hen Arrow Electronics moved its headquarters from New York to Colorado a dozen years ago, a robust transportation infrastructure was cited as one of the main factors driving the decision.
Since then, the Centennial-based company has doubled its revenue to $34.5 billion in annual sales and risen to No. 104 on the Fortune 500 list — a 53-place improvement from its No. 157 ranking in 2010, just prior to the relocation. Arrow employs 20,700 people worldwide to serve more than 220,000 customers globally. Global components account for $26.4 billion in sales, while $8.1 come from global enterprise computing solutions.
Just 500 employees were based in the Denver area when the company made the move in 2011. By 2014, the firm had hired more than 1,500 people in the market.
Colorado’s central U.S. location plays a pivotal role in Arrow’s success. Some 170 daily nonstop flights from Denver International Airport enable the company to connect easily with clients across the Americas’ Europe and Asia. Michelle, Hadwiger, Director of Global Business Development for the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, put it best when she noted that, “for companies working in multiple U.S. or international markets, Colorado’s central location adds an additional ease to doing business. Executives can communicate with both Western Europe and East Asia during normal business hours in a single day. This just isn’t possible from offices on either U.S. coast. It represents real efficiency gains.”
Flights from DIA, which became the third busiest in the world in 2021, can reach any major U.S. city in four hours. Going to Dallas? You can be there from Denver in one hour and 19 minutes. Phoenix is just one hour and 10 minutes away. Chicago is one hour and 50 minutes; New York is three hours and 16 minutes; and Los Angeles is just one hour and 40 minutes away.
Those times translate into real cost savings for American businesses and lead to the ability to reach more customers in more markets quicker. DIA has direct routes to 28 international destinations in 12 countries, including Europe, Asia and the Americas. “While there are 1,500 daily flights and 60 million annual passengers, the airport is in the midst of a 39-gate expansion and its management is planning to reach 100 million annual passengers between 2030 and 2035,” notes Hadwiger.
This is a big reason why so many West and East Coast firms are looking to move to Colorado. Other transportation assets also play a factor. Three major Interstate highways serve Colorado: I-70, I-76 and I-25. Colorado is also home to 14 freight railroads operating on more than 2,660 miles of track, and two Class I railroads: Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific. Nearly one-fourth of all freight handled in Colorado moves by rail.
Colorado’s central location, low transportation costs, and access to transportation and logistics training programs contribute to the growing roster of manufacturers and logistics end-users doing business in the state. Nearly 6,000 manufacturing companies now export in excess of $7.5 billion in goods and services from Colorado.