by Mark Basch
Updated 4 yearss ago
Amazon.com made a splash in 2017 when it opened two fulfillment centers in Jacksonville that will employ 5,000 people.
But the online retail giant was only the latest in a long line of businesses that found it advantageous to locate distribution facilities in “America’s Logistics Center.”
That moniker aptly highlights the region’s unique logistics assets.
“We’re the nexus of multiple transportation nodes that make logistics simpler and less costly,” says Michael Breen, senior director of the international department at JAXUSA Partnership.”
“Our geographic location, proximity to more than 60 million consumers in the fast-growing Southeast U.S., reduced inland transportation costs, increased backhaul opportunities and deep pool of skilled workers all make Northeast Florida exceptional,” says JAXPORT CEO Eric Green.
JAXPORT achieved record growth in containers, vehicles and overall tonnage transported through its public seaport terminals in fiscal 2017.
More than 1 million 20-foot equivalent units of containers moved through JAXPORT, fueled by big growth in the Asian container trade.
Motor vehicle shipments reached 693,000, helped by growth of three auto processors at JAXPORT: AMPORTS, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and Southeast Toyota Distributors.
General cargo volumes grew 7% to 9.3 million tons in 2017.
|JAXPORT Hits Cargo Records|
|FY 2017||FY 2016|
|Tonnage||9.3 million||8.7 million|
JAXPORT continues to invest in infrastructure projects to expand its capabilities and prepare for future growth. The biggest improvement is a $484-million project to deepen the Jacksonville shipping channel to 47 feet to accommodate larger ships.
While construction on the harbor deepening is just beginning, JAXPORT in 2016 opened a $30-million intermodal container facility allowing shippers to load containers directly from boats to CSX trains, making cargo traffic more efficient.
Global Trade magazine, which had already touted Jacksonville as its top U.S. city for logistics infrastructure, last year named it one of the top cities for intermodal access after the addition of the new facility.
“Along with the deepening of Jacksonville’s harbor to 47 feet, the facility is one of several major capital projects at the port aimed at serving a growing Asian import customer base looking to access the U.S. interior,” the magazine said.
“The Asian container trade, up nearly 20% over the past couple years, remains the fastest-growing segment of the port’s business.”
“You can see why the Jacksonville region is the ideal place for supply chain and logistics businesses to expand.” — Eric Green JAXPORT CEO
JAXPORT is also becoming a leader in innovation with the construction of liquefaction and storage facilities to fuel liquefied natural gas-powered vessels for two carriers, Crowley Maritime and TOTE Maritime.
Besides its infrastructure advantages, JAXUSA’s business case for logistics companies includes several factors that make Northeast Florida attractive for all business, such as a favorable business tax environment and affordable real estate. The cost of constructing new facilities in Jacksonville is 15% lower than the national average.
“Add the pro-business environment we enjoy in Florida, as well as the visionary investments the state is making in road, rail and port infrastructure and you can see why the Jacksonville region is the ideal place for supply chain and logistics businesses to expand,” says JAXPORT’s Green.
|Leading Logistics Employers|
|Southeastern Grocers Grocery Distribution Center||5,700|
|CSX Corporation Railroad Corporate HQ||3,600|
|UPSWorldwide Parcel Delivery||2,300|
|Crowley Maritime Corporation Marine Transportation and Logistics||925|
|Publix Jacksonville Warehouse
Regional Supermarket Distribution Center
|Walmart Food Distribution Center #6099
|Suddath Relocation Systems
Relocation and Transportation
|Interline Brands Plumbing Repair and Maintenance Products Distributor||700|