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A short drive across San Joaquin County in any direction is quite likely to take you past some part of its expansive goods movement system. The County has been a center of Northern California trade at least since its founding 170 years ago. While the historic importance is well known, the past decade has brought dynamic change and accelerated growth. E-commerce, increasingly connected technologies more generally, and growing mega-regional coherence have played important roles in this change.
In 2017, the San Joaquin County metropolitan statistical area (the Stockton-Lodi MSA) became only the third area in the nation to see its employment in the transportation and warehousing sector exceed employment in the retail sector. Since 2014, transportation and warehousing employment has been growing nationwide due to the growth in e-commerce and ridesharing, and Figure 1 shows an even more dramatic rise for San Joaquin County. However, San Joaquin County’s share of transportation and warehousing employment was already growing in advance of 2014, which reflects growing economic integration across the Northern California Megaregion that preceded the rise of e-commerce.