Business

Mