OKCís warehouse and distribution sector thriving, e-commerce playing pivotal role

Monday, May 17, 2021

If you have driven along Interstate-44 just south of Will Rogers World Airport recently, you cannot help but notice Amazon’s new fulfillment center expansion going up just north of their current facility that opened in 2019. When it opens later this year, the new facility should nearly double Amazon’s warehouse space here to 1.6 million square feet and add another 500 jobs to the Oklahoma City metro.

The fact that Amazon has chosen to expand in Oklahoma City is no doubt a testament to the overall growth and vitality of the warehouse and distribution sector in the Oklahoma City region.

The health of the Oklahoma City metro’s warehouse and distribution sector is reflected in recent data published by labor market analytics firm Emsi that shows between 2010 and 2020, the number of jobs within the sector grew by 56% or 10,000 jobs. That growth rate even outpaced the state and nation, which saw jobs grow at a rate of 33% and 21%, respectively. If you compare Oklahoma City’s job growth to the state and nation within the last five years (2015-2020), it is even more pronounced.

Jeff Seymour, executive vice president of economic development at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, believes some of that growth can be attributed to a rise in on-demand delivery services resulting from COVID-19; however other reasons may not be as obvious. 

“E-commerce continues to drive some growth, but I also think as Oklahoma City continues to grow, it is serving more as a regional hub than it has in the past,” he said, noting that the warehouse and distribution industry accounts for $4.2 billion or 5.5% of total gross domestic product – the economy’s total output of goods and services – for the Oklahoma City metro.

The full story is available here.