Jaxport tops 600,000 vehicles
The Port of Jacksonville says that for the fiscal year that ended September 30 it handled more than 600,000 vehicle units, an increase of 13 percent over FY 2005.
The port said it handled 609,967 vehicles, topping last year's 544,336 and falling just short of the record 615,030 handled in FY 2002.
'We are very proud to be one of the largest and most successful vehicle ports in the nation,' said Roy Schleicher, Sr. Director of Trade Development and Marketing. 'This success is attributable to the combination of our outstanding auto processors and manufacturers, ocean carriers, experienced labor force and the exceptional facilities available here in Jacksonville.'
More than 95 percent of the vehicles moving through JAXPORT are new passenger cars and trucks. School busses, ambulances, used cars and trucks also are included in the count. These vehicles include imports and exports, as well as domestic-made and distributed cars and trucks brought here to be 'processed' by one of four automobile processors: American Port Services, WWL Vehicle Services America, Southeast Toyota Distributors, Inc., and Mercedes-Benz U.S.A. Inc. The first three are Jaxport tenants, while Mercedes-Benz has its own facility in Jacksonville.
Port officials explained that processing involves cleaning, inspecting and adding equipment to the vehicles such as luggage racks, sound systems, sunroofs, air conditioning, specialty wheels and leather interiors. Processors prepare U.S.-made vehicles for export to Europe, the Middle East, South America and Puerto Rico, and arrange for vehicles from countries such as Japan, Mexico, Germany, Belgium and Sweden to be delivered to dealerships throughout the Southeastern U.S.