individuals, adding to your team of experts.  

A good logistics partnership will save you money through providing creative ways to cut costs upfront as part of their services.  A great logistics partner will save you money through cost avoidance.  Assuming that your new relationship with your logistics partner means your business is flourishing, your provider is also equipped to help you avoid any "growing pains".  They will see costly "pot holes" on the road ahead and assist you in diverting your course before you hit them.  Ways a logistics provider might do this are through high level and granular analytics, years of experience and their connections in the supply chain industry.  In one case, Nexus was able to save our customer over $10,000 because of our relationship with the local rail yard and one paper company $100,000s with our expert retail compliance knowledge.  Those are some serious pot holes!

Finally, outsourcing to a provider who has employed high powered WMS, TMS and EDI systems means you have access to tools that can cost millions of dollars, all while they are saving you money.  

So, if you need measurable results, cost savings and avoidance, and access to high powered management systems outsourcing your logistics needs to a trusted team with 35 years' experience may be the right choice for your company.  We'll make it easy to take the first steps with our evaluation process and Client Implementation Process.

An Interview with Dean Hansen, CEO

 

 

What does Nexus look like after the sale of its SE and NE hubs?  Just ask founder and CEO, Dean Hansen.

What makes Nexus the best choice for warehousing in Chicago?

Nexus’ history, connections and integrated services give our customers first class execution from start to delivery.  These factors really prepare us for any and all situations.  We have extensive experience with heavy weight containers, due our proximity to the CSX rail yard.  I think this especially helps us manage our food accounts, because so much of these products come in through the rail yard and are handled intermodally.  We are able to combine our vast experience with tried and trusted relationships to bring rail and intermodal-truck expertise together in representing your brand.  Our goal is always to help you increase your market share and are very aware of the role your supply chain plays in that.  As manufacturing rebuilds in the USA we bring it all together for export via our direct access service with the CSX to accommodate low demurrage exposure as well as accommodate heavy loaded containers.  I truly feel that there has never been a better time to do business with Nexus.  We have all the right people, in the right places, at the right time. 

What about the physical space?  What sets that apart from the many other warehouses in the area?

Our current available space is 80,000 square feet of expertly managed strategically located, WERC certified warehousing space. It is outfitted with custom engineered rack space to accommodate 8,000 pallet positions.  We pride ourselves in providing flexible solutions and are extremely adept with food and paper warehousing.  We also have indoor “finger” docks and a fenced drop lot that houses 100+ trailers.  Our vast experience in the paper-packaging industry is now a growing force in the food ingredient sector as well, including other bulk commodities.  Lastly, because we have a multi-facility campus, we really can offer highly flexible logistics based on our customers’ needs.  

We know that IT is one of the most valuable commodities in logistics.  What does Nexus provide in terms of IT solutions?

 In my opinion, our IT department is second to none.  Nexus’ head of IT and Customer Solutions has been with Nexus for almost as long as it has been in existence.  She pioneered some major programming for us, and more recently facilitated the on-boarding of a world class WMS with reporting, web access, and EDI capabilities.

What is Nexus‘ promise to it’s customers?

We promise to not only provide innovative logistics, but also to do so at a fair and manageable cost to our customers.  We promise to facilitate connections and relationships that benefit our customers, and to, as always, provide on time, real time, information and service.    

NEXUS ANNOUNCES SALE OF NORTHEAST AND SOUTHEAST HUBS, RETAINS MIDWEST

Nexus Distribution announced today that it has completed the sale of it's southeast and northeast regional hubs to Kane Is Able (KANE), a third-part logistics provider headquartered in Scranton, PA.  Nexus strongly believes this transaction will provide powerful flexibility as we continue to actively manage and shape our future. 

Dean Hansen, CEO of Nexus Distribution stated "The sale of our northeast and southeast assets is a positive step in our efforts to generate long term growth in our home base region, the Midwest.  We believe this alliance will create the leverage necessary in these markets, and enhance the competitive advantage our customers have come to expect in these regions created over the decades.  Nexus continues to be a top provider of logistics services to the Chicagoland area and this transition solidifies our commitment to continuing to serve our current and prospective customers in this area."
  
Kane Is Able has been at the forefront of logistics since 1930.  We are proud that they elected Nexus to become a part of their future.  We truly believe that our people, customers and family values have found a good home and a bright future in 
KANE."

