The e-commerce fulfillment market is changing very rapidly and has been for decades. Most of us are aware of this (or if we’re not, we’ve experienced the effects) since we’re all consumers and by this point, nearly everyone in America has bought something online.
But distribution of products and materials goes beyond everyday consumers ordering something from Amazon. Manufacturers and businesses of all types rely on supply chains and logistics for everything they need to make, ship, and sell their products.
Those of us who aren’t involved in manufacturing or logistics may not think that the same rules apply to industrial distribution than commercial distribution, but they do! Price, convenience, and selection are all just as important to businesses as they are to consumers, and both are getting more and more demanding every year.
In order to facilitate more efficient operations (of which supply chain is a huge part), businesses in all sectors are consolidating. Consolidation is happening through mergers and acquisitions of separate companies, or through physical consolidation around the most effective infrastructure.
One highly visible example of physical consolidation was in the news this week when Tesla announced it will build its multi-billion-dollar Gigafactory near Reno, NV. Many had suspected that Nevada would eventually win the battle for the massive new battery plant because of its location alone. Besides a favorable political situation, Reno has great shipping infrastructure including rail lines, highways, and an airport. Besides, it’s in the middle of a very sunny desert, allowing more effective use of solar panels to power the factory, even above slightly less sunny places like New Mexico or California.
The Gigafactory is particularly interesting to us at TAGG since we’re also located in Reno! The location and infrastructure there allows us to orchestrate incredibly efficient order fulfillment to the Western U.S. Plus, our St. Louis, MO facility allows us to do the same for the other half of the country.