Florida TaxWatch Economic Commentary
Florida is poised to benefit from new intermodal centers
Expanding the state's ability to move goods and services efficiently will result in lower freight prices for Florida consumers and businesses.
Central Florida Intermodal Logistics Center
CSX-affiliate Evansville Western Railway has opened the newest Intermodal Logistics Center (ILC) in Florida, the Central Florida ILC in Winter Haven, a state-of-the-art centralized transportation and distribution hub for Tampa, Orlando, and South Florida. The 318-acre terminal will be able to process up to 300,000 shipping containers per year, and will include energy-efficient features such as electric cranes, solar panels, LED lighting, and Silver LEED certification for some of the buildings. Connected to the facility is 930 acres that will house warehouse distribution centers, light industrial facilities, and offices. Construction of some warehouses are expected to begin soon, with expectations of more than 8 million square feet of industrial development.
Passengers will be included in future Intermodal projects
While many people think that intermodal is a term used exclusively for the transfer of freight, intermodal is also used in passenger transfer systems. One planned Florida project, the Orlando International Airport Intermodal Center, will help deliver passengers to Orlando International Airport, and will connect surface transportation, commuter rail, future high-speed rail, and air transportation together. Planned as part of the project is a parking garage for 2,400 vehicles, as well as facilities for passenger check-in and ground transportation.
Florida’s intermodal investments could help commercial spaceflight in Florida.
Florida intermodal includes space operations
One of the selling points for relocating space-oriented businesses to Florida is that our state includes areas where multi-modal transport is possible for payloads to space. The Cape Canaveral Spaceport already provides access for four modes of transportation: roads, rail, sea, and space; and this combination of efficient transfers between modes has helped companies decide to relocate to Florida to pursue delivery of payloads of satellites and other space-oriented items.
Florida’s transportation and logistics infrastructure is being developed with an eye towards leading the world in efficiency and capacity, and will place Florida as a true transportation hub for the U.S. in trade and transport with Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and even Asia. Floridians will benefit directly through the creation of jobs in logistics and trade, as well as the creation of indirect and induced jobs in related industries as a result.
These efficiencies will also result in savings for Florida’s 19 million consumers, who will see pricing changes as a result of lower shipping costs. All of these benefits have been made possible by the effective collaboration of the Florida Legislature, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Chamber of Commerce (which established its Trade and Logistics Study Committee, chaired by TaxWatch-CCF Advisory Board Member Doug Davidson), private companies, and other stakeholders who have come together to position the Florida transportation and logistics system to foster a more diverse Florida economy.
3 Tampa Bay Business Journal. CSX Intermodal Facility in Winter Haven Getting Lots of Looks from Big Warehouse Users. July 29, 2014.
4 Florida Spaceport System Plan 2013. Space Florida. July 29, 2014.
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