It is no surprise that consumers want to receive their orders as fast and inexpensively as possible. Longer delivery times can result in unhappy customers and increased support calls. Merchants with chronic delivery issues can find themselves with negative reviews, and such a perception can take years to erase. So when considering transit times, is it true that there is a geographical advantage to using a fulfillment company located in one particular area of the country versus another? Let’s take a look at a few key issues. According to the US Census Bureau, 80% of the US population lives on the east coast, and 64% live east of the Mississippi. The Census Bureau’s map below shows the population density by county. The darker the color, the more densely populated that county is.
FSI is located just miles from Atlanta and is ideally situated to provide us with excellent efficiency in terms of transit times. Here is a UPS Ground transit map showing the transit times from our location. FSI can reach approximately 75% of the US population in 3 days via Ground.
Here is how those transit times compare to the west coast. Notice how the densely populated areas of the northeast take an additional 2 days.
And here is what the transit times look like coming out of New York.
Some companies claim that the middle of the country is the best way to go. The reality is that it is still 4 days to get to the west coast, and it actually adds another day of transit to the most densely populated northeast region. Moving your fulfillment base from Atlanta to the middle of the country only gains you some time with the most sparsely populated states while costing you valuable time in the states with the most population.
So what’s the bottom line? When you need to offer the minimum delivery time for the maximum percentage of Americans, a fulfillment base on the east coast is the only way to go.
We’ve established that Atlanta is a very strategically located shipping location, but being located relatively close to Atlanta isn’t enough. For example, going just 45 minutes outside of Atlanta will add an extra day to ship to most of Texas and California. It is simply based on the way carriers design their shipping network.
With FSI, you literally get the best of all worlds. We are strategically located in Atlanta, Georgia, which is the distribution center of the southeast. It is home not only to the busiest airport in the world, but also to the busiest and fastest growing port in the United States. We believe we are the best fulfillment center in Atlanta, so FSI becomes a natural choice when Clients are looking for a world-class provider of fulfillment services.
But we aren’t called Fulfillment Strategies International for nothing, as we ship to over 170 countries. Our international clients pass through Atlanta frequently and enjoy being able to stop in and see their inventory while they’re in town (one of our best clients from Holland found us out of the phone book he looked at while in the Atlanta airport and he drove straight to our location). Being close to the airport also makes it convenient for late package pickups from our small parcel carriers, UPS and FedEx, when needed. So that’s another bonus that can pay royal dividends from your customers.
What about fulfillment providers with warehouses in multiple parts of the country? Can they solve the entire transit time problem? Maybe, but while average transit times may drop, your storage and administration costs may skyrocket. Even worse, if the California-based location is out of a key product on a large order, it will have to do a partial shipment, and the New York-based location must ship the rest. So it is possible for a multi-location strategy to backfire and actually increase shipping and transit costs.
Wherever you live, FSI can handle all your fulfillment needs. Let us manage your pick/pack/ship, inventory management, kit packing, online catalog/e-commerce, online reporting, data entry and sweepstakes management, handwork, and more, so you can focus on what you do best – growing your business.