Regional Warehouses & Distribution Centers

The region's large population and vibrant economy are supported and supplied by several warehouse and distribution centers where goods are stockpiled until needed at their final destination. These goods may have traveled by rail, air, or water before reaching the local warehouse or distribution center for final delivery.

Maryland is home to a large warehouse cluster at Jessup/Elkridge/Savage Center just north of the region. This cluster includes the Maryland Food Center Authority (MFCA) campus of food related warehouses. The MFCA is made up of numerous warehouses leased out to food vendors. The warehouse and distribution centers lessees prepare and package food for delivery to stores such as Giant and Safeway. For example, salmon flown in from Norway is filleted and packaged for sale at local food chains.

The MFCA is a quasi-state operation. It was created by an act of Maryland legislature in 1967. Its Jessup location was intentionally chosen as a central Mid-Atlantic spot for food distribution to the region. Its market share spans beyond the Baltimore-Washington region as far south as Richmond, Virginia and north as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Additionally, freight clusters of warehouse and distribution centers are located at Beltsville/Laurel and Upper Marlboro.

warehouse image

The New York Avenue corridor in the District of Columbia is another warehouse and distribution center cluster. New York Avenue is the main highway freight route into and out of the District. Goods are typically transported by large trucks to transfer facilities in the vicinity of New York Avenue, where they are loaded onto smaller trucks, box trucks, and step vans, and prepared for distribution to the District's local businesses. For example, FedEx Express is located along New York Avenue. Additionally, the Washington Times newspaper headquarters and printing facility and the Restaurant Equipment and Supplies Depot Corporation are located at the Maryland/DC border on New York Avenue.

In Virginia, several warehouse and distribution centers have grown around Dulles Airport and Manassas. For example, the cargo facilities at Dulles include UPS, United States Parcel Service, and FedEx.

More Freight News

  • 12Jul

    Freight Subcommittee

    5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
    Room 4/5
    777 North Capitol Street, NE, Suite 300
    Washington, DC 20002

  • 30May

    Tour of The Wharf

    7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    PN Hoffman
    2nd Floor
    760 Maine Avenue SW
    Washington, DC 20024

  • Document

    National Capital Region Freight Plan

    July 28, 2016

    The National Capital Region Freight Plan describes the role freight transportation plays in the Region’s economy, provides an overview of the Region’s...

  • Document

    Enhancing the Consideration of Freight in Regional Transportation Planning

    May 1, 2007

    Under the guidance of the Transportation Planning Board (TPB) and with the cooperation of TPB member jurisdictions, this report lays the ground work for...