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April 27 2020

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JACKSONVILLE TRADE AND LOGISTICS SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION April 27 2020 | The Journal of Commerce 35 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION THE EASE WITH which ongoing cargo growth is being handled through the Jacksonville gateway keeps beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) and carriers coming back. Trade, transportation, and logistics entities in the region are pulling out all the stops to keep it that way. First, there is deeper water on the way. Second, a massive amount of money is going into the grounds, building docks, terminals, and warehousing. These assets are increasingly efficient, connected, sustainable, and well-equipped. And third, the region's truck, rail, and ocean carriers are expanding capacity in advance of need, introducing new services to capture the changing trades, and finding innovative ways to deliver rapidly and economically. This is all happening, now. "The investments we are making today ensure we can continue to keep up with growing demand, as more shippers and BCOs recognize the efficiencies of shipping through Jacksonville," said Eric Green, CEO of Jacksonville Port Authority (Jaxport). Fiscal year 2019 cargo results confirm growing demand. Jaxport handled 10.9 million tons of cargo last year, up 4 percent over 2018. The port had record throughput in containers, vehicles, and overall tonnage. It moved more than 1.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), up 5 percent. It was its fourth straight record year. Dry bulk cargoes, such as limestone and gravel, increased 19 percent over 2018, reaching nearly 880,000 tons. Breakbulk cargoes, including wood pulp, increased 7 percent with 934,600 tons. Liquid bulk cargoes, including molasses and corn syrup, rose 4 percent, registering nearly 380,300 tons. Faced with multiple flourishing lines of business, transportation partners are prepared. A port hub never wants to be in a position where it must play catch-up. "From harbor deepening to rebuilding berths and adding cranes, Jaxport is building the port of the future, ensuring we maintain the reliability and efficiencies our customers have come to expect," Green said. "Our location in the heart of the Southeast US, and fast access to the growing I-4 market in Central Florida creates tremendous opportunity for continued growth, especially as e-commerce drives businesses closer to these heavily populated areas," he added. Jacksonville offers shippers a strategic location in the growing southeastern United States; three interstate highways; 40 trains per day; dozens of ocean carriers; four deep-water marine terminals serving the world; and a network of experts in trucking, forwarding, and other logistical services ready to speed cargo safely on its way. Modernizing the supply chain takes an ongoing commitment. The northeast Florida gateway is exploring — and has already deployed — numerous visibility tools and analytics to help stakeholders better understand information and anticipate decisions for their businesses. On the inland leg, early adoption of technology by the Florida Department of Transportation has put in place express lanes to ease traffic; dynamic messaging signs to help drivers reroute; and signal retiming on freight corridors to decrease delays, fuel consumption, and emissions. Ocean and rail facilities are making similar advances. At the TraPac container terminal, for example, cargo visibility is enhanced by real-time, GPS-based cargo tracking, and truck turns are expedited by optical character recognition (OCR) technology at the gates. Innovative solutions to logistical challenges help shippers expand business. In Jacksonville, finding efficiencies is a collaborative undertaking. Headhauls for one shipper may result in backhaul opportunities for another, reducing total supply chain cost. With improved processes, the maritime community is producing some leading metrics, including a truck turn time averaging 19 minutes. Green said many more technological improvements are in the works that will enhance safety and improve freight flows. Jacksonville-based CSX Transportation offers rail and intermodal services along 21,000 miles of track, reaching nearly two- thirds of Americans. In the railroad's 2019 Annual Report, President and CEO James Foote underscored the railroad's commitment to optimizing the customer experience, stating that the company measures service success "by our performance on meeting trip plan schedules, calculated to the hour and minute, for every carload, container, and trailer on the railroad." For intermodal shipments, the The Here and the Now By Lori Musser

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