Beyond the green movement and the promised associated savings, there are about 37 million reasons for manufacturers to locate in California - namely, access to 37 million consumers. From a logistics standpoint, California offers undeniable advantages - and Central California, where food processing and distribution reigns, is emerging as a strategic location thanks to Hours-of-Service legislation that forces drivers to rest 10 hours during a 24-hour period.
"From the Central Valley, you can actually reach both metropolises in a one-day truck turn," says Barry Hibbard, vice president of Commercial and Industrial Development for Tejon Ranch Company, a master planned development in the heart of California's north-south connection in Lebec, Calif. The Tejon Industrial Complex anchors California's Central Valley logistics sector.
Hibbard adds, "In Southern California, the Los Angeles/Long Beach port is going to be out in front of other ports with its green investments. Long Beach is five years ahead of everybody else and it's going to pay off as the economy recovers."
Just to the south of Lebec, the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group is investing $120 million to open a bottling plant and distribution facility in Victorville, Calif., that will create 200 new jobs. The company has purchased 53 acres in the Southern California Logistics Airport, a former Air Force base that is being turned into a freight transportation hub.
The plant is scheduled to open in the spring of 2010 and will consist of 550,000 square feet of warehouse space and a 300,000-square-foot factory with up to six manufacturing lines. The plant will be the company's largest hub west of Texas and will serve nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population from its Southern California location.