The announcement a few months ago that Amazon would be opening a fulfillment center in Kansas City, Kansas was great news. But it wasn’t just an accident that Amazon chose the Heartland for its center. As Wendell Cox pointed out in his recent paper for the Show Me Institute, the Kansas City metropolitan area is well positioned for just this type of industry. Hopefully, regional leaders keep the area’s relative strengths in mind when setting policy. Cox writes,
Kansas City’s pivotal position in the national highway system and its strong rail hub enable it to be one of the nation’s leading intermodal markets. Intermodal freight transport refers to the transfer of shipping containers from one mode to another (such as truck to rail, or air to truck).
In addition, Cox writes that land costs in Kansas City are low because the city has avoided costly land use regulation policies. Affordable real estate at a desirable location seem to have appealed to Amazon. But the essay—and the reality of the new Amazon center—suggest that there are other, similar opportunities to be had. Kansas City leaders need to stop importing policies from far off cities and design economic policies that take advantage of Kansas City’s great strengths.