Birmingham emerging as Southeast logistics hub with 500 new jobs on the way

Birmingham, Amazon, Bessemer
Amazon’s Bessemer Fulfilment Center. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Perhaps it all started a couple of years ago when Bessemer landed the Amazon Fulfillment Center providing up to 1500 new jobs.

That placed the Birmingham area on the proverbial “map” when it comes to logistics. 

I guess it is a lot like when an auto factory establishes itself in a community, additional jobs are created via part suppliers. 

Is that happening right now? Is Birmingham becoming a logistics hub?  Mayor Randall Woodfin thinks so.  

Two Big Projects

Century Plaza Mall Birmingham emerging as Southeast logistics hub with 500 new jobs on the way
Vacant Century Plaza Mall, May 9, 2020. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Can’t blame him, and let’s hope it is true. Here is his evidence. In the month of July (and we have a few days left), Birmingham has announced landing two major projects that will create over 500 logistic and delivery jobs. 

According to a City of Birmingham news release, FedEx will invest nearly $40 million in a project on Lakeshore Parkway that sits on the Birmingham-Bessemer boundary. The project will create nearly 300 jobs, approximately 200 of which will be in Birmingham. The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 approved an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Bessemer to coordinate municipal services for the ground delivery distribution center.

Amazon Fulfillment Center in Bessemer. Photo by Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

As reported in Bham Now several times this summer, in East Birmingham, the space where the Century Plaza mall once stood will be vacant no longer. A major multi-national distributor will bring a fulfillment center that will add 300 jobs to accelerate Birmingham’s last-mile delivery infrastructure. The project will invest $60 million to develop a 200,000 square foot state-of-the-art logistics facility. Demolition and reconstruction is set to begin in early August.

Job Creation Paramount

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Rendering provided by Birmingham City Council in news release

“Job creation has consistently been a priority for our administration,” said Mayor Woodfin. “Before the coronavirus, we had added nearly 6,000 jobs, increasing employment of Birmingham residents by 7%. These two announcements signal the resilience of our economy and the emergence of Birmingham as a hub for logistics in the Southeast.”

Repeat the Mayor’s words. “Hub for logistics in the Southeast.”

Why not?  Now that I-59/20 through downtown and malfunction junction are fixed,  that has got to be attractive to folks in the logistics and distribution business.  Future national companies have got to be impressed by the regional cooperation between Birmingham, Bessemer and Jefferson county.  

Sounds possible to me. We can do it Birmingham.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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