It’s a new era for passenger vehicle supply chains, and JAXPORT’s auto processors, carriers, and port community are on board with new capacity, services, and collaborations.
Production is stabilizing following pandemic-driven supply and demand swings. JAXPORT remains one of the nation’s top vehicle ports. In 2022, it handled 553,000 vehicles, carried by 16 ocean shipping companies and prepared for delivery by some of the nation’s top vehicle processors.
Far-reaching Inland Partners
Three railroads and exceptional highway connections deliver autos to and from Jacksonville.
North American railroad company CSX handles five million vehicles annually. Maryclare Kenney, CSX Vice President of Intermodal and Auto, said JAXPORT is one of the largest auto gateways on CSX’s freight rail network: “Its cluster of auto processors and range of auto carriers, as well as its proximity to Southeast U.S. auto manufacturers and distributors, and port fluidity, make it an important partner in supporting the nation’s auto trade.”
Trucking and logistics companies are also essential for auto supply chains. Brad Childs, Chief Commercial Officer for Jacksonville-based Proficient Auto Transport, has contracts of carriage in place with car manufacturers including Porsche, Mitsubishi and Audi. He knows the industry’s needs – solid supply chain capacity, enough drivers, innovative services, good communication, and an eye to the future.
Jones Act carrier Trailer Bridge provides a range of domestic and international services including drayage and intermodal, both of which are good for new cars and auto parts movements. “We have our own asset fleet. It gives us the ability to control capacity when traffic does spike,” Vaughn said.
Vaughn said the auto industry likes the unique RoRo service that Trailer Bridge offers, the reliability of its weekly service, and the extremely low in-transit damage rates on its barges.
Options for car manufacturers
Rhonda Overton, Port Manager in Jacksonville for Mazda North American Operations, said Jacksonville is a valuable gateway for Mazda’s east coast operations “allowing us to provide a much quicker traffic flow to our Southern States Dealer Markets”.
The port’s Blount Island Marine Terminal handles Mazda’s import vehicles from Japan and Mexico and a steady traffic flow to Puerto Rico and Columbia. “Jacksonville offers the manufacturers a wide variety of options … to meet production flow needs including … numerous truck carriers, experienced auto processors and the option to operate within the FTZ [foreign trade zone],” said Overton. JAXPORT’s Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) No. 64 is a federally designated area providing cost-saving options for importers.
JAXPORT is committed to the auto industry. It is adding an auto berth at Blount Island, expanding another, and partnering with processors to upsize yards and enhance efficiency. Vehicle trades are evolving, but the port and its partners are prepared.
Story by Lori Musser
Edited by Kimberly Norman
Design by Amy Klinkenberg
About the Advertiser
At Trailer Bridge, we are small enough to know your name but big enough to provide an end-to-end supply chain solution. Whether you are looking for a partner to handle all your freight transportation needs or just one leg of its journey, we can flex to support you.