“Weep no more, my lady, Oh weep no more today! We will sing one song for the old Kentucky home.” – Lyrics from “My Old Kentucky Home”
When Americans think about e-commerce or anything related to the Internet, they might not think about the Bluegrass State. They should. Kentucky is a centrally-located state along major flight, ground and water shipping routes, which makes it an ideal location for any business, but especially businesses in distribution. Those qualities, combined with a rapidly improving environment for investment in communications infrastructure, have also compelled many e-commerce companies to call old Kentucky home.
Both industries, e-commerce and distribution, are exploding in Kentucky. That means more jobs for Bluegrass State residents.
Louisville, which is growing and developing rapidly, is leading the way. The city is not only a major hub for UPS, it’s home to several other distributors, retailers manufacturers. The city recently held an event targeted toward entrepreneurs in logistics and distribution that encouraged them to think about expansion and to think beyond Louisville.
Additionally, DHL recently announced that it will upgrade to its northern Kentucky area shipping hub in order to meet the growing international demand for e-commerce. The investment will create new jobs and boost the Kentucky economy. Even Kroger, which has strong Kentucky roots, is testing out e-commerce in the Cincinnati area. Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said two years ago his company had “zero e-commerce.”
Entrepreneurial businesses in Kentucky not only focus on logistics and distribution, but the implementations of the systems behind them. These systems help keep e-commerce sites up-to date. Agile Harbor, the parent company of SkuVault is quickly growing and wants to set a trend. Andy Eastes, who owns the company, wants “to become an industry standard for e-commerce retailers to take the process from wholesale to ordering.” Agile Harbor has $1 million in revenues, 16 employees and was named a Hot Dozen company by Greater Louisville Inc. in 2013. Eastes recently was featured in Business First’s “20 People to Know” in technology and innovation.
Kentucky has traditionally been a leader in distribution, but as the relationship between distribution and e-commerce has strengthened, Kentucky has kept up by fostering an environment that allows for continued investment in the infrastructure these companies need to stay connected to one another, and to their customers.
With those policies in place, you can bet more and more cutting edge companies will soon be calling Kentucky home.More