There are many states across the Southern U.S. where warehouse activity - in the form of both construction and hiring - has been on the rise for some time. That roster certainly includes the Sunshine State, where two massive warehouse projects for well-known international brands are now in the planning and building stages.
For example, in Jacksonville, the e-commerce titan Amazon is already planning a second massive warehouse to supplement one already in the region, according to a report from News4Jax. The new facility will be massive, at more than 1 million square feet, in addition to the facility measuring 800,000 square feet the company already had planned. Altogether, these two fulfillment centers are expected to create about 2,700 jobs for the Jacksonville area.
A quiet plan
These plans were only revealed recently, after the Jacksonville City Council signed off on them in October, the report said. This was likely due to the fact that the deals hadn't been finalized. Given that the warehouse industry is growing ever more competitive across the country, and the South, in particular, it's believed that keeping a lid on the project as long as possible was vital for Jacksonville officials.
"Economic development is competitive and you're usually competing with other locations, sometimes other states, sometimes other places even within the state," Rick Mullaney, director of Jacksonville University's Public Policy Institute, told the station. "And for companies, they require a quiet time in which they can negotiate, hash out other bids. And if the information comes out too soon, sometimes it can jeopardize the deal."
Another company getting into the region
The Amazon revelations follow closely on the heels of the furniture giant IKEA breaking ground on its own facility - including a massive warehouse - in Jacksonville, according to First Coast News. The location is expected to be open for business in fall of next year and will be able to hire about 250 employees for a slew of jobs.
With competition in and around Jacksonville clearly on the rise, those looking to fill warehouse jobs there may have to become a little more creative and generous with their salary and benefits offerings. Doing so will not only help attract the most qualified employees, but also help to ensure smooth operations on an ongoing basis.