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Old 04-06-2012, 06:54 PM
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I'm studying the development of industrial cities and I'm having a very tough time identifying the chief manufacturing zones and companies in Atlanta. (Blue collar jobs as opposed to white collar jobs) I know that Coke has its headquarters in Atl, but does I don't think it has many actual factory jobs in the city. Likewise Delta and UPS have lots of warehouse shipping jobs, but they don't actually produce the things they ship. So where is all of Atlanta's raw production?? What companies/industries are they and where in the city are they? Does the fact that shipping seems to be at the top of Atlanta's industries make it a large industrial city uniquely lacking in raw production?? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:43 PM
Location: Atlanta
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Well... that is just the thing to understand about industrial production... and the formation of cities. They usually occur near certain materials or trade routes along the coast.

Atlanta has sprouted out where it did, because it is the northern most point to run train tracks (and later freeways) without crossing the Appalachian Mountains.

This means it is a natural crossroads for moving both raw materials and finished goods between the South, Midwest, and the Northeast. It also just happens to be a perfect spot for an airhub being nearly equidistant between Miami, Houston/Dallas, Chicago, and DC/NYC/Boston.

That is why you are seeing the trend you do. Atlanta's original major industry is transportation and logistics... hence Delta and UPS, as well as a strong presence from companies like Norfolk Southern CSX. There are some major railyards here that reach sizes far bigger than you would see in other cities of a similar size.

After that Atlanta became the natural financial hub and center for many places in the southeast. They were the financiers of early industrial production in the south that was scattered in small mills along the fall line, but not in major cities. That mixed with our air hub connections has made us just a modern day white collar business city.

Now with that said we do have quite a bit of production too, but it is often harder to find for two major reasons. Much of it is more dispersed away from the city... more so at the far edges of the region. Industries that want lots of space to build to suit, but want to be close to Atlanta's transportation connections at moving materials.

A great example of this are the newer, often foreign owned, auto assembly plants. You normally wouldn't consider them being in Atlanta at all. They are located where land is the cheapest, but they are placed to be near out transportation hub. Example being the Kia plant in West Point. Internally we had several Ford parts manufacturing plants that have been closed and rebuilt over. We built over an old very large steel mill to make way for Atlantic station.

Also, there are some major industries where Atlanta is producing alot in the forms of intellectual/engineering development, but the major production takes place dispersed in the rural landscape. A great example of this is the Georgia Pacific Company. There are engineers located here, but much of the paper products they make is produced closer to the raw materials they grow (they essentially farm pine trees by managing private forest throughout the state and the southeast).

Lockheed Martin has a major manufacturing facility in Marietta. They are located at Dobbins Air Force Base and produce many military contracts.

We also have a wide variety of subsidiaries of other major conglomerates that do specialized things. Many of the newer industries are actually to the north side of town. Siemens is by far the biggest example of this. They have many different divisions and make all sorts of specialized industrial equipment. They have facilities dotted across the North Fulton County and Gwinnett County areas. They make light rail cars, assembly line machinery, and a wide variety of stuff. You can also find specialized technology campuses like Cisco Systems near Lawrenceville. They have offices, as well engineering manufacturing facilities on site.

The last thing I would spot out... We have a wide variety of end of line assembly warehouses. Often from a variety of smaller companies or contractors that work with larger ones. We are a cheaper location to move finished materials that are produced in multiple locations throughout the eastern U.S. Many of our industrial parks are huge warehouses with good railroad access. The biggest, but by no means the only place to look, would be the Fulton Industrial area. motor plant - Google Maps

The root to what Atlanta is at the end of the day is transportation/logistics hub. We then attract businesses that can make use of access to the centrality of the hub for part of their operations.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:47 PM
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Rock Tenn and Interface (Carpets) have their headquarters in metro Atlanta but the majority of their manufacturing is not in the metro area. Mohawk Carpets is huge but they are in Calhoun which is not considered metro Atlanta
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:56 PM
Location: Atlanta
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Originally Posted by lorilove View Post
Rock Tenn and Interface (Carpets) have their headquarters in metro Atlanta but the majority of their manufacturing is not in the metro area. Mohawk Carpets is huge but they are in Calhoun which is not considered metro Atlanta
To go further.....If you go northwest of Atlanta the Dalton area (and surrounding areas from about a 50 mile radius) produce a majority of the world's carpet supply (yes world... not national). There are many distributors and businesses in the Atlanta that work with this industry, which are largely business and logistics based (aka exporters, warehouses, transportation, etc..).

Small side note... I often travel for work and often work on cruise ships doing a few specialized things. Whenever I am on a ship I have noticed the new carpet suppliers are from Georgia and the exporter used is located in Kenessaw.

Also, to the northeast, around Gainesville, you will find a large conglomerate of poultry producers.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:13 PM
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As mentioned, carpet production in the Dalton area and poultry in the Gainesville area are at a minimum huge national producers. Clorox has major production here. Coke has a few manufacturing facilities, Pepsi has a few bottling facilities, Anheuseur-Busch has the facility in Cartersville, Kia is south of Atlanta. There are several manufacturing facilities in west Atlanta along the railroad leading towards the Gulch. Overall though you are correct, Atlanta is a logistics hub, not necessarily a manufacturing hub.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:32 PM
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I know Glock and Tindall Concrete are in the area, but not sure what else in manufacturing. If you look at this page, you see most companies mentioned are not manufacturers. Economy of Atlanta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - it might help you drill down a few more names of companies not mentioned yet.
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