Jul 11, 2012
It was announced recently that Disney Parks and Resorts will be teaming up with Jaxport, the TracPac shipping terminal in Jacksonville, Florida. About 75% of Disney’s merchandise will now be going through this port as opposed to the one they were previously using in Savannah, Georgia.
When asked about the move, Senior VP and CFO of Disney Parks and Resorts, Anthony Connelly, had this to say:
“From a business decision for us, it’s about optimizing our supply chain and being able to minimize the cost associated with bringing freight here. So to us, it was about saving money and we’re certainly excited to participate in growing Florida’s economy as well as Jacksonville’s economy.”
Although a quarter of Disney’s merchandise will still pass through the port in Savannah, the goal of the company is to eventually have Jaxport be the standalone terminal for all of Disney’s merchandise.
Jaxport – America’s New Logistics Center
Disney’s switch to Jaxport is a signal that this hub is becoming a major player in the import and export industry. What makes Jaxport so unique is its ability to serve as a terminal for both inbound and outbound cargo as well as the ease of distribution of goods to numerous parts of the United States.
Jaxport can also boast a new state-of-the-art container terminal, and the hub’s location in Jacksonville, Florida means it is the crossroads of global commerce, with multiple highway and rail options in and out of the city.
Disney is not the only company taking advantage of Jaxport’s superior capabilities. Brands like Coach, Michael’s, Bridgestone, PSS World Medical, Sears, Samsonite, Maxwell House and Unilever have all made the switch to Jaxport in an effort to better optimize their supply chains.
Rich Markovich, Director of International Logistics and Compliance for the Michael’s art supply chain, notes an advantage Jaxport has and why it is such an attractive choice:
“A real point of strength is the workforce in the Jacksonville area – on top of the dynamics that make Jacksonville a very attractive place when it comes to domestic transportation.”
The Decline in U.S. Manufacturing Leads to New Supply Chain Logistics Centers
Throughout the last decade, there has been a measurable decline in the manufacturing of goods on US soil as production has shifted to overseas markets where costs are much lower.
This shift has caused an increase in imported goods to this country and a need for new supply chain logistical centers that can handle the arrival and distribution of thousands of cargo containers.
Many ports throughout the country are trying to capitalize on this import trend, but it is the ports on the southeast coast in particular, such as Jaxport, that are in a position to reap the greatest benefits. This is in large part due to the fact that west coast ports are currently close to operating capacity and cargo moved from these hubs must absorb increasing expenses as fuel prices remain high.
From a First Coast Vision Report:
“Supply chain logistics centers are catalysts for further economic activity in the community. Clustering of these facilities is common because businesses feel more confident in their location decisions when they see companies with similar business needs thriving. As Jacksonville attracts more of these companies, others will seriously consider Jacksonville for their own relocations and expansions.”
As supply chain management executives continue to seek optimized and cost-effective logistical solutions, they must consider using ports of entry with established supply chain centers that have connections to major trade lanes, reliable containership services, and a qualified workforce. These considerations make Jaxport a natural supply chain logistics center choice despite intense competition.
Pete Kontakos is a contributor who writes about supply chain management certification online.