Why Reno and Sparks are a Distributing Mecca

Posted by Brooke Sullivan on Monday, April 16th, 2018 at 10:42am

Companies looking to relocate are flocking to Northern Nevada - why?

The Reno-Sparks region has become a distribution mecca, due mostly in part to its proximity to I-80. Nancy McCormick is the vice president of business retention, expansion and workforce for the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) and they use I-80 as a selling point. According to data from EDAWN, the area has one-day truck service to the Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland and Boise. Add an extra 24-hours and two-day service is available to Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.

"We have immediate access to port of entry in California and logistically can reach locations in 11 western states within 24 - 48 hours," said McCormick. "It's all about location, location, location. Along with other secondary factors of availability of land, easy access to our freeway system makes it easier to do business here."

Let's not forget that Reno is actually further west on the map than LA, Las Vegas AND Phoenix. This means that it has even easier access to major ports around the Pacific Rim. With direct access to the Interstate 80, the region is a natural fit for distribution. Recently, USA Parkway opened to connect I-80 to Highway 50 in Storey County. This, in combination with the development of the Southeast Connector in Sparks and southeast Reno, provides alternative truck routes to southbound destinations.

The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) in Washoe County plans to further collaborate with the Nevada Department of Transportation to improve the Spaghetti Bowl in Reno and roadways connecting Reno and the Carson Valley. These alternate routes will come as a relief to trucking companies, especially if there is anything causing traffic congestion when they have a delivery deadline.

Along with trucking, air service has been an important part of Northern Nevada's logistics synergy. The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA) estimates that nearly 416,000 pounds of cargo arrive or depart from Reno-Tahoe International Airport on a daily basis. Major carriers like DHL, FedEx and UPS included. One of the RTAA's goals over the next five years is to increase cargo service to major western markets, Asia and Europe.

Other markets such as the Bay Area have just become too expensive and companies are now turning their focus to the Reno-Sparks area. A big factor in this decision-making has been the development of the 107,000-acre Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC), a business park just 30 minutes east of Reno-Sparks. TRIC has aided in attracting high-tech business like Switch and Tesla.

Between the infrastructure of transportation and the development of TRIC, more companies are attracted to the area. Urban Outfitters, a multi-national clothing corporation with HQ in Philly, utilizes two facilities in Stead - one for e-commerce and one for a warehouse. There really is no other business-friendly climate quite like Reno.

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