San Joaquin County takes a back seat to no one — except San Bernardino County in Southern California — when it comes to Amazon Fulfillment Centers. With the opening earlier this year of the 746,790 square foot fulfillment center at 3565 North Airport Way in Manteca that’s sandwiched between 5.11 Tactical and Penske Logistics that serves as Lowe’s Northern California distribution center, there are now seven Amazon Fulfillment Centers in San Joaquin County. There are three apiece in Tracy and Stockton.
Those are in addition to the Amazon Prime delivery location on Louise Avenue in Manteca as well as the Amazon cargo operation at Stockton Metro Airport. Amazon is by far the largest private sector employer in San Joaquin County with well in excess of 6,000 jobs. According to FBA Help San Bernardino County is home to eight fulfillment centers. Tied with seven apiece are San Joaquin County and Dallas County in Texas. Riverside County in Southern California has five fulfillment centers. It was not by happenstance that San Joaquin County now has seven Amazon Fulfilment Centers.
The company Jeff Bezos founded is well known for its shrewd logistics chain that allows rapid delivery of customer orders. Much like the Inland Empire that consists of Riverside and San Bernardino counties is the prime logistics hub to serve the greater Los Angeles-San Diego area, San Joaquin County is the same for the NorCal Motorplex with 18 million consumers in and around its anchor cities of San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento. The San Joaquin Partnership — a private-public organization dedicated to securing employers to locate within the county — for years has touted South San Joaquin County as the emerging Inland Empire for Northern California.
If you toss in the Patterson distribution center just over the Stanislaus County line along Interstate 5, they are seven Amazon Fulfillment Centers in the region that consist altogether of more than 7 million square or the equivalent of 50 Manteca Costco stores at 140,000 square feet apiece. There are a number of reasons why Amazon and other retailers and suppliers with distribution networks are attracted to South San Joaquin County. Manteca, Lathrop, Tracy, and Stockton are roughly equal distance to San Jose, San Francisco, and Sacramento. Interstate 5 — the only freeway that runs from Canada to Mexico — as well as Highway 99 run through here. Interstate 205 provides access to the Bay Area.
There are two major intermodal operations where truck trailers are loaded and unloaded on rail cars. One is the Union Pacific Railroad facility sandwiched between Lathrop and Manteca directly behind the Manteca Amazon Fulfillment Center on North Airport Way. The other belongs to Santa Fe Railroad and is located 10 miles northeast of Manteca on Austin Road. The majority of freight is now moved long distance in such a manner with trucks doing the deliveries on both ends.
Also 10 miles north of Manteca is the Stockton Metro Airport that Amazon Prime jets are using on a daily basis, Unlike San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, and Sacramento airports there is minimal commercial traffic. The airport also has unparalleled access to freeways. Stockton Seaport doesn’t figure heavily into the distribution scheme but if the marine highway strategy is ever revived to take pressure off of truck movements out of the Port of Oakland by moving cargo containers by barge to Stockton, it could by enough of a magnet to draw distribution centers to the area.
Amazon opted to locate their Amazon Prime in a 91,340-square-foot delivery center on Louise Avenue in Manteca just west of the Manteca Unified School District complex for the same reason firms such as J&M Tractor and Frito-Lay shuttered separate distribution centers in Stockton and Modesto and relocated to a single facility in Manteca. Not only is Manteca 20 minutes away from both Stockton and Modesto but it is also 20 minutes away from Tracy that is closing in on 100,000 residents. That puts Manteca at the center of more than 1.2 million potential Amazon Prime consumers.