Over 2.1 million packages are handled each day at Kentucky’s logistics hubs, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.
The state is home to three major air-cargo hubs, one at the Muhammad Ali International Airport in Louisville and two at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron.
The largest of the three, UPS Worldport in Louisville, is also the largest automated package-handling facility in the world—with 155 miles of conveyors. More than 130 flights operate daily.
The DHL Express global cargo hub in Northern Kentucky operates 78 flights daily. And in August 2021, Amazon Air opened its new air cargo hub at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport, designed to handle 200 flights a day.
Thousands of warehouse workers are needed at the major hubs and in manufacturing and retail warehouses throughout the state.
Remember all those miles of conveyors? Among the best paid warehouse workers are those who operate conveyor systems, with an median yearly wages over $38,000.
Demand is increasing by double digits for workers who can operate the packaging and filling machines that prepare goods for storage or shipment.
Demand for forklift operators is expected to increase by double digits.
- Conveyor operators and tenders: 8.91 percent increase from 2018-2028, from 494 to 538 jobs. Median pay $38,169.
- Industrial truck and tractor operators: 15.28 percent increase from 2018-2028, from 13,906 to 16,031. Median pay $36,801.
Highest paying jobs
Supervising operations can pay handsomely. Experienced workers are often promoted from within the company. Many entry-level managers have a bachelor’s degree related to their job.
- Transportation, storage, and distribution managers: 15.28 percent increase from 2018-2028, from 1,852 to 2,135 jobs. Average pay $88,007.
- First-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators: 14.47 percent increase from 2018-2028, from 7,471 to 8,552 jobs. Median salary $51,691.
Entry level work
Thousands of entry-level jobs are available in logistics, and employee benefits often include help to pay for further education. Many logistics employers offer tuition reimbursement, and some even pre-pay tuition—sometimes for careers not related to logistics. Some programs are partnerships with local universities and others are for online universities. You may also get help in earning a high school credential.
The greatest number of entry level opportunities in Kentucky logistics can be found in packaging and materials handling.
- Hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers: 11.06 percent increase from 2018-2028, from 60,271 to 66,937 jobs. Median pay $29,760.
Figures from Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2028.