Spatial Dynamics of Warehousing and Distribution in California

The purpose of this research is to document and analyze the location patterns of warehousing and distribution activity in California. Population and economic growth, shifting supply chains and distribution practices, scale economies in warehousing, and California’s role in international trade are affecting the growth and spatial patterns of warehousing and distribution (WD) activities. The location of WD activities has implications for freight demand and flows, and thus is a critical element in statewide transportation planning. This research will be conducted in two parts. First, the project team conducts a descriptive analysis of WD trends from 2003 – 2013 using Zip Code Business Pattern data. The team documents changes in the number of WDs, compare changes within and outside metropolitan areas, and across regions of the state. The team examines changes in the extent of clustering at varying geographic scales. The team also considers WD spatial trends in the context of larger population and employment trends. The second part of the research examines possible explanatory factors associated with WD location trends, including population and employment density (proxies for rent and location constraints), access to major import/export nodes, transport facilities, or markets, demand for larger facilities, or changes in the structure of supply chains. The team will estimate cross section and longitudinal models to test relationships between explanatory factors and WD location. Results of this research will provide information on WD trends and provide the basis for predicting future trends, as well as for examining impacts of these trends on the state’s highway and rail systems.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    California Department of Transportation

    1227 O Street
    Sacramento, CA  United States  95843

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Tyner, Patrick

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Southern California, Los Angeles

    University Park Campus
    Los Angeles, CA  United States  90089

    National Center for Metropolitan Transportation Research

    University of Southern California
    650 Childs Way, RGL 107
    Los Angeles, CA  United States  90089-0626
  • Principal Investigators:

    Guiliano, Gen

  • Start Date: 20160119
  • Expected Completion Date: 20161231
  • Actual Completion Date: 20170629

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01575784
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Center for Metropolitan Transportation Research
  • Contract Numbers: 65A0533
  • Files: UTC, RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 11 2015 12:52PM