Photo: Jon M. Fletcher
A Day in the Working Life
7.1% of Florida’s GDP
GDP rank: No. 5
3.4% of total employment
Employment rank: 12
This category includes business-to-business sellers of goods, like JM Family Enterprises, the Toyota distributor. The merchandise described in this sector includes the outputs of agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and certain information industries, such as publishing.
Assistant General Manager, Beaver Street Fisheries
The six-week period of Lent, when adult Catholics are required to abstain from eating meat on Fridays, is a particularly busy time for Lloyd Carter, assistant general manager and director of operations for Beaver Street Fisheries in Jacksonville. Carter, who usually starts work around 6:30, says he has to be at work by 5 each day during that period because “most of the country is eating fish,” he says.
Much of that fish is coming from Beaver Street, one of the largest seafood distributors in the country and one of the leading wholesale trade companies in Florida. Founded 65 years ago by Austrian immigrants, the company, which began as a small retail fish store, today imports roughly 2,000 containers a year and ships out 230,000 cases per week of seafood and other products. The company’s network includes 75,000 square feet of freezer storage, 20,000 square feet of manufacturing space and a Bahamian affiliate that processes and packages lobster tails at a plant in Nassau.
Carter’s job is to choreograph it all. He begins each day by going over the previous day’s sales reports and then moves on to mapping out case movements — anywhere from 13 to 70 trucks leave from Beaver Street’s warehouses on any given day. Carter must also keep a precise account of all inventory, including how much customers have ordered, how much is “on the water” and on its way to Beaver Street, and how much is already in stock.
The day doesn’t usually end until 4:30 or 5 in the afternoon, after the last of the trucks have rolled out (most deliveries are made overnight), inventories have been rechecked and processing facilities have been cleaned.
Carter, 48, is one of about 400 employees at Beaver Street, which does about $550 million a year in sales. A former Publix store manager, he retired after 14 years in the mid- 2000s and then went into business for himself. He bought a pair of lawn care businesses that he grew and then sold, got into mortgaging and then commercial lending. But that business went bust during the global recession, and he found himself once again looking for a job. His wife, who had business relations with members of Jacksonville’s Frisch family, which founded Beaver Street, made a phone call on his behalf. He interviewed for a job working in a warehouse but wound up hired as assistant general manager.
“What’s fun for me is to plan to work and work to plan,” Carter says. “To be involved with the strategic planning and to be the person that puts the plan in place and starts to make the plan materialize through people, through technology, through processes — that’s fun to me.”
Miami-based Ryder System, which provides fleetmanagement and supply-chain services, had approximately 5,400 technicians at the end of 2014, up 3.8% from 5,200 a year earlier. Techs provide commercial maintenance and repairs on the trucks that Ryder leases out to other companies and on Ryder’s own fleet of rental trucks. “We’ve been adding techs — a lot of techs — over the last few years,” Ryder Chairman and CEO Robert Sanchez told analysts during the company’s 2015 third-quarter conference call in October. “As we continue to grow, we expect to continue to add techs.”
Sysco, the largest North American distributor of food and food-service products to restaurants, hotels and other facilities, currently operates two mammoth “redistribution centers,” one in Alachua and the other in Virginia. The 500,000-sq.-ft. warehouse in Alachua, which handles goods for nine Sysco companies across the South, opened in 2008 and employs about 200. Sysco distributes to roughly 425,000 customers. Its biggest product categories are fresh and frozen meats, accounting for 21% of sales; followed by canned and dry products, 16%; frozen fruits, vegetables and bakery, 13%; dairy products, 11%; and poultry, 11%.
What It Pays
|Job||Number in Florida||Average Pay|
|Laborers and freight, stock and material movers||128,830||$25,790|
|Sales reps, wholesale and manufacturing (except technical and scientific products)||91,180||$57,670|
|Truck drivers (heavy and tractor trailer)||70,320||$36,700|
|Sales reps, wholesale and manufacturing (technical and scientific products)||19,290||$76,650|
|Wholesale and retail buyers (except farm products)||3,990||$59,300|
500 million — Every year, Largo-based Valpak sweeps more than 500 million blue envelopes filled with 54 million advertising inserts into U.S. Postal Service mail trays for delivery. The company’s 10-acre manufacturing center in St. Petersburg is large enough to serve as a hangar for 13 Boeing 747s.