E-commerce growing in Indiana

A journalist looks at a computer screen with webpages arranged to show Cyber Monday deals by various online retailers Monday Nov. 26, 2018, in New York. The physical rush of Black Friday and the armchair browsing of Cyber Monday are increasingly blending into one big holiday shopping event as more customers buy items online and pick them up at brick-and-mortar stores. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
You may be one of the thousands of people who are employed in e-commerce in Indiana. If you’re not, your life is most likely still affected by what they do, filling orders, shipping products and providing goods ordered over the internet from around the world. That business is growing and is becoming one of the state’s leading industries.
“Indiana has long been a leader of warehousing distribution and fulfillment in central Indiana. But, what we’ve seen over the last couple of years is the growth of the e-commerce market throughout all corridors of the state,” said Bryace Carpenter, Sr. Vice Pres. of Conexus, on Inside Indiana Business.
Conexus is a company that promotes advanced manufacturing in Indiana.
Carpenter pointed out in his interview with IIB, that large Amazon investments have been made in Ft. Wayne. The River Ridge Commerce Center in southeastern Indiana has also become a center for e-commerce.
“During the pandemic obviously, consumer patterns changed. We saw a 40 percent increase initially in freight movement within the state. That’s normalized a bit. But, there were a lot of patterns that were created,” said Carpenter.
In other words, more people ordered over the internet and a lot of that business has stayed steady, meaning more e-commerce centers are needed and more people are needed to fill jobs. But, as technology has advanced, most e-commerce companies have made adjustments.
“The companies have come along and made those investments to support their people with technology,” said Carpenter, which means robots and machines are doing some of the work. That’s one reason you may not be seeing as many of the seasonal jobs available that traditionally have been during the holidays.
Something’s lost and something’s gained, though. Carpenter said Indiana is emerging as a trade leader because of its geographic location.
“With the multi-state partnership on the bridge better connecting I-69 into Kentucky, and really becoming a more pronounced north/south corridor for international trade between Canada and Mexico,” said Carpenter, adding he believes that will open some new possibilities for Evansville.
“Indiana’s gonna continue to diversify and not just be a central Indiana-focused e-commerce leader.”

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