Port infrastructure upgrades inspire terminal and warehouse investment
As many U.S. ports work to modernize their terminals to accommodate shippers, truckers and terminal operators efficiently, JAXPORT is ahead of the trend and continues to build the port of the future.
The benefits of JAXPORT’s public-private investment model and recent infrastructure milestones are fully displayed today. JAXPORT Director of Cargo Development Alberto Cabrera said the key developments are “new asphalt, new seawalls, a new deeper channel, and in a few months, we will have three new cranes that are bigger and more efficient than anything the Port of Jacksonville has ever seen.”
“I’ve been in this industry my whole life, and to have all of those things hitting at the same time is something I’ve never experienced before,” he said.
Today’s significant initiatives inspire terminal operators, warehouses and trucking companies to make big investments in upgrading and expanding their operations.
TOTE makes big moves
TOTE has amplified the momentum of JAXPORT’s infrastructure commitments in their Blount Island operations.
JAXPORT’s berth enhancements—that included heavy lift docks—and yard improvements—that included container-grade asphalt—took place simultaneously with investments TOTE has made that have boosted performance greatly.
According to TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico Vice President of Operations Jim Wagstaff, these included completely reconfiguring traffic through the terminal and the addition of a gate-in process and remote gate clerk facility that minimized truckers’ transaction times by two-thirds, which, combined with other improvements, reduced overall transit times for truckers into and out of the terminal from 30 to 40 minutes to 20 minutes.
The biggest beneficiaries have been truckers, whom Wagstaff describes as TOTE’s first customers. “If we can keep them moving, that equals money for them and keeps them in business.” He said the smiles on their faces have a positive impact on TOTE’s customers downstream. “We want the load a trucker delivers to our terminal to be the easiest load they’ve handled all day.”
Aqua Gulf Warehousing: Right where it's needed
Logistics provider Aqua Gulf is positioned perfectly for the increase in large container ships made possible by the harbor deepening project. Aqua Gulf’s early investment in warehousing at JAXPORT and steady success serving as the number one shipper to Puerto Rico have helped Aqua Gulf prepare for cargo coming from Asia and Europe.
After operating a warehouse facility near the Talleyrand Terminal for more than three decades, Aqua Gulf bought a 62,500-square-foot facility in the nearby Imeson Industrial Park in 2015. Four years later, realizing the need for refrigerated storage in JAXPORT, they added 15,000 square feet of frozen, chilled and cold dock to the facility.According to Aqua Gulf President Sergio Sandrin, the company is focused on providing options. Other infrastructure investments include expanding CSX-served rail siding from one to four box cars, providing more efficient movement for trains calling Aqua Gulf’s Jacksonville facilities. “I look at our warehouse as the Swiss army knife,” Sandrin said. “You know we can do over-dimensional, we can do boxcars, we can do LTL (less than truckload), we can do full truckloads and we can do refrigerated.”
like attracts like at jaxport
The modern and growing Port of Jacksonville attracts business from shippers and carriers who recognize the possibilities for growth and supply chain efficiencies.
“They’ve done the critical things that have to be done. And that investment they made is now allowing others to make investment,” Wagstaff said. “All of the things that JAXPORT is doing only support what we do. The more business that comes through Jacksonville, the stronger the trucking community grows, the more the warehousing grows, and the more skilled personnel grows. This is good for our customers, good for our community, and good for our economy.”
Sandrin has had a front-row seat to port development over the years and said he sees nothing but the upside ahead.
“JAXPORT has tremendous opportunity to grow. Not many ports have the connections to the infrastructure they do with three Class I railroads, two major highways, and a huge population within a 250-mile radius.” Sandrin said. “I hate to say it, but I think people are going to discover our little gem.”
Story by Conrad Winter
Edited by Kimberly Norman
Design by Amy Klinkenberg