State and local leaders are pushing to grow the logistics and transportation industries, particularly around the I-70/I-75 interchange, with one major new project already under construction west of the Dayton International Airport.
“We have a lot of logistics and distribution sites as it is,” said Jason Antonick with the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. Payless, Caterpillar and White Castle have all opened distribution centers here in recent years. Meijer just announced plans in January to open a dairy processing and distribution plant in Tipp City, potentially creating 100 jobs.
The Dayton area is accessible by truck to much of the U.S., and Antonick adds, “we’re within an 11- to 12-hour drive of all of the major eastern ports.” He predicts that proximity will become more significant as the Panama Canal expands its capacity.
Jobs in trucking, loading and unloading, and all the planning and management associated with logistics are expected to grow in the coming years, although not as rapidly as some health care and information technology occupations. For example, a 2012 report predicted a 56.8 percent increase in personal and home care aides by 2020, but just a 15.4 percent increase in truck drivers in the Dayton area. The median wage for truck drivers in Dayton is $19.62 an hour.
“Project Walnut” is the working name for the gigantic distribution center being built near the Dayton Airport in Union. The $90 million development run by industrial developer Prologis will be a 43-acre facility with 600 truck bays, and it could bring over 1,000 jobs after its opening, expected to be around November, 2014. The tenant still hasn’t been officially announced, but that information could be released as soon as March.