Distribution (Global Logistics)

Industry Overview

Virginia's companies provide services and manufactured goods to customers throughout the world. Our distribution base remains strong and continues to grow with companies like The Home Depot, Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, Ace Hardware and Amazon.com all delivering goods from their Virginia-based distribution centers. Increasingly, leading retailers and distributors are taking advantage of Virginia's proximity to Eastern U.S. and Midwest markets. Millions of square feet of new warehousing space have been added at new distribution centers around the state.

Virginia's Distribution Industry

  • Employs over 72,000 people, primarily in trucking (20,600 employees), warehousing (20,100 employees) and transportation support (15,200 employees)
  • In the past 10 years, 365 global logistics industry projects have announced over 16,500 new jobs and capital investment of more than $1.8 billion
  • The global logistics industry has a direct economic output of $11.1 billion and supports an additional $9.3 billion in economic activity in Virginia
  • Virginia exports totaled over $19.3 billion in 2014 (not including services)
  • Centrally located on the East Coast, Virginia is within a one-day drive time of approximately 43 percent of the U.S. population and over 186,000 manufacturing establishments
  • To view the complete Distribution Industry Profile, click here

Key Companies

  • Abilene Motor Express
  • Ace Hardware
  • Advance Auto
  • Amazon.com
  • Backcountry.com
  • CMA CGM America
  • Cost Plus
  • Dollar Tree Stores
  • DSC Logistics
  • Estes Express Lines
  • Hanesbrands
  • Home Depot
  • HSN Fulfillment

  • J. Crew
  • Kohl's
  • Maersk
  • McKesson
  • Owens & Minor
  • QVC
  • Target
  • The Vitamin Shoppe, Inc.
  • Wal-Mart
  • WCS Logistics/Winchester Cold Storage
  • ZIM Integrated Shipping

Assets/Virginia Advantages

  • With six major interstate highways, Virginia has the third largest state maintained transportation network in the country providing quick access to the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest.
  • Ten railroads operate on the state’s network of nearly 3,400 miles of railway (excluding trackage rights). Two of the nation’s largest railroads, CSX Corporation and Norfolk Southern Corporation, are located here. Commuter rails near the larger cities allow workers to traverse efficiently.
  • The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is the Commonwealth’s leading agency for international transportation and maritime commerce and manages Virginia’s six general cargo terminals: Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminals, Virginia International Gateway in Portsmouth, Newport News Marine Terminal, the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal and the Port of Richmond.
  • The Port of Virginia is one of the three busiest container ports on the U.S. East Coast and a leading gateway for the entire U.S. market.  The Port boasts the single best infrastructure on the East Coast with a 50-foot ice free channel, no overhead obstructions, on-dock rail service (two Tier 1 railroads), easy access to ocean lanes, and is the only East Coast port with Congressional authorization to dredge to 55 feet.
  • The Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal serves as an intermodal collection point for containers from West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Northern Virginia and elsewhere.
  • Virginia's transportation infrastructure offers great advantages to businesses. Goods and services can easily be provided to customers anywhere in the world.
  • Dulles is Virginia's largest airport and provides international and domestic services for passengers and cargo. The cargo sector offers great growth potential as Dulles continues to expand its facilities.


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