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The Empire of Logistics: Goods Movement in Southern California

Thousands of containers arrive daily at the ocean ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. They then are then trucked east to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties — Southern California's inland ports. From there, our goods are sent around the country.

The map below visualizes some of the impacts of this flow of goods, or logistics. We see the effects close up in the Inland Empire, where over a billion square feet of warehouses carpet the region, worsening air quality, health, economic mobility and housing. Some extol the economic value of this traffic in products. Others decry the environmental injustices, which sacrifice surrounding communities, over 80 percent of whom are poor, Black, or Brown.

The pieces in this series highlight the human and ecological costs of how we get our goods, as well as local resistance to the market forces that structure the supply chain.

See Methods and Sources

This project was created as a partnership between KCET, Cathy Gudis (public humanities scholar and history professor at University of California, Riverside) and Ann Kaneko (independent filmmaker and visiting media studies professor at Pitzer College).

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