Jacksonville's planned inland ports offer prime access and savings

Jacksonville Business Journal - by Mark Szakonyi Staff Writer

At first glance, plans to develop three plots of more than 1,000 acres each in rural Northeast Florida seem like pipe dreams.
A closer look shows the properties’ connectivity to major interstates and rail lines, making them potential inland ports able to connect to the area’s trade hub, the Port of Jacksonville.
Considering that the majority of goods coming through the port aren’t from or headed to the region, such sites offer less traffic congestion and lower property costs and give customers prime rail and road access, said Deborah Lofberg, the Jacksonville Port Authority’s director of marketing support services.
Development of inland ports is part of the state’s push to position itself as a logistics and trade center, said Todd Powell, who is overseeing the development of one of the sites and is on the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors. The sites’ attractiveness for manufacturing also factors into the state’s push for high-tech aviation and biomedical equipment production.
“The state of Florida is just one big dock in the ocean,” said Powell, director of the southern region for Plum Creek Timber Co. Inc. “Florida is going to have a role as a major exporter.”
The following sites are being developed to become inland ports:

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