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COVID-19 is creating widespread disruptions in the global supply chain, including warehouse capacity constraints nationwide, as manufacturing comes back online in Asia just as some shippers face a sudden drop in U.S. consumer demand.
Logistics and warehouse providers in Northeast Florida say they are prepared to meet the demand for space. The region features 138 million square feet of warehousing and distribution space, more than many other South Atlantic ports, spread among dozens of providers large and small.
Operating during this unprecedented time requires a lot of flexibility, according to Scott Fernandez, Vice President of Business Development at Northeast Florida logistics services provider Aqua Gulf Transport. “We’re keeping up with the surge of cargo for some customers, while others have decided to postpone orders,” he said. “It requires a nimble operation.”
JAXPORT conducted an informal poll of Northeast Florida warehouse providers and while a number of them are reporting an increase in requests from customers for storage, they also have capacity.
“We have space available and we are also able to offer trucking services,” said Shoreside Logistics Warehouse Manager Jeff Leblanc. The company says customer requests for ground transportation services have increased over the past few weeks.
“Right now, the majority of questions we are getting from BCOs [beneficial cargo owners] are about warehousing,” said JAXPORT Director of Cargo Sales Frank Camp. “They want to know, ‘who are the off-terminal warehousing providers we should be talking to?”
JAXPORT’s container experts include Camp, who specializes in Southeast U.S. container accounts, as well as freight forwarders and NVOCCs; Lisa Wheldon, who is experienced in ocean carrier relations, as well as rail and chassis issues; and Aisha Eccleston, who handles JAXPORT’s container cargo accounts nationwide.
JAXPORT’s container specialists use their expertise and knowledge of the area’s supply chain providers to assist shippers and BCOs find warehousing options with the capacity and ability to meet their needs.
Total Distribution, Inc. (TDI) is another Northeast Florida company that is reporting an increase in demand for services and warehousing space over the last few weeks. TDI’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Bill Dorazio said they have the capacity to meet these requests. “Our capabilities are limitless,” he said. “We want to be a full-service solutions provider for all of our customers.”
While warehousing providers face the same COVID-19 challenges as other businesses, including protecting the health and safety of their employees and managing staffing during school and other closures, they also agree that now more than ever, a fluid supply chain is critical.
In addition to helping shippers keep their cargo moving during this time, area transportation providers also offer cost-saving advantages, according to 3PL and warehousing provider Alpha Omega Global. “As a transportation broker and warehouse business, we can offer creative pricing for our customers on short- or long-term contracts,” said company President Frank Brewer. “We have the opportunity to assist customers with transportation, also. This can save customers time and money.”
Scott MacGregor, from JAXPORT tenant Seaonus Stevedoring, notes their Talleyrand facility has outdoor trailer and container storage capabilities, with a container stacker on-site, as well as indoor warehousing opportunities.
JAXPORT tenants also offer on terminal options. Scott MacGregor, Assistant Vice President of Business development at Seaonus Stevedoring notes the company’s Talleyrand Marine Terminal facility has outdoor trailer and container storage capabilities, with a container stacker on-site, as well as indoor warehousing opportunities.
With a robust network of warehousing and logistics providers, Northeast Florida’s location in the heart of the Southeast U.S. offers shippers unmatched efficiencies, including fast access to 70 million U.S. consumers.
The region is also home to JAXPORT’s Foreign Trade Zone No. 64. Using an FTZ offers a number of benefits, including duty deferral, reduction and even potential elimination, as well as merchandise processing fee savings, all valuable resources that can significantly improve cash flow.
Are you a shipper looking for available space? Let JAXPORT’s customer care team create customized shipping solutions to meet your needs.
Connect with Frank Camp at Frank.Camp@JAXPORT.com or (904) 510-3860 or Foreign Trade Zone Manager Deborah Lofberg at Deborah.Lofberg@JAXPORT.com or (904) 524-7304.