Top Locations For Bay Area Warehouses

Allison Champion
3 min read
October 31, 2018
Modified: March 20, 2023

The San Francisco Bay Area is the second largest port area in California, which puts it in league with some of the busiest ports in the world.The Bay Area is centrally located on the west coast, conveniently nestled between Los Angeles in the South, and Seattle to the North. Thus, Bay Area warehouses serve as the hub of Northern California and the majority of the west coast of the United States.

What Are the Top Warehousing Locations in the San Francisco Bay Area

The Bay Area of Northern California is an ideal location to find cost-effective warehousing with features beneficial to e-commerce fulfillment, and an efficient supply chain.

What to Consider

Location & E-commerce – E-commerce is reshaping the way supply chains need to think in order to compete on the global scale.

Now, more than ever supply chains must consider the location of their warehousing as it pertains to transportation, warehousing, and fulfillment costs.

Distance from Port – An important aspect of any warehousing & fulfillment operations is the distance of the fulfillment center from the port where their freight is offloaded.

In general, the closer a fulfillment center is to a commercial port the lower its transportation cost.

However, warehousing in close proximity of a commercial port is generally more expensive than warehousing further away.

Due to its proximity to the Port of Oakland, the Bay Area is ideally located to serve as a supply chain hub for businesses with customers anywhere along the west coast.

Port of Oakland – According to the California Department of Transportation, the Port of Oakland is the fourth largest port in the nation, handles trade from Pacific Rim countries, and delivers 99% of ocean containers passing through Northern California to the rest of the nation.

Land, Labor, and Transportation- The Bay Area of Northern California is centrally located along the west coast. Interstates 80, 580, 280, 505, and a plethora of state freeways intersect in the Bay Area enabling easy transportation anywhere in the state of California and the Western United States.

Land and labor costs are generally more expensive the closer one gets to the Port of Oakland; however, cost-efficient commercial areas surround the entire Bay Area.

Warehousing Locations in the Bay Area of Northern California

San Francisco – The cost of warehousing space anywhere in San Francisco is bound to be more expensive due to its proximity to the Port of Oakland.

A 2010 Bizcost report found warehousing in San Francisco to be the most expensive in the country, with new construction costs as high as $24.4 million.

Businesses who choose San Francisco as their warehousing location are recommended to lease space rather than begin new construction.

San Jose – Located a mere 45 miles from the Port of Oakland, San Jose is a cost-effective alternative to warehousing space in expensive San Francisco.

East Bay – According to CBRE, the East Bay industrial market vacancy rate fell to 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2015, averaging $6.72 per square foot of warehouse space and $8 per square foot of manufacturing space.

Oakland – Oakland is home to the Port of Oakland. Due to proximity to the port, transportation costs for warehouses in Oakland are often very low.

However, the cost of warehousing space per foot is on average more expensive than Bay Area cities further inland.

Stockton – Stockton California is home to one of the busiest intermodal rail hubs in the country as well as one of its largest inland ports.

Stockton is little more than an hours drive from the Port of Oakland and located with easy highway access to Northern, and Central California.

Other cities in the Bay Area that are conveniently located and offer a cost-efficient ratio of transportation and warehousing costs include:

The Bay Area of Northern California may not be the most cost-effective location to establish one’s warehousing and fulfillment operations.

However, some would argue that the Bay Area efficient and convenient transportation of goods anywhere along the west coast.

E-commerce is growing at the rate of consumer demand, and whether your product is on its way to Florida, or Chicago, there is a good chance it came through the Port of Oakland and the Bay Area of Northern California.

Finding warehousing locations in the Bay Area could be strenuous work. Flowspace is here to make warehousing and fulfillment easy. Get started today!

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Written By:

flowspace author Allison Champion

Allison Champion

Allison Champion leads marketing communication at Flowspace, where she works to develop content that addresses the unique challenges facing modern brands in omnichannel eCommerce. She has more than a decade of experience in content development and marketing.

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