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Ohio's warehouse market continues to expand


Many states in the Rust Belt have been placing new emphasis on warehouse construction, upgrades and hiring in the past few years, and that trend doesn't seem likely to slow down anytime soon.

Many states in the Rust Belt have been placing new emphasis on warehouse construction, upgrades and hiring in the past few years, and that trend doesn't seem likely to slow down anytime soon. Ohio, in particular, has become a hotbed of such activity, and that has certainly been the case in recent weeks.

Much of the reason for the increase in warehousing activity across the Buckeye State is its geographical proximity to many population centers, and the growth of e-commerce, according to a report from the Columbus Dispatch. This year, an average of about 16,500 people per month have worked in the warehouse industry in Ohio, a number that has grown by nearly one-third since 2010. However, that number doesn't include those employed by single retailers to work in their distribution centers.

Massive demand
In fact, the state is such a busy site for warehouse hiring these days that companies are actually having trouble finding enough people to fill all the job openings they have available, the report said. Moreover, because of that competition, workers' perks are skyrocketing as well. As recently as a few years ago, these jobs paid $10 an hour with no benefits, but now benefits are the norm, and salaries tend to be closer to $16 per hour.

"Every year, we see more and more need at the distribution centers for the seasonal work. More and more people are online shopping," Rhonda Arledge, regional vice president for a staffing company in central Ohio, told the newspaper.

Getting more space
In addition, it's not just people who are needed to fulfill industry needs, but also actual facilities, according to the Toledo Blade. One real estate investor recently paid about $12.9 million to acquire a 42-year-old warehouse in Perrysburg Township for a solar company. The facility measures about 391,000 square feet, and will be used to store products made in the company's nearby manufacturing center.

But what's truly a hallmark of the way the warehousing industry is trending in Ohio is the fact that the $12.9 million purchase came just a 20 months after another developer bought it for $5.7 million and invested $4 million in upgrades, the report said.

For all these reasons, those looking to fill logistics jobs in the near future may need to be even more proactive when it comes to offering the right salary and benefits packages to prospective workers.