Port growth strengthens Jacksonville’s trucking capacity

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Jun 12, 2024 | Cargo Blog

Written by: Marcia Pledger

Businesses of all sizes have opportunity to do business in and around JAXPORT

Floridians depend on a seamless supply chain to deliver goods to their homes and nearby stores, and trucking is a critical link. As the population continues to increase in Florida and throughout the U.S. Southeast, deepwater seaports with efficient transportation links are essential to meeting the needs of businesses and residents. 

Located in the heart of the U.S. Southeast, the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) is one of the nation’s top 10 container ports, with ocean carrier connections worldwide. The port is supported by a private network of transportation professionals to directly handle, book, or schedule loads for delivery. Whether it’s a large or small trucking company, the port’s role as an economic engine for Northeast Florida presents opportunities for businesses of all sizes. 

JAXPORT Senior Business Analyst and Logistics Services Liaison Carolyn Strigglers helps build relationships between the port and local service providers. She researches industry trends and volumes for the port’s commercial team and also provides helpful information to logistics and supply chain planners who want to do business at the port. 

Senior business analyst & logistics services liaison - JAXPORT
Carolyn Strigglers
Senior Business Analyst & Logistics Services Liaison JAXPORT

“When a trucking company in Northeast Florida contacts me, I have a list of shippers, or cargo owners, that I send to them, as well as a quick reference sheet of our tenants to make accessing the information more user-friendly,” she said. “I also assist them in other ways to connect with the port, such as being included in our business directory.”

Accessible online and in an annual print edition, JAXPORT’s business directory serves as a guide for all service providers in Northeast Florida, including trucking.  

Supporting the industry’s capacity 

CEO of Atlantic Logistics
Rob Hooper
CEO of Atlantic Logistics

Jacksonville-based third-party logistics provider Atlantic Logistics plays a significant role in helping small business truckers haul various goods from the port, from rolls of paper to frozen seafood, and even forklifts.

“We are a broker that partners with small businesses that do business with the port,” the company’s CEO Rob Hooper said. “It’s typically a driver and a dispatcher, and they generally have one or two trucks.”

The family-owned freight brokerage company is growing faster than ever, primarily because it invested heavily in technology right before COVID-19. The company was started in 2001 by Hooper’s parents, Evie and Bob, in their Northeast Florida home. 

“We’ve been working with the port for a long time,” Hooper said. “JAXPORT is a big driver for economic growth in Jacksonville.”

Cargo handling investments at JAXPORT, such as the deepening of the harbor to 47 feet through Blount Island, are enabling more cargo to move through port terminals, creating additional jobs and opportunity for service providers of all sizes.

CEO of Carry-on Transportation Solutions, LLC
Linda Carrion
CEO of Carry-on Transportation Solutions, LLC

“It’s been amazing to work at the port and see the movement of freight and the amount of jobs that the Port Authority supports,” said Linda Carrion, CEO of family-run trucking company Carry-on Transportation Solutions, LLC.

Carrion opened her company two years ago as part of the Evans Network of Companies, an agent-based model firm. Her business strictly focuses on drayage, transporting freight from the port to destinations locally and throughout the Southeast.

Owner of T&N Express trucking company
Nichole Mobley
Owner of T&N Express trucking company

The port’s impact extends beyond terminal gates and as cargo types continue to grow, trucking firms are acquiring more business, including Nichole Mobley, the owner of transportation services provider T&N Express.

“I’ve seen the growth in reefer [refrigerated] freight because I’ve hauled stuff port-to-port and to cold storages that are popping up,” Mobley said. “I typically do short runs in the city. I have a capacity of eight to 10 trailers available at any time, so I can get the work done with reefer units and flatbeds.”

Connecting with customers and port partners

The contributions of all service providers keep the supply chain flowing smoothly. An efficient transportation network expedites the movement of household items, retail goods, and industrial equipment throughout the region and ensures store shelves are stocked.

To get insight into the market and search business opportunities, Strigglers suggests trucking companies utilize online load boards, which list hauling jobs for truckers.

She also advises networking with cargo owners, manufacturers, business development professionals and more. The Jacksonville region is home to eight industry-related organizations, which comprise the Transportation and Logistics Organization Network (TALON), further supporting networking and professional development.

“There are many opportunities out there to do business with our port partners. They are really the key to moving cargo in and out of port terminals,” Strigglers said. “I encourage service providers to get involved with cargo owners and logistics managers. They’re always looking for trucks to get their cargo from one destination to another.”

Story by Marcia Pledger