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East vs West; Where Should Your Brand Be?

East vs West; Where Should Your Brand Be?

June 28, 2023
Posted By
Olexiy Shapowal
Title asset to the "Summer Shipping" blog post from Atomix Logistics. A small green 3D truck with a small sun floating above it portrays the hot summer sun during order transport. KW: Ecommerce, 3PL, order fulfillment, fulfillment center, summer order fulfillment, new orders, new customer, temperature, protection, packaging, eco-friendly, sustainability

When it comes to ecommerce fulfillment, making sure your fulfillment center is in the optimal location can significantly boost the quality of your brand’s order fulfillment service. Especially for international brands; it can be difficult to know whether the East or West coast is best for your business. Luckily, Atomix Logistics and our team of experts put together this quick guide on the pros and cons for each coast - to help ecommerce business owners make the best choice for the future of their business! 

Perks of East

If your customers are primarily located on the East coast of the US, having a fulfillment center there can offer several advantages. For one, being close to large cities such as New York, Boston, and Miami can help reduce shipping times and costs. Additionally, the East coast is home to several major ports like New York/New Jersey and Savannah, which can be an advantage if you import goods from overseas. Another park of having an East coast fulfillment center is a significantly lower risk of earthquakes than on the West coast, reducing the risk of natural disasters that impact delivery times. 

Cons of East

While there are certainly advantages to having an East coast fulfillment center, there are also some drawbacks to think about. One of the biggest disadvantages is higher labor costs. The cost of living tends to be higher on the East coast, which can drive up the cost of wages for workers. Additionally, real estate prices are generally higher on the East coast as well, which can make it more expensive to find suitable warehouse space. This is further affected by the fact that the East coast is more densely populated than the West coast (besides California), which means that there may be less available space for larger fulfillment centers. While these factors may not be deal-breakers for all ecommerce businesses, they should be carefully considered when selecting a location for your fulfillment center.

Perks of West

If your ecommerce business primarily imports goods from Asia, having a fulfillment center on the West coast of the US can offer several advantages. For one, proximity to Asia means that shipping times and costs can be significantly reduced, which can be a major selling point for customers. Additionally, the West coast is home to several major ports, including Los Angeles/Long Beach and Seattle/Tacoma, which can make it easier to receive and transport goods. Another advantage of having a West coast fulfillment center is that labor costs tend to be lower than on the East coast. This can help reduce overhead costs and improve your bottom line. In addition, these very savings can be passed on to your customers, providing them all with an exceptional shopping experience and encouraging return shoppers.

Cons of West

Being on the West coast brings beautiful weather, sunshine, and tons of new technology. However, shipping in all of the various products needed for the “West coast life” also brings some drawbacks for fulfillment centers. One of the biggest drawbacks is the massive population density within larger cities. Like the East coast, having densely populated cities can make it more difficult to reach a specific residential address in time. While the West coast is home to several large cities, it may be more difficult to reach customers on the East coast from this region. This can lead to longer shipping times and higher transportation costs, which can put a strain on your operations. Additionally, the West coast is more prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes and wildfires, which can disrupt your supply chain and cause delays. Finally, if you primarily ship goods to customers on the East coast, it may be more expensive to transport those goods from a West coast fulfillment center due to the increased distance. 


Overview/Conclusion

When deciding on the location for your ecommerce fulfillment center, it's important to weigh the pros and cons of both East coast and West coast options. Factors such as proximity to major population centers, access to major ports, labor costs, real estate prices, transportation costs, and risk of natural disasters should all be taken into account. By carefully evaluating your business needs and available resources in each region, you can make an informed decision that will help optimize your order fulfillment operations and provide fast and efficient service to your customers. But ultimately, the right choice depends on your business’ unique circumstances and goals for growth. 

Because Atomix Logistics is located in the heart of the US (the Midwest!), our specialized team is equipped to ship packages anywhere in the continental US for significantly lower prices than fulfillment centers on either coast. To learn more about how Atomix helps brand owners take on the global ecommerce marketplace, reach out to our team and let us help you make the most of your industry!

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