With industrial space at a premium in Los Angeles County, Erik Jolliff can count himself lucky.

Jolliff, a regional franchisee of Elkridge, Md., freight-forwarder Icat Logistics Inc., has just moved into a 45,000-square-foot warehouse at 3000 E. Las Hermanas St. in Rancho Dominguez with more than four times the space he had at his previous location.

The 11-year veteran of the logistics and transportation industry had been operating out of a 12,000-square-foot warehouse nearby, serving retail store owners and denim makers. But when he saw enough growth from largely automobile and aerospace part makers, he jumped at the chance to take the larger space. The building is mostly warehouse space, with six dock-high loading doors and a ramp.

“That’s really been the niche we are focusing on and seeing the primary support from so far,” Jolliff said. “Space was a requirement for us to be able to service those transportation customers and have a secure facility with enough doors to accommodate that business.”

According to real estate data services provider CoStar Group Inc., the asking rent at the building was 49 cents a foot, well below the first-quarter average asking rate of 65 cents a foot in the South Bay industrial market and the 61 cent Los Angeles County average.

The move comes after business surged 35 percent between November and February, when the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach experienced their worst congestion during months of cargo slowdowns due to operating issues and labor strife.

His company responded by diverting customers’ cargo to Canada’s Port Metro Vancouver and using rail service to get goods to other parts of the country. Despite the extended route, Jolliff said the process ended up adding only three to four days to deliveries.

“That was something that we really helped out with,” he said.

His staff also assisted customers ship replacement products by air freight when original orders were stuck on container ships or at dockyards, and provided extra truck drivers to customers facing a shortage of available drivers. As a result, he’s kept some of those new customers, who have in turn helped spawn new business, Jolliff said.

Hollywood and Vancouver

American Airlines Group has added two jets to its fleet to increase service between Los Angeles International and Vancouver International airports in hopes of capturing more Hollywood celebrities and film producers as they travel between the world’s two most important markets for the entertainment industry.

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