Industrial real estate near Florida’s major seaports is benefiting from an expected shift in Asian shipping patterns. Currently, most goods imported from the Pacific Rim arrive in California and are then shipped by rail to distribution centers in the Midwest and on the East Coast.
A lengthy strike at the Port of Long Beach in 2002 led shippers to consider alternative routes. Meanwhile, widening work began on the Panama Canal, with an estimated completion of 2014.
“Today, Jacksonville is the East Coast port closest to the canal with room to expand,” says Hobart Joost Jr., industrial specialist with Colliers Dickinson, “With the new Mitsui and Hanjin terminals, we expect to take business away from Savannah and Charleston to the north.”
For shippers, Jacksonville offers convenient highway access via I-95, I-10 and I-75 just to the west, as well as three rail lines and a workforce that includes experienced Navy veterans.
As Rick Ferrin, Jaxport’s executive director, says, “The agreement with Hanjin underscores Jacksonville’s new role in global trade. With this historic signing, two major players in the international shipping arena have given notice in a big way that Jaxport is the place to be.”