They grew and greened our ports, and now everyone is bringing their business to Southern California. We have set an example in growing business through green and efficient building.
The Pacific Maritime Association’s website show that in the first quarter of 2014, the Southern California port complex increased its market share on the West Coast by 2 percentage points, to 72%. Oakland’s market share was flat and the Seattle-Tacoma gateway lost 2 percentage points to 16% market share.
Port growth indicates more distribution center development will be needed. New construction is designed with maximum efficiency in mind.
Renters, including traditional retailers and e-commerce retailers, want large warehouses of 500,000 to more than 1 million square feet. Properties capable of accommodating large facilities simply aren’t available close to the coast, so almost all of the new construction in Southern California is occurring in the Inland Empire. Amazon has built out there, and of the 17 mega-warehouse properties under construction in the Inland Empire, seven of them have an e-commerce fulfillment component.
Compared to traditional warehouses, e-commerce facilities are far more efficient and functional. The buildings tend to be larger, with more height clearance and heavier flooring infrastructure to support higher stacking of goods and hanging conveyors.
E-commerce facilities are also more labor-intensive, generating one job per 1,000 square feet of space, while the traditional warehouse generates one job per 3,500 square feet of space, thus e-commerce fulfillment centers require many more employee parking spaces. The new style is more efficient.
As the Inland Empire grows, look for the rise of Inland ports. Ferris and Poway have lead the way in green warehouse construction, and now both markets are going strong.
Expect Casa Grande, Arizona to see strong development in the coming years.
East of the West – Chicago; northern and central New Jersey; eastern Pennsylvania; Dallas; Atlanta; and southern Florida and Texas are strong industrial markets.
As these industrial hubs continue to grow, they will set examples in energy efficiency – both in kilowatt usage and manpower.