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January 6, 2021 2:15 PM, EST

The JZ Expedited Cos. Eyes Expansion of Site in Jacksonville

JZ Expedited Cos.JZ Expedited Logistics is a subsidiary of The JZ Expedited Cos. (JZ Expedited Logistics via YouTube)

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The JZ Expedited Cos. announced it secured a first right of refusal to develop an additional 45-acre parcel as it seeks to expand its inland marine terminal business model in Jacksonville, Fla.

“If you are not trying to grow in this business, then you are going backwards,” Robert Fox, CEO of The JZ Expedited Cos., told Transport Topics.

The JZ Expedited Cos., a holding company, offers land, air and sea transportation, as well as foreign trade zone and U.S. Customs bonded warehousing services through five niche logistics service providers: JAX Global Cargo, North Florida Warehouse FTZ, JZ Expedited Logistics, JZI Global Supply Chain Management and Florida Tobacco Traders.

The company currently leases 20 acres, and its operations are a short drive from Jacksonville’s JaxPort cargo terminals.

“Everybody is working hard trying to grow revenue, build their customer base,” Fox said. “Our business model has been proven to work. Customers like that we offer a blended solution of truck and warehouse. The majority of the warehouse business we land is because we have a chassis fleet, our own drivers, and are able to pick [cargo] up at the port with an in-house solution.”

Fox

Fox

The company uses owner-operators primarily and is actively recruiting as it seeks to grow to 50 drivers from about 32 currently who handle drayage, linehaul, specialized and heavy-haul loads.

JZ hopes to attract the interest of steamship lines, Beneficial Cargo Owners, original equipment manufacturers, and large Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers and 3PL partners that want to move into the Jacksonville market, which is within a day’s drive of 70 million consumers. It has dedicated off-port space to support container depot operations and outdoor storage for the automotive and heavy equipment industries.

“We are not going to start cutting down trees and building a building until we have a contract in hand,” Fox said.

Its current storage capacity is 350,000 square feet in three buildings. The potential expansion could increase that up to 1 million square feet, according to the company, which was founded in 2009.

On-site cargo handling equipment includes a 45-ton heavy lift capacity and various fork trucks capable of handling up to 55,000 pounds. There are roll clamps and coil booms, spreader bars and slings, and the services of a certified rigging company.

RoadSigns

In this year in review episode, we discuss COVID and everything from gas tax to remote work. With the help of our special Transport Topics guests, Seth Clevenger and Eleanor Lamb, we’ll also begin to map a plan for 2021. Hear a snippet, above, and get the full program by going to RoadSigns.TTNews.com.

Meanwhile, JaxPort is packed, Fox said. “There is no more room. So the things we can do here — stack containers five high, the rail access — offer an alternative to the expensive property and congestion at the port,” he said.

JaxPort, Florida’s largest container port, reported it is more than halfway through a $484 million project to deepen the Jacksonville shipping channel to 47 feet from its current depth of 40 feet. It expects the work to conclude before the end of 2022, three years ahead of its original schedule.

The port noted a deeper harbor is essential to meet the needs of larger cargo ships transiting the Suez and Panama canals — and will position JaxPort as the first U.S. East Coast port of call for fully loaded new panamax-class vessels.

As for the company’s expansion project, Fox said, “I think a good timeline would be the next six to 12 months. It is going to take a sizable investment to develop 45 acres of land. Maybe we only develop a third of the area first, then expand from there.”

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