 The sale was completed on September 30, 2014.  Nexus and Kane Is Able have been working together to secure a smooth transition for employees and customers alike.

 

THE GREAT THAW: WELCOMING SPRING

 

The winter of 2013-14 was record breaking.  Feet of snow, ice and below zero temperatures were rampant and unrelenting.  Transportation was de-railed, customers were not buying, manufacturing was halted and businesses everywhere scrambled to find ways to deal with the freeze. 

As the ground softens and flowers bloom the economy is also reawakening.  There is a rush to catch up, to get back to business and people are looking at operations and procedures with a fresh outlook. 

An experienced 3PL can help you navigate this economic thaw.  Finding a logistics provider who can provide the dexterity to deal with global climate crises quickly at affordable rates can be the difference between a successful year and one that is frostbitten.  Finding a logistics provider who can provide all that plus family values, connections to decades old relationships with key resources and prime real estate can breathe new life into your business. 

 We'd like to share a story with you.  Early in the spring an ingredient shipper contacted Nexus with an urgent need for dry storage.  They also needed access to international shipping of heavy weight containers.  Within three weeks Nexus was on boarding our newest customer and shipping out 70 heavy weight containers per day from our exclusive access to the Chicago Land Bridge.  Flexibility grounded in foundation and infrastructure enabled Nexus to put together a rock solid intermodal program for a complex customer in under a month's time. 

Things change rapidly in this economy and the ability to make sure-footed moves and pivots is essential.  Nexus is so proud of all it has accomplished in its 34 years of business and we'd love to share that success with you.  

 

OUR BEST INVESTMENTS

INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
The logistics industry is buzzing with concern about the current "talent crisis". Areas experiencing rapid growth
are increasingly faced with difficulty recruiting and retaining the future leaders of our industry. Nexus has experienced the shortage first hand in high growth regions,and we're sharing how we're addressing it.

SHRINKING MARGINS
It's easy to look at all the pressures facing supply chain management firms, such as propane prices, driver shortages and rising rents due to disappearing available warehousing space and only see compressed margins. The natural tendency may be to first cut costs by cutting investments in your workforce. However, as experts in the Human Resources field such as Peter Senge emphasize, a successful business needs to also be a learning organization, systematically in a state of constant adaptation and continuous improvement.

EMPLOYMENT GAPS
As unemployment is expected to reach a recent-history-low of 6.5%, jobs in the logistics field are estimated to balloon by 26% by 2020, compared to an average of 14% in other sectors. However, the US Census Bureau projects that 60 million Baby Boomers will exit the workforce by 2025, with only 40 million GenXers entering. This leaves a rather large gap, adding to an already alarming talent shortage. These are problems, that left untreated, will run deep, across all levels and will be long lived.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION
Invest. Invest in assisting existing employees transition from an industrial driven economy to an information/service based economy. Invest in developing hard and soft skills within your employment base. Invest in knowledge acquisition and employee retention. Create a culture that is thriving with reasons to stay loyal and your investments will pay off. Leaning into your existing employee base instead of cutting it out is the most proactive solution available.

WHY INVESTING WORKS
The cost of replacing an employee is estimated to be 250% of annual salary. What if we spent half of that nurturing future leaders, giving them incentive to stay with us? Long term commitments require effort from two parties. Nexus has many long term employees, many who have been with the company for 20+ years.

WHAT INVESTING ACCOMPLISHES
Nexus and our employees are not the only beneficiaries of this philosophy. Our customers reap the highest rewards. Employees who have been with a company year after year become experts in processes, customers, relationships and add value that simply cannot be achieved with a revolving door culture. Our ever constant mission is to deliver value to our customers at a competitive price. We will always strive to deliver the highest value proposition in each market to meet our customers' demands.

HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR 3PL RELATIONSHIP

 

In the beginning, logistics companies were rooted in building solutions.  Solutions to problems manufacturers and shippers needed to outsource.  These solutions were often transactional, operational and seasonal. The life span of the relationship between the 3PL and the shipper was short.  As the industry matured, shippers reveled in the benefits of strategic relationships and skilled workforces. These forces dedicated themselves to continuous improvement and gained expertise through a familiarity with the product.   Customers began to enjoy the security of this expertise and its resulting increased market share.  

