In the North Las Vegas industrial building that now houses the West Coast distribution operation for manufacturer JLG Industries, workers zip on warehouse vehicles and sift through parts by hand brought in from dock bay doors.
Parts big and small rest on row after row of shelving in the the building near the corner of Losee and Frehner roads until sent out to replace parts of JLG lifting equipment out in the field, equipment like scissor lifts and bucket cranes.
The company opened this West Coast distribution center in March to shorten delivery times locally, in the heartland and eventually in Asia.
Next-day delivery is crucial to clients of JLG, which is based in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania, and part of truck maker Oshkosh Corp., company global aftermarket vice president Jonathan Dawley said.
“Three-to-four days’ time without a lift is money lost,” Dawley said.
The company is part of a boom in interest in North Las Vegas as an industrial hub. Household goods supplier Honest Co., online retail giant Amazon and sports merchandiser Fanatics all have leases for a multi-building distribution center off Interstate 15’s exit 50.
On May 9, VanTrust Real Estate announced a start to construction on a fifth building in the Northgate Distribution Center.
Executives with JLG say the Las Vegas Valley is ideal for a distribution operation.
The company considered a distribution center in Reno or the valley. The valley meant access to Southern California and Arizona. Reno meant access to Washington state and Oregon, but the company worried about having a large enough labor pool for hiring.
“Being the ‘Biggest Little City,’ that’s a problem” for Reno, JLG global parts distribution aftermarket senior director Pedro Fernandez Riano said.
The North Las Vegas building employs about 30 people with space to grow after international delivery begins.
Throughout May, the company has started delivering from North Las Vegas to California, Kansas, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and parts of Texas. JLG will move its East Coast distribution center from Ohio to Atlanta later this year.
Fernandez said North Las Vegas has matured as a logistics hub since he left in 2011. He had spent three years managing a local parts distribution operation for Navistar.
Running an industrial building was so hard then, he had to look in Phoenix for contractor help. Now, the valley is home to plenty of capable workers and businesses for a robust logistics industry.
Demand for industrial space in the city was so hot, several site possibilities got scooped from JLG during the search.
“It’s going to be a hub,” Fernandez said of North Las Vegas. “It can be Memphis No. 2.”
Contact Wade Tyler Millward at email@example.com or 702-383-4602. Follow @wademillward on Twitter.