If your company is looking for a distribution center anywhere in the US right now, you’re going to need a lot more money than you did before, and maybe some luck. And, if you’re looking specifically for a California Inland Empire distribution center, money and luck alone probably aren’t going to cut it, unless you’ve got a lot of time. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Inland Empire distribution landscape and tell you how 3PL providers can be invaluable allies to your search for a DC.
What is the Inland Empire?
The Inland Empire (“IE”) is a collection of towns and cities in Southern California, about 50 to 100 miles east of Los Angeles. Due to its proximity to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – the busiest seaports in the U.S. – as well as the seemingly limitless amount of space it once offered, the region became a hotbed of warehousing development.
As imports into the Ports of L.A. and Long Beach skyrocketed in the 21st century, so has the reliance on IE warehouses to handle those products. According to Bloomberg, an estimated 40% of the nation’s consumer goods now come through the region.
The current state of Inland Empire distribution by the numbers
Due to an unprecedented combination of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread supply chain congestion, logistics labor shortages, and the continuing rise of eCommerce, the Inland Empire is currently tapped out. There is very little space available, and the miniscule amount of space that is up for grabs is prohibitively expensive.
The prevailing thought is that the construction of new warehouse space in the region will ease the some of the current burden on the supply chain. The problem is, however, that current construction is being snapped up competitively by both onshore and offshore tenants, and further, the pace of new construction is being negatively impacted by these same supply chain constraints (e.g., construction companies are unable to get the steel, lighting, and other major components that they need to build the warehouses).
So, just how burdened is the current Inland Empire distribution landscape? Let’s look at some numbers.
0.7%: The current (historically-low) warehouse vacancy rate in the Inland Empire, according to CBRE
20-30%: The rise in asking rent prices for industrial space over 100,000 sq. ft. in Q3 2021
12-15: The current number of months it takes to receive steel for warehouse construction after an order is placed
20 million: The square footage of industrial space currently under construction within the IE
50 million: The square footage of industrial space in the IE that is needed to meet demand
600 million: The square footage of the IE’s warehouse footprint in 2020, which doubled from what it was in 2004
Turn to 3PLs for Inland Empire distribution center capacity
If your operation has been looking to acquire its own space within the IE, these numbers show that you’re going to wait quite a while to procure it.
Or maybe not.
The truth is that, instead of acquiring your own distribution center within the IE, you can partner with a 3PL provider that already has DCs ready for your operation to move into. There are some 3PLs with rapidly expanding distribution center networks within the Inland Empire and the entire West Coast region.
It’s space that already exists, or is coming available as aggressive 3PLs have secured it in advance of your demand. This removes the significant burdens of finding a facility, paying for it, and staffing it.
Weber Logistics is a West-Coast-based 3PL provider with 7 distribution centers in the Inland Empire, including brand new facilities in San Bernardino (407,000 sq. ft.) and Moreno Valley (685,000 sq. ft.). Weber’s IE footprint has doubled in the past two years and now totals nearly 2.7 million square feet of space to serve the omni-channel fulfillment needs of B2B and B2C companies. Best of all, Weber’s warehousing operations can seamlessly integrate with our transportation and port services. To learn more about partnering with a true logistics expert in the Inland Empire, contact Weber Logistics today.