 

During the recession many 3PLs experienced some backslide to the days of the transactional relationship.  Many shippers felt that they could contain costs through shorter contracts, and could use the highly competitive market to their advantage.  This high-turnover habit means that many shippers have been missing out on the many benefits that a quality 3PL can offer.  Outside of the obvious financial and procedural costs of annual RFPs and provider changes, there are more subtle costs associated with subscribing to a revolving door attitude.  A relationship begun on such unstable ground can often go sour quickly due to lack of trust.  Customers often feel the pinch of operational delays and failed relationships between the manufacturer the transactional logistics provider. 

 

So, as the economy rebounds, how can you leverage your 3PL in a beneficial way? Consider a longer-term contract.  Establish a relationship that will contain your costs by eliminating the cost of frequent provider changes.  Allow the security of a long term contract to foster an environment that facilitates a dedicated and loyal workforce in a time when the logistics industry is experiencing a major talent crisis.  Feel confident that you have quality warehouse space allocated to your operation during a warehousing space shortage. Know that the people managing it have your success as their number one goal, because that will in turn guarantee their own long-term success.  Long-term contracts allow for agility in your supply chain, especially when inked with mature, experienced providers applying the latest technologies. 

GOOD SPACE IS HARD TO FIND

 

People are beginning to feel optimistic about a bright future as the 2014 predictions are rolling in.  The US GDP should see an increase of at least 2.7%, with others calling for growth of 3% for the first time since 2005.  As manufacturers cautiously move forward with their recovery efforts, warehousing is at an awkward spot in the cycle, with need picking up much faster than construction due to lagging rent growth and financial constraints.  As such, the U.S. is facing a shortage of Class A Industrial space.  Even more concerning is space located on the rail, which is necessary to facilitate intermodal needs.  As regulatory issues force diesel fuel costs to remain stubbornly high, intermodal and rail transportation continue to be beneficial tools in any supply chain tool kit.  

 

A recent report  shows fourteen consecutive quarters of declining vacancies in the warehouse sector.  The demand for real estate and the plethora of acquisitions made during the recession have left many with a patchwork of distribution centers, now requiring consolidation.  Many are finding the solution is to continue and expand relationships with trusted, experienced logistics providers who long ago staked claims along the rail.

 

The companies who have and are taking advantage of the opportunity to lay claim to trusted logistics providers are reaping other benefits as well.  Unemployment rates are falling and expected to come to an impressive low of 6.5% by the end of 2014.  While this is a positive indicator for the economic near future, it does present staffing and labor issues.  The pool of qualified and excellent work candidates is shrinking daily.  Many long standing logistics providers come with long standing teams, who are eager and ready for the challenge and opportunities that come with growth.  Nexus is also taking advantage of programs such as WorkKeys, a skills assessment system which tests and screens candidates for job readiness.

 

The areas around NexusHubs have been following this nationwide trend.  With Allentown, PA making the steepest drop, Chicago and Atlanta are not far behind.  If your company is considering making a supply chain adjustment, now is the time, before good space is any harder to find.

INTERMODAL'S CONTINUED GROWTH MAKES RAIL EXPERIENCE A VALUABLE ASSET

Intermodal is the fastest growing method of transporting many types of goods including electronics, food, building supplies, and paper products.  The ability to utilize the best of rail and truck transport provides many benefits, such as reliability, efficiency, safety and perhaps most importantly a reduced carbon footprint in your supply chain (Trains emit 73% less carbon dioxide than trucks!).

As intermodal transportation rises in popularity, logistics providers are rushing to the nearest rail yards to set up their proverbial distribution-center shops.  As a forward thinking provider, Nexus has been developing intermodal relationships and strategically positioning warehouses alongside rail yards for many years.    

Because of that established presence Nexus' focus lies on elevating the solution, not creating.  All three of Nexus' hubs lie along side Class 1 rails, where their long standing relationships save customers time, money and headaches. 

According to DC Velocity, one problem new-comers to the rail/intermodal scene are experiencing is the organizational divide between real estate and supply chain operations.  Choosing to outsource your warehousing and transportation to a long standing, highly experienced company such as Nexus bypasses this roadblock entirely.     

