Business Florida 2022 - The Regions
Baker • Clay • Duval • Flagler • Nassau • Putnam • St. Johns
Logistics & Transportation
This region is loaded with logistical advantages: two deep-water ports, three railroads, two commercial airports, a spaceport and three interstate highways — I-95, I-10 and I-75 — that put 61 million people within an eight-hour drive.
Not surprisingly, Amazon has built a significant presence here. At last count there were 12 Amazon facilities/sites in Florida’s Northeast, including two under construction: a sortation site at Cecil Commerce Center in Jacksonville and a last-mile fulfillment center due to open in St. Augustine by year’s end.
Other recent developments across the region include:
• Texas-based CarParts.com plans to open its sixth U.S. distribution center in Northwest Jacksonville. The 180,000-sq.-ft. facility is expected to create 150 new full-time jobs.
• Loctec Ergonomic Technology, a manufacturer of work furniture, has leased a Jacksonville warehouse and plans to build a distribution center in North Jacksonville.
• The Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. has begun delivering grocery products using a “hub-and-spoke model” that originates from its customer fulfillment center in Groveland (the hub) and incorporates fresh food suppliers (the spoke) in Jacksonville.
• Jacksonville-based CSX Corporation has announced two important acquisitions: the Massachusetts-based Pan Am Railways, which adds three more Eastern states to its 23-state network; and Tampa-based trucking company Quality Carriers Inc., which expands its multimodal capabilities for shipping.
JaxPort, Florida’s largest container port, would likely have been expected to break records for another year, if not for COVID-19 which resulted in a 4.6% decrease from 2019’s record. And while the port retained its position as one of the nation’s busiest vehicle handling ports, the number of vehicles actually passing through JaxPort fell to 555,880 in 2020, down from the previous year’s 696,500. But good news — with the first three quarters of FY 2021 behind it, JaxPort has moved 15% more containers than the same period last year. Meanwhile, a project to deepen the port’s shipping channel continues.
Among recent developments:
• Global logistics and shipping services company American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group (ARC) has relocated its corporate headquarters to Ponte Vedra Beach in St. Johns County.
• Massachusetts-based 1A Auto, an online auto parts retailer, has opened a warehouse in NorthPoint Industrial Park near JaxPort’s Blount Island Marine Terminal.
KEY PLAYERS: Amazon, Seattle, Wa.; Crowley Marine, Jacksonville; CSX, Jacksonville; Suddath, Jacksonville; Volkswagen Group of America, Herndon, Va.
Florida’s Northeast is home to three Fortune 500 companies and 20 major insurance and investment services firms on Forbes’ Global 500 list. Familiar U.S. brands thriving in Jacksonville include Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Fidelity National Financial, FIS, Wells Fargo and VyStar Credit Union. Here too are Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank and Sydney-based Macquarie Group as well as insurance giants Florida Blue, Aetna and Allstate.
FIS, one of three Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Jacksonville, added 200 employees last year and its new headquarters remains on track to open as scheduled in June 2022.
Among other recent developments in this sector:
• Macquarie Group has recently opened a Technology Leasing Division in Jacksonville.
• TD Bank will expand its existing presence in downtown Jacksonville with additional office space and plans to build several new stores in the area. More than 250 jobs are expected.
• Jacksonville’s VyStar Credit Union is making plans to acquire Georgia-based Heritage Southeast Bank, with 22 branches and $1.5 billion in assets.
KEY PLAYERS: Emtec, Jacksonville; Fidelity National Financial, Jacksonville; FIS, Jacksonville; SS&C Technologies, Jacksonville