U.S. Senator Marco Rubio hosts supply chain roundtable at JAXPORT

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Senator Rubio Roundtable
Aug 16, 2022 | Cargo Blog

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio visited JAXPORT this week and held a supply chain roundtable discussion with Jacksonville-area transportation and logistics leaders. During his visit, he toured JAXPORT to see how the efficiencies of port terminals and service providers keep cargo moving seamlessly through Jacksonville. 

“I don’t know of any other port facility in America better positioned for the direction the 21st century is going than JAXPORT. What that’s going to mean economically for the state and Northeast Florida is phenomenal. So, it’s great to see that today,” Sen. Rubio said.

“We are grateful to Senator Rubio for his longstanding support of JAXPORT,” said JAXPORT CEO Eric Green. “Cargo activity through our port, and through the private businesses represented today, supports 138,000 Florida jobs and more than $31 billion in annual economic output.” 

Panelists explored current and future supply chain challenges and opportunities, including inflation, gas prices, and workforce development. They also highlighted how port growth fuels business development in the Jacksonville area.

“The 47-foot channel depth was a game changer for SSA,” said SSA Atlantic Jacksonville Terminal Supervisor Vivian Patterson. “We can reach 98 million U.S. consumers within a one-day drive, and we have the truck power in Jacksonville to support that.”

“It helps to have partners like JAXPORT that offer competitive truck turn times,” Evans Network of Companies Senior Director of Sales and Agent Relations Jennifer Edwards said about the capabilities of Northeast Florida’s trucking community.

“We’re seeing tremendous growth for the region,” said JAXUSA Partnership President Aundra Wallace as he spoke about how Jacksonville’s transportation and logistics community’s efficiencies attract global businesses to Northeast Florida.

Panelists from the three Jax-based ocean carriers serving Puerto Rico—Tote Maritime Puerto Rico, Crowley, and Trailer Bridge—discussed how the growth of the domestic trade provides supply chain security for the island while supporting 66,000 jobs. Approximately 90 percent of the goods that flow between the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico move through JAXPORT.

Despite global automotive industry challenges, Southeast Toyota Distributors Group Vice President Casey Gunnell shared that relocating from JAXPORT’s Talleyrand Terminal to Blount Island will help Southeast Toyota accommodate increased consumer demand for autos in the future.

“We have an outstanding relationship with JAXPORT. They are a very forward-thinking organization,” Gunnell said. “We have the ability to grow here in Jacksonville.”

JAXPORT is Florida’s largest container port and one of the nation’s top vehicle-handling ports. Jacksonville’s 47-foot deepwater shipping channel offers two-way river traffic and no berth congestion. Nearly 100 million consumers live within a one-day truck drive with major interstates located within minutes of port terminals.