For example, the southeast NexusHub in McDonough, Georgia boasts an experienced workforce operating on a video surveillance monitored campus.  The state of the art WMS system, Accellos, allows for total transparency of data.  A short distance from the CSX intermodal terminal in Fairburn, the Georgia NexusHub is poised to service the growing manufacturing market in Florida.  With over 30 years of experience with boxcar, intermodal and container transportation, Nexus is fully prepared for intermodal's rise to the top.  

Rare Midwest Opportunity

YOUR INTERMODAL CONNECTION

In our 34 years of business, Nexus has forged valuable relationships with CSX and other providers that share our dedication to service and operational accuracy and excellence. For many shippers looking to launch an intermodal program, the largest hurdle is often finding an accessible intermodal solution. Using our private Land Bridge and CSX relationships are just a couple of ways we are able to facilitate solutions that offer short and long term savings, reduced carbon emissions and scalability options that others simply cannot offer.

STRATEGIC LOCATION

Nexus' Bedford Park Hub

NexusHubs is a concept that integrates strategically located WERC certified warehouses and industry relationships creating a life source for your supply chain.  Our Midwest facilities are exceptionally well situated, in that Nexus has private access to a major Intermodal Rail yard serviced by CSX.  Nexus has exclusive security clearance allowing access the yard via our private Chicago Land Bridge any time, day or night, without using a public roadway.  This private access allows "heavyweight" shippers, as well as shippers looking to utilize CSX Intermodal's  H2R program access to the terminal without the standard weight limits placed on shipments over public roads. 

EXPERIENCED LOGISTICS TEAM

Michael Gicewicz: Manager, Transportation Services

Michael Gicewicz is one of our resident transportation experts in the Midwest and is currently serving as Vice President of the Intermodal Association of Chicago.  His involvement with the intermodal community in Chicago is a testament of his dedication to his field of expertise.  Michael's vast knowledge of intermodal drayage and transportation is an incredibly valuable asset in producing tangible results for our customers. 

BEDFORD PARK OPPORTUNITY

-Up to 100,000 sq. ft. immediately available
-Suitable for general commodities
-Seasonal rates available
-Heavy duty racking, 8000+ pallet positions
-Multimodal capabilities including rail
-Indoor "finger" docks, 
-Exclusive access to CSX intermodal yard 
-Fenced drop lot, accomodates 100+ trailers
-On-siteprivate fleet (OTR and Local)
-Leading WMS and TMS technology
-Ultimate flexibility with multi-facility campus

 

Bedford Park NexusHub

Emerging Logistics Hot Spot

Source: DC Velocity

By:  Susan K. Lacefield

As delivery windows get tighter and transportation costs soar, it becomes increasingly important to maintain a distribution center or warehouse close to your customers. For this reason, more and more companies are finding it necessary to establish a distribution center in the densely populated Northeast.

For the past year, DC Velocity has been looking at logistics hubs or "clusters"—those cities or regions that attract both logistics service providers and the logistics operations of manufacturers, retailers, and distributors. The past two articles have focused on emerging logistics hubs, locations that are growing in importance but may not be as well known as, say, Memphis, Tenn.; California's Inland Empire; or Columbus, Ohio. Identifying emerging logistics hubs for the Northeast region, however, is problematic. After all, the Northeast has been a center of logistics and trade for centuries.

Despite the long history, two areas in particular are showing significant growth in logistics-related development, and any company evaluating distribution and logistics facilities in the Northeast should consider them: Central New Jersey and Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley.

CENTRAL NEW JERSEY
New Jersey suffers from a bit of an image problem. Known for high labor costs, red tape, and an unfavorable tax climate, New Jersey has a reputation for being unfriendly to business. CNBC's 2013 list of the most business-friendly states, for example, ranked New Jersey an unimpressive 42nd.

But Tracye McDaniel, president and CEO of the nonprofit economic development corporation Choose New Jersey, argues that when you consider New Jersey, you have to think about the total value proposition, which includes its location, infrastructure, and people.

It's hard to deny that Central New Jersey is, in McDaniel's words, "perfectly located." New Jersey is within a day's drive of more than 130 million consumers with a total disposable income of $3 trillion.

The central part of the state also provides easy access to all the major modes of transportation: road, rail, air, and ocean. Major highways include I-95, I-76, I-78, and I-80. The Port of New York & New Jersey is the largest port on the East Coast of North America and the third-largest in the nation, behind only Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif. Newark Airport is the nation's 14th busiest airport, handling 80,000 tons of cargo a year. The state also has 1,000 miles of rail freight lines.

Significant investments continue to be made in that infrastructure, particularly at the ports. For example, the Port of New York & New Jersey is in the midst of a major redevelopment effort to deepen the harbor, improve terminals, and strengthen inland access. A case in point is the $600 million ExpressRail System program, which has created dedicated rail facilities, additional support track, and rail yards for each of the port's major container terminals. An additional $1.3 billion is being spent to raise the Bayonne Bridge, which connects Bayonne, N.J., to Staten Island. Raising the bridge to 215 feet over the high-tide level from 155 feet will allow larger containerships to reach Port Newark and Port Elizabeth. Additionally, a new breakbulk facility, the Port of Paulsboro, is under construction on the Delaware River.

The state also has a readily available, highly skilled work force, according to McDaniel. To make it easier for companies to find qualified logistics and distribution professionals, the state has created a Transportation, Logistics, and Distribution Talent Network to address workforce needs and connect potential employers and employees.

For these reasons, many Fortune 500 companies, such as Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, and Toys R Us, have distribution facilities in the state. And more are coming, says McDaniel. For example, Amazon.com announced that it is building a 1 million-square-foot DC in Robbinsville, N.J. Industrial real estate company Prologis is building a 900,000-square-foot distribution center in Jersey City, which will be shared by online grocer Peapod and Imperial Bag and Paper Co. Subaru has begun construction on a 526,050-square-foot parts distribution center and training facility in Florence, N.J. In total, there are between 1,800 and 1,900 distribution centers in Central New Jersey, according to McDaniel.

Finally, McDaniel stresses the progress that Gov. Chris Christie and the current legislature have made to make the state more welcoming to business. As examples she cites the recently passed Economic Opportunity Act, which overhauls the state's incentive program, and the establishment of the Red Tape Review Commission, which works to reduce cumbersome regulations and make them less costly for business.

LEHIGH VALLEY, PA.
Located 80 miles from New York City and 60 miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley sits at a sweet spot in the Northeast Corridor. "From this location, companies can reach 65 percent of the customers in the U.S. in a day's drive out and back," says Don Cunningham, CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. (LVED). "And for the most part, we offer a lower-cost alternative [to] the larger metropolitan areas of North Jersey and New York."

Indeed, this section of Eastern Pennsylvania offers labor rates and land taxes that are lower than the more urban areas of the Eastern Seaboard. Additionally, transportation costs are quite favorable, as the area has strong rail service and a good road network, including I-78, which provides a direct route into New York City, Newark, and the surrounding ports. The area also has more land available than the congested regions around the major metropolitan areas and the ports.

All of these factors have contributed to an explosion in DC growth in the region during the past 15 years. According to LVED, the Lehigh Valley has gone from having 16 million square feet of total distribution space in 1997-1998 to the current total of 41 million square feet. Companies with distribution centers in the region include BMW, Amazon, and Walgreens. Additionally, National Freight Industries (NFI) is constructing a 980,000-square-foot warehousing and distribution facility that it will operate on behalf of Ocean Spray.

Interest in the region is still flourishing, as evidenced by an industrial vacancy rate of just 6 percent and the fact that real estate firm Liberty Property Trust recently spent $60 million on spec for a 1.2 million-square-foot warehouse. Development is not limited to distribution. According to Cunningham, more and more companies are also moving their production facilities into the region to take advantage of cost efficiencies from producing and distributing from the same spot.

That development will not be slowing anytime soon. "We expect to remain hot for several years," says Jarrett Witt, vice president of economic development for LVED. "The issue becomes when and if the region runs out of the land desired by larger distributors."

In fact, Witt and Cunningham say the region's biggest competition is not New Jersey, New York, or Maryland but other, more rural areas of Pennsylvania where land is still plentiful and prices are lower.

Where the Lehigh Valley has an advantage over these rural areas in South and Central Pennsylvania is its labor pool. "Our work force is bigger and better qualified," says Cunningham.

Due to the area's roots in heavy manufacturing—Bethlehem Steel was located there and Mack Trucks still operates a plant there—the community colleges in the Lehigh Valley have strong vocational and technical training programs. In addition, Lehigh University, located in South Bethlehem, has a well-known supply chain management program at both the graduate and undergraduate level.

We're Connected. You can be, too.

L. Brett Chambless of Lee & AssociatesA lot has changed since Nexus opened its first dock doors in 1980.  Bill of ladings are fully electronic instead of carbon copies.  Most of our phone calls are now made on tiny computers we hold in our hands, and our client base includes businesses, big and small from across the globe. 
 
 Despite the numerous ways that our business has evolved over the years, some things never change.  Our partnerships are with people within our industry and with strategic partners who influence our decision processes through their respective expertise.  
 
When you work with Nexus our connections become yours.

Nexus CEO Dean Hansen offers,  "We have a 3 decade plus track record of working with the best in the business.  There is a lot of collected knowledge we can use as leverage to craft the best solutions."  One of our longest standing relationships is with our real estate advisor in Atlanta, GA,L. Brett Chambless, SIOR at Lee & Associates.  Over the years he has consistently supported Nexus in finding quality warehouses that meet our exact specifications including: size, functionality, quality, and transportation access.  Successful warehousing in the southeast depends on on a location with good rail serviceintermodal access and easy access to the interstate and highway network through the region.  
 
Mr. Chambless's overall knowledge of the supply chain network includes a national scope allowing him to provide insightful input to our distribution network. His relationships with Landlords from REITs to individual building owners gives him the inside track on available warehouse space and trusted negotiating knowledge, all of which continue benefit our south east clients.  
 
If your company is in need of warehousing in the Atlanta, GA please click here and submit an inquiry.  If you are interested in requesting a full quote, click here.  
LEE AND ASSOCIATES
Commercial Real Estate Services
Lee and Associate's nationwide network of 48 offices has a dedicated broker and staff including L. Brett Chambless, SIOR ready to provide each client individualized service and customized solutions for even the most complex investment and real estate decisions.  With access to timely local and nationwide market information, in house research and marketing he can provide timely support for your real estate and location decisions.    Learn more here.

Collaboration Saves Customer Thousands

 

Recent trends, including the end of last month's reports, show freight carload traffic is on the rise, which is why Nexus knows that maintaining quality relationships with regional rail service providers is imperative to our customers‘ success and satisfaction.  Our Pennsylvania warehouse (or NexusHub), located in Allentown has partnered with the Norfolk Southern Railroad (NS) since 1996, handling tens of thousands of rail cars for our customers serving varied industries.  
Perhaps because of the increasing popularity of rail transportation, in June of 2013 an unforeseen amount of railcars arrived in Allentown, PA from across the country.  The capacity overload was so great, one of our clients was facing a $10-12,000 demurrage charge, which Nexus was determined to deflect if at all possible.    The clients were notified and Nexus began collaborations with the NS Trainmaster to determine the best way to reduce the excess of rail cars.  Careful planning resulted in designing a solution allowing Nexus to unload 50-75% more high cube rail cars each day.  The innovative problem solving kept costs down for the locomotive and daily tracking successfully reduced the potential demurrage bill to $500, which is currently being evaluated for further consideration.  In the end, our biggest win was not sidestepping the hefty demurrage charge, but keeping our commitment to providing the best customer service possible.   
 
 
WHY OUR CUSTOMERS USE RAIL
Our supply chain customers who use rail services enjoy the following benefits:
  • Lower shipping costs and opportunities for reduced handling costs 
  • Standardized shipping schedules and reverse logistics opportunities improve shipping reliability    
  • Its some of the greenest shipping available.  Trains emit 73% less carbon dioxide than trucks, reducing your company’s carbon footprint significantly.
  • Low-volume shippers can leverage Nexus’s unique capability of matching them up with other low-volume shippers combine freight shipping to the same region at a much lower cost than LTL shipping. This benefit becomes even greater when added to the reliability of freight schedules.

5 Keys to Successful Chicagoland Warehousing

Selecting the right warehouse and logistics provider is of the utmost importance when looking to relocate your supply chain.  At Nexus we are commited to making your transition as smooth as possible.  We've put our heads together and come up with the top 5 keys to successful warehousing in Chicago, IL.  

 1.) RAIL SERVED SPACE

Location, location, location.  The AAR reports a trending towards more rail service and Logistics Management reports that both rail and intermodal transportation are showing positive growth trajectories this year, demonstrating just how imperative it is that your southeast hub has access to rail.  Our 700,000 square foot multi facility food grade NexusHub in Chicago has private rail access and 58 dock doors, 25 truck doors and is located just 2 miles from I-294.  Situated just outside a major metropolitan area, this hub is expertly set up to accomodate all of your paper, CPG, packaged food and alcoholic beverage storage needs.

2.) FLEXIBLE

Today you are a start up, or a company who knows their logistics provider isn't providing.  With the right logistics partner, tomorrow your business will be expanding. Your customers will be demanding more than ever, which means you need an experienced warehouse and transportation team who know how to accommodate such growth.  Flexibility is a key to warehousing that simply cannot be underestimated when you are looking to grow your business. Nexus has designed several expandable solutions and processes to scaffold your success every step of the way.

3.) FREIGHT MANAGEMENT / PRIVATE FLEET

Everyone sleeps better when they know the back-end details of their business are in good hands.  Warehouses with experienced freight management professionals and a private fleet are primed and ready to handle all of your distribution and transportation needs, all from one central hub.  Additionally, to save you from losing sleep, Nexus has relationships with a wide variety of regional and national LTL and truckload carriers, should the need for back up arise.  

4.) WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

When you are trusting your product and inventory to a 3PL you need a team of specialists who employ an industry leading WMS, A world class WMS, such as Accellos, provides complete visibility at all times.  A system this sophisticated means you have an eagle's eye view of your product morning, noon and night. Nexus launched the Accellos WMS in our warehouses earlier this year, in keeping with the Nexus tradition of utilizing cutting edge technology to provide the best service possible to our customers. 

5.) INNOVATIVE EXPERIENCE

The most important key to warehousing in the Chiagoland area is innovative experience. Combining the knowledge and the know-how of seasoned professionals with the ambition and creativity of carefully selected out of the box thinkers, the NexusHub team in Chicago is ready to take on any logistics challenge big or small. Nexus has been providing forward-thinking logistics, warehousing and transportation solutions for over 30 years.  That is our business, that is our passion and that is the soul of our company. 

 

QUALITY IN CHICAGO WAREHOUSING

The goal at Nexus has always been quality service.  Our mission to facilitate quality relationships between our customers and the ones they are serving while conducting business at fair and manageable rates has never wavered.  While navigating each of our customer’s paths, we are committed to keeping a broad perspective, and never focusing on linear solutions.  We value creativity that gets each of our customers the best practice solutions they need at the price they want. 

 Because our business began more than 30 years ago in the Chicagoland area, our Bedford Park facilities are close to our hearts and we’ve nurtured them to be some of the best in the country.  Continued efforts on behalf of TeamNexus have resulted in a prestigious WERC Certification.  Outside of the sheer accomplishment of being certified, the certification is dually important to Nexus’ goal of Continuous Improvement and maintaing a lean, profitable supply chain.  Because the WERC audit provides a comprehensive review of actionable benchmarks, such as, receiving and inspection, material handling, slotting, storage and inventory control, WMS, shipping documentation, pick and pack and load consolidation and shipping, the warehouse team now has a concrete baseline for the journey to being the leanest company possible.

 

Other recent improvements have been the implementation of the renowned AccellosOne WMS and even more recently the addition of EDI capabilities that are integrated with Accellos.  Focus on continued Vendor Compliance audits help to keep our Chicago customers on the profitable side of big box business.  A groundbreaking, in house development of a Corrective Action Response database is changing how our company responds and records any service issue and continually analyzes any area for possible improvements.

 

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”  Let Nexus connect your Chicagoland supply chain dots so that your business can get to know the meaning of continued achievement and success.

 

We welcome the opportunity to talk through your logistics needs.  Please feel free to contact one of our Chicagoland NexusHub experts to discuss how our flagship distribution centers can be part of your continuous improvement!

 

NEXUS EXPANDS ALLENTOWN, PA SQUARE FOOTAGE, ACQUIRING IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED PREMIUM GRADE FOOD SPACE.

NEXUS EXPANDS ALLENTOWN, PA SQUARE FOOTAGE, ACQUIRING IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED PREMIUM GRADE FOOD SPACE.

Third party logistics provider Nexus distribution announced today that it has added a second warehouse to its Northeast region facilities. The new temperature controlled distribution center is located less than a mile from its current 300,000 sq. ft. Allentown, PA facilities.

Read More