Tom Miller, CCIM
Another logistics location survey and Reno ranks…..Where ?
It’s Saturday and I was catching up on a few items at the office. A magazine the office does not subscribe to, but it shows up anyway is ‘Expansion Managment’. It focuses on the logistics industry. Since site locations and warehousing are intregal to logistics, I read it. The cover article of the October, 2007 edition is ” America’s Most Logictics – Friendly Cities”. Subtitled: :”The 2007 Logistics Quotient (TM)”. OK, so I flip to the article to see where Reno ranked on this, yet another study of some group thinks it’s best to ship your goods from. Reno commonly ranks up high on this stuff, due to our location; being right next door to what economists say is the world’s 8th largest economy: California. Also due to our great lack of taxes, great pro-business laws and excellent logistics infrastructure.
OK, first category: Best Transportation and Warehousing Industry. This is the measure of available trucking and warehousing in an area. New York, 1st, LA 2nd, Chicago, 3rd, you get the picture. We don’t make the top 10 here, due to our being The Biggest Little City’ !: 60+ truck lines and 69 million sf of warehousing doesn’t make the top 10. OK, category #2:Workforce: A measure of available workforce in this industry. Total surprise here with Vegas as #1 !! Well ok, we won the Freemont Cannon (again) , so they can have the #1 workforce. But I don’t get it. Onto #3; Waterborn Commerce: Obviously we’re out on that one 4- Road infrastructure: A bunch of relatively obscure little towns get all 10 top spots here. Again, this confuses me. 5-Rail, Chicago, NY, Philly, Pittsburgh, etc etc, older, heavy industry towns will prevail here. They can have their huge railyards, we’ll take our newly lowered rail infrastructure and 25 minutes from Tahoe as our tradeoff. 6- Least Road congestion: Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, Idaho, etc. well daahhh, Can’t you visualize empty, straight roads with fences and an occasional vulture drifting overhead ? But who in their right mind sets up distribution centers in those places ?? 7-Best Roads. You’ll NEVER believe this……ranking numero uno is….NEVADA !!! Wow !. New custom license plate at DMV…Nevada, the land of GREAT roads. 8- Best interstate highway connectivity: NY, Chicago, Baltimore…..heck, those places were born OF the roads converging there. So we bomb here as well. 9- Fuel taxes / Fees: Alaska, wins here. Ahhh, does the Alaskan pipeline have any affect on their lack of State fuel taxes at the pumps ?? 10- Air Cargo; again, this goes to the huge metro centers.
Ok so if I’m in Reno and reading this report correctly, we have killer roads that don’t really connect to anything else, I need to import my workforce from Vegas of all places and I’ll be struggling to find trucks to haul my stuff on these killer roads of ours and I’m in trouble storing my stuff, since our available warehousing factor is low.
This report points up a few apparent facts. First, statistics can be assembled, charts drafted and reports can be generated that have little to no relevance on overall, balanced approach to determining locations of distribute from, even though that’s the title of the report. Also, we learn that report can be spun to tell us about anything we want. I do know one thing; that despire bombing on this report, firms are still looking at Northern Nevada as a solid location to serve the 11 western states from and that location factor will not change. No matter what reports say about anything else. And I know another thing….somehow we found enough available workforce up here to repaint the Freemont Cannon in a fresh coat of BLUE paint.