Northwest Louisiana, situated on the border of Texas and Arkansas, has recently gained attention from investors due to its promising growth potential and emergence as a logistics hub. With its strategic geographical location and excellent transportation infrastructure, the region is attracting logistics, distribution, and manufacturing businesses.
Here are the key factors that are drawing businesses and investors to Northwest Louisiana.
Geographical Advantage and Accessibility
Northwest Louisiana’s proximity to several major cities, including Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Little Rock, Memphis, Jackson, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans, has contributed to its desirability as a logistics and distribution hub. Each of these key metropolitan areas are within a 3-5 hour driving distance, making the area an attractive location for distribution and logistics companies.
An estimated 60 million people, which is approximately one-fifth of the total US population, reside within a 500-mile radius of northwest Louisiana. This proximity to a significant consumer base highlights the region’s strategic advantage for businesses seeking to expand their operations and reach a large market.1
Robust Transportation Infrastructure
Northwest Louisiana is well-served by an extensive transportation network, making it easily accessible to surrounding states and beyond. The region’s key transportation route is Interstate 20 (I-20), which runs from Texas through Louisiana and continues all the way to South Carolina. This vital interstate sees a substantial daily traffic volume of 45,000 vehicles passing through northwest Louisiana.2 Additionally, I-20 connects with I-95 in South Carolina, further enhancing the region’s economic connectivity. I-95 plays a crucial role in facilitating 40% of the country’s total GDP.3
I-20 route, Google Maps
The presence of I-20 has attracted businesses to towns and cities along its route, as it provides companies with reliable transportation while minimizing distribution costs and time.4 This accessibility is a significant factor in attracting investment and fostering economic growth in the region.
Northwest Louisiana is also connected to the Port of South Louisiana through its vast waterway network, which spans over 2,800 miles in total. This Port sees the transfer of cargo to and from barges arriving from the Mississippi River. The inland barge system, which services the Midwest and Northeast, moved an impressive 239 million short tons of cargo in 2022.5
The Kansas City Southern (KCS) railroad system is another vital transport option in the area. The KCS line runs from Kansas City through Shreveport-Bossier City, extending down to Beaumont, Texas. Another KCS line connects Dallas to New Orleans. The presence of a well-connected railroad system adds an additional layer of accessibility for businesses operating in the region.
Strong Economic Foundations
The Shreveport-Bossier City metro area has a population of 397,500 and boasts several stable industries that contribute to the region’s economic strength. Notably, Barksdale Air Force Base, employing 10,000 personnel and civilians, plays a pivotal role in the area’s economy, as its largest employer.
Additionally, the region has a robust healthcare sector, including educational centers such as LSU Health, which further enhances its economic stability. Tourism is another important industry, with the region known for its riverboat gambling and casinos.
Major Investment and Job Creation
A recent influx of major investment in Northwest Louisiana underscores its growing prominence as a logistics and manufacturing hub.
Amazon is set to open a massive 3.2 million square foot distribution center in the Shreveport-Bossier City metro area, with a $200M investment outlined for the development. Leveraging the region’s excellent transport infrastructure and geographic proximity to major cities, this distribution center is expected to create 1,000 new direct jobs, demonstrating the importance Amazon places on the region.1
Rendering of Amazon robotics facility coming to Shreveport, La.(Project Cosmeaux)
In addition to Amazon, SLB, the world’s largest offshore drilling company, is moving in and investing more than $18M to establish a new manufacturing facility, creating 600 new direct jobs and 749 indirect jobs.6
These Fortune 500 companies join existing operations in the region, such as Prolec GE, a joint venture between General Electric and Xignux, who are expanding their manufacturing plant, resulting in the creation of more jobs.7 These investments and expansions highlight that major companies are recognizing the potential of Northwest Louisiana as a business location.
iintoo’s latest deal is located in Bossier City and seeks to capitalize on the strong dynamics and growth potential of the northwest Louisiana area. It’s a value-add project, and units renovated as a base case have already achieved rent premiums.
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(1) KTAL: New Robotics fulfillment center coming to NWLA
(2) KSLA: New Barksdale Gate will impact traffic, the economy and base security
(3) WFMZ: Will the I-95 collapse affect the economy?
(4) Kilgore News Herald: The I-20 impact: How one major interstate shapes Kilgore’s economy
(5) Port of South Louisiana: Transportation
(6) KEEL: SLB is bringing hundreds of jobs to Shreveport GM plant
(7) The Advocate: Shreveport manufacturer to expand, create 153 jobs