Economic Development in the World's Fourth Largest Economy
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014    Login
 Summer 2014

  
 Features

Petrochemicals and the Southern Manufacturing Renaissance

Non-Petrochemicals and the Southern Manufacturing Renaissance

Ten Reasons Why Manufacturing is Booming in The South

Rick Perry

2014 Annual Directory


2014 SB&D 100 Edition

SB&D 100 Feature

Big Fish Keep Alabama's Economy Humming


Southern Economic Development Roundtable

The Best Greenfield Data Center Sites in the South

The Most Southern Place on Earth

Ensuring a resilient Delta Region by training a skilled workforce

Driving toward success in Alabama's Black Belt

Arkansas's Big River Steel has found its home in the heart of America's Delta Region

Building a healthy economy and a healthy workforce in Illinois

Innovation and collaboration are building a Work Ready Kentucky

Louisiana's industry off to a fast start

Perfected in Mississippi

Certifying Southeast Missouri and beyond

Select Tennessee sites offer competitive edge

Reshoring and its potential effect on the Mississippi River Delta region

10 TOP TENS

 Ten People Who Made a Difference in the South

Top 10 Stories in the American South

Ten Exceptional Southern markets to Locate your Reshored Traditional
Industry


If you are looking to relocate your HQ to the South, here are 10 Outstanding
Cities for your Operation that might not show up on your Radar


Ten Low Cost Manufacturing Locations to Reshore your Plant near Major
Southern airports


If these Southern Market Economies were Stocks, they would be the Ten Best
to Invest in over the next Decade


Ten Highly Creative Places to Live in the South where you can Reshore your
Manufacturing Operation


Ten more Shining Examples of Economic Development that's working in the
South


Five Outstanding Supplier Sites for Airbus and Five for Boeing

Ten Supplier Locations in the Southern Aerospace Corridor that can serve
both Airbus and Boeing

FDI Surges in the South

Tennessee: Moving in the right direction

The Northeast Tennessee Valley Comes Back Strong

The Southern Auto Corridor

It's down to the Southern Auto Corridor and Mexico for automakers

Mississippi Enters Second Decade of Assembly

BMW in South Carolina: Two decades and thriving

Nissan and Tennessee: A 30-year partnership unlike any other in North America's automotive sector

20 years of Mercedes-Benz in Alabama: A defining moment in the Heart of Dixie

The tremendous success of the Hyundai-Kia model in the Southern Auto Corridor

Ford's resurgence in Louisville

2013 Motor Vehicle Parts Supplier Guide

Community preparedness is about vision

20th Anniversary Edition


  
 Features

Florida's inland port strategy could result in thousands of new jobs

By Lee Burlett

Port Citrus was recently named Florida's 15th port in the last Legislative session, making it eligible for future state funding. The port is located at the former Cross Florida Barge Canal, north of Crystal River on the Levy/Citrus county border.Florida's 15 deepwater seaports support more than half a million direct and indirect jobs and collectively they have an economic impact of $66 billion in the state. With the re-alignment of global trade routes as a result of an expanded Panama Canal, Florida's ports are positioning themselves to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity. The opening of the Panama Canal's larger locks in 2014 will offer new global opportunities for international trade growth through Florida's well-placed ports.

In 2010, U.S. ports typically showed a 60 percent import to 40 percent export ratio. Yet, in Florida, efforts to decrease trade deficits with other countries are starting to build momentum. Florida currently has one of the nation's best export-over-import surpluses. In 2010, Florida's exports represented 58 percent of the total import/export cargo. The state exported $73 billion in goods in 2010 compared to $53.2 billion in imports. That export-over-import surplus is the fourth-best in the nation.

According to flaports.org, "Florida faces a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform our economy by becoming a global leader for trade, logistics and export-oriented manufacturing activities." Sounds pretty good, but to get there the state of Florida must make strategic capital investments to deepen harbors, build more berth, crane and terminal infrastructure and add more container handling capacity. The last part of that sentence – more handling capacity – is the challenge considering Florida’s landlocked port system.

To alleviate that, part of that positioning strategy is to build system wide, seamless intermodal facilities throughout the state to move goods more efficiently and cost effectively. This includes several inland ports that can act as centralized freight hubs. The inland ports can expand existing seaport capacity, increase reliability in the freight system and improve congestion management activities, all in an effort to create new market opportunities. And for Small Town Florida, the prospects are excellent because each of the inland ports will be located in rural markets with the potential for thousands of new jobs being created.

An inland port is essentially a distribution site to provide support for intermodal transfers between ship, rail and truck operations. The inland ports being discussed and developed in Florida are located in rural settings where land costs and land uses are less restrictive. The inland ports in Florida are being centrally located to key markets such as Jacksonville, Palm Beach and Miami, port locations in Florida that are over or near capacity.

One such inland port being considered for development would serve Port Citrus on Florida's western Gulf Coast. Rural counties like Citrus, Marion and Levy counties are looking to take advantage of the new logistics opportunities that will result if an inland port is built in Ocala, Fla.

In October, the city of Ocala began preliminary discussions with Citrus County officials to explore an inland port to be developed on Interstate 75. The city and county want the development to be a regional effort with rural Marion and Levy counties working in conjunction with Ocala and Citrus. 

Port Citrus was recently named Florida's 15th port in the last Legislative session, making it eligible for future state funding. The port is located at the former Cross Florida Barge Canal, north of Crystal River on the Levy/Citrus county border. The port is not a deep water facility, but could be used to ship raw materials by barge.

The Cross Florida Barge Canal was a federal project that was started in 1942 in an effort to link the Gulf of Mexico with the St. Johns River, giving the state an inland waterway linking the Gulf with the Atlantic. The project was abandoned in 1971 after about a third of the canal was completed.

Port Citrus is on the M-10 Maritime Highway that begins in Brownsville, Tex. and ends at Port Manatee in South Tampa Bay. If developed, an inland port in Ocala could ship goods to and from the new seaport in a cost efficient manner. An ocean-going barge can ship a load equal to 600 tractor trailer loads.

In an article published by the Ocala Star-Banner in December, Citrus County Commissioner Joe Meek said, "We are very early on in the process of our port initiative. This will not happen overnight. We are laying the groundwork to have a, hopefully, positive economic future."


  
 Southern Auto Corridor

Southern Auto Corridor.com

Steering the Automotive Industry to the World's Fourth-Largest Economy

www.southernautocorridor.com


  
 SmallTownSouth

SmallTownSouth.com

Opportunities in the South's Rural and Urban Small Towns

www.smalltownsouth.com


  
Southern Business & Development Southern Auto Corridor Small Town South Randle Report