Amazon, Penske investments affirm state’s superior supply chain assets

For years, the state of Michigan has boasted a motto that, quite frankly, states the obvious: If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.

Ok, so we’re a bit partial to life in the Mitten.

Considered from an economic development perspective, the state’s slogan could be modified into something like: “If you’re looking for a place strategically located with a plethora of logistical advantages look around.”

Maybe not poetry, but definitely a compelling assertion that persuaded online retail giant Amazon and Penske Logistics, among others, to make major investments in the state.

In the last 18 months, the world’s preeminent online retailer has invested in four fulfilment centers – three in metro Detroit and one in Grand Rapids. Amazon’s decisions reflects Michigan’s strategic location in the Midwest consumer markets, and the state’s open-arm approach in supporting the building of centers that spawn a range of spin-off businesses, including entrepreneurial delivery services.

In May, Amazon.com Services, Inc. announced it will invest $150 million in a fulfilment center in Gaines Township, Kent County. The Michigan Strategic Fund approved a $4-million Michigan Business Performance program grant to support the online giant’s investment.

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