Logistics and Distribution Continue to Propel Region Forward

The Rockford Region has seen the logistics and distribution industry continue to grow by double digits year over year while creating good-paying jobs.

Truck Highway Train Airplane Logistics Destination in Rockford IL

The strength of our workforce, location, and the ability of land all feed into the continued growth. In the past six years, the logistics and distribution industry has invested over $80,000,000 into the region.

The Chicago Rockford International Airports (RFD) proximity to major roadways allows trucks to be driving 70-in-5 which means they can be on a highway doing 70 miles per hour within five minutes of departing the loading dock.

RFD was recently named the best cargo airport in its class by Air Cargo World magazine and in 2018 named the fastest-growing cargo airport in the world. With UPS’s second-largest North American hub, RFD is the 17th largest cargo airport in the country and has the infrastructure and shovel-ready locations to support much more air freight and related activity.

In 2021 3.4 billion pounds of cargo moved through RFD. This is an increase of 25% over 2020 which has also seen a 15% growth over 2019.

With the expansion of UPS, international cargo air cargo company Senator International selecting RFD as their Midwest hub, and the addition of Amazon Air and recently Emirates SkyCargo the airport continues to be a location at the top of mind for cargo companies.

Information from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics also demonstrates the importance of Logistics and Distribution as the concentration of employees is higher in our metropolitan statistical area (MSA) than in the state of Illinois and the nation.

Logistics & Distribution Employment Concentration

  • Rockford MSA – 11.1%
  • Illinois – 10.3%
  • United States – 8.7%

This means 11% of our workforce is employed in this industry, second only to manufacturing. The mean (average) hourly wage in our region is $48.20 an hour and the annual mean salary is $100,260 as shared by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics in May of 2020.

Logistics and distribution will continue to bring jobs to the area through both direct employment and indirect employment such as construction and remain a major economic driver for the region.