Jacksonville, Fla. offers prime location for logistics expansion
anked in the "Top 10 Hottest Cities" that will lead job growth through 2015 by Business 2.0, Jacksonville, Fla. is the heart of Northeast Florida, a metropolitan region with 1.5 million people. While manufacturing, medical, military, aerospace and financial industries provide the base for a diverse economy, one of the greatest economic opportunities for the region lies in logistics, transportation and international trade.
"I expect Jacksonville’s share of trade to continue to expand well into the 21st century," said Ron Barton, Executive Director of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission.
The city’s strategic geographic location offers many advantages for expanding businesses. With access to more than 55 million consumers within an eight-hour drive, Jacksonville is located at the crossroads of three interstate highways (I-95, I-10 and 1-75) to help speed goods to market. More than 100 trucking and drayage firms operate in and around the port to take advantage of the city’s highway system. Additionally, importers and exporters shipping through Jacksonville enjoy services from two Class-I rail networks (CSX and Norfolk Southern), and one regional railroad (Florida East Coast Railway). Distribution operations are further enhanced by Foreign Trade Zone No. 64, which hosts more than 7 percent of all Florida businesses and offers reduced or eliminated duties to companies engaged in international trade.
The ease of shipping through the Port of Jacksonville, known as JAXPORT, has led to significant developments in regional warehousing operations and distribution centers. "Over the past four years we’ve had more than 9 million square feet of warehousing and distribution space developed," said Roy Schleicher, JAXPORT’s Executive Vice President.
This growth in logistics and trade has resulted in significant economic benefits to Northeast Florida through business earnings, tax revenue and direct employment. Across the region, cargo and cruise business at Jacksonville’s seaport supports 65,000 jobs and generates a total of $19 billion in annual economic impact. A study conducted in 2009 concludes these jobs provide an average annual salary of $43,980, well above the city’s average.
"With the region’s transportation infrastructure, JAXPORT’s global carrier services, and an experienced and stable labor force, Jacksonville has the competitive edge in terms of logistics and international trade," said Paul Anderson, JAXPORT’s Chief Executive Officer.
To learn more about business opportunities in Northeast Florida, visit jaxdevelopment.org or jaxport.com/ftz.