The JAX Chamber, Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) and Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) joined a statewide effort to highlight the importance of international trade as a powerful driver of economic growth in the Northeast Florida region and state of Florida. May is Florida World Trade Month. Numerous organizations including Enterprise Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and ports throughout the state are working together to raise awareness of Florida’s critical role in the global economy.
Florida currently ranks fourth in the nation for international trade and commerce. As a result of major developments occurring at airports and seaports throughout the state, Florida is fast becoming the Southeast U.S. hub for international imports and export cargo.
JAXPORT generates more than $19 billion in annual economic impact and currently generates 65,000 jobs in the North Florida region. JAXPORT’s Talleyrand, Blount Island and Dames Points Marine Terminals handled more than 8 million tons of cargo in 2011. In the same year, Jacksonville became the largest container port in Florida and maintained its spot as the nation’s number one vehicle export port. JAXPORT is located within an eight-hour drive of more than 65 percent of the U.S. consumer market.
In order to reach its full potential, JAXPORT’s infrastructure needs include repairing the Mile Point navigational hazard, deepening the channel and developing additional on-dock rail and continuing to improve existing terminal docks and equipment in order to handle an expected doubling of cargo during the next 20 years.
Florida World Trade Month 2012 runs through May 31. The honorary chair is Florida Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope. To learn more, visit www.floridaworldtrademonth.com.