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The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) recently hosted a virtual event, “Ecommerce Site Selection in Today’s Changing Market”, attracting 100 industry professionals including BCOs, ocean carriers, customs brokers, freight forwarders, and commercial real estate agents. Watch here.
JAXPORT’s Director of Trade Development & Rail Lisa Wheldon led the discussion with Aundra Wallace, President of regional economic development initiative JAXUSA Partnership; and Jacob Horsley, Senior Director of Industrial Brokerage Services at Cushman & Wakefield.
The three industry experts covered a range of topics including Jacksonville’s growing industrial real estate market, ecommerce trends and success stories, as well as the region’s low cost of doing business and robust workforce.
“We’re a growing population, at about 2 percent annually – faster than the rate of the United States as a whole,” said Wallace, describing the workforce availability in Northeast Florida. “We know why they [ecommerce businesses] want to be here, it’s all about the relationship with JAXPORT and the work JAXPORT is doing with port deepening– companies are making the decision now. I know for a fact that JAXPORT CEO Eric Green and his team will definitely have the Jacksonville region ready for more ecommerce opportunities.”
The federal project to deepen the Jacksonville shipping channel to 47 feet from its current depth of 40 feet is supporting the growth of ecommerce operations in Northeast Florida. The first 11 miles of the project through Blount Island is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2022, allowing for more cargo on the larger container ships calling Jacksonville through the Suez and Panama canals.
“The pipeline and deal velocity in the Jacksonville market is incredibly strong,” said Horsley. “Currently we’ve had 2.6 million square feet of construction completion in 2020 – that’s new large box industrial construction – and we are anticipating another 2.1 million square feet that will come online in 2021.”
The webinar comes less than a month after Quiet 3PF announced plans to open a fulfillment center in Jacksonville, Fla., citing the region’s strong access to the Southeast US. The third-party logistics company will use the 174,000-plus square-foot facility for inbound inventory processing and storage, and outbound direct-to-customer and business-to-business order processing, including value-added services and returns management.
In a statement to the Jacksonville Daily Record, Quiet 3PF President and COO Brian Lemerise said, “Jacksonville is a critical component of our national network with strong access to the Southeast through next day ground delivery from Atlanta to Miami, furthering our strategy to reach 45 percent of our end customers via same-day ground and 75 percent by next-day ground.”
JAXPORT is Florida’s largest container port offering fast access to the fastest growing consumer market in the Southeast U.S.
Learn more about the growth of ecommerce in Northeast Florida, and sign up to watch a recording of the webinar at JAXPORT.com/ecommerce.