Thanks in part to society's insatiable hunger for buying online, and especially to habits of shopping for holiday gifts by e-commerce, the local shipping and distribution industry is growing so fast that it's the next biggest thing since overnight delivery.
Rapid growth and holiday shopping is why UPS recently signed a lease for its new location inside the colossal Prologis building that's currently being built on Tacoma's Tideflats, between 8th Street East and 12th Street East and along 54th Avenue East. All said, the UPS venture will use 770,000 square feet of space inside the 1.3 million-square-foot building.
Ceilings inside the new UPS high cube warehouse will tower 24 feet above ground and stretch even higher. There will be enough room for miles of conveyor belts, huge lifts, sorting machines and brown truck-loading.
"Prologis leased the land from the Port of Tacoma and is bringing new industry and jobs to the tide flats, which is great news for Tacoma," said Ricardo Noguera, director of community and economic development for the City of Tacoma. "This site is right off Highway 509 and therefore presents very good options for UPS. I am sure UPS considered this and the expansion of Highway 167 when opening."
"As we ramp up for the 2017 holiday season and expand capacity in the area, new jobs will be made available," said Kim Krebs, media relations manager at UPS. Yet Krebs also said the details are still in the mix and the specific types of jobs that UPS will need to hire for are yet being determined but folks are advised to watch upsjobs.com for current and new jobs to come.
"We are always hiring for a variety of positions across our greater Seattle/Tacoma area of operations," Krebs said.
There's little doubt as to why UPS chose this area to build. With the combined shipping portals in Seattle and Tacoma, and with all the rail and highway networks also readily available here, Tacoma just makes for a highly dependable and convenient shipping business.
In addition to package sorting, the new UPS location will feature customer service offices. The new warehouse is slated to be fully operational come this fall. Estimates suggest that roughly between 800 and 1,200 local jobs will be created months before holiday shoppers can even think about ordering their faux leather winter leggings or warm woolen mittens.
The Prologis building is named after its parent company with headquarters in San Francisco. The company Prologis invests in industrial real estate and is the world's largest warehouse owner. According to city records, Tacoma’s new Prologis warehouse is valued at more the $44.8 million, but UPS upgrades to the building could increase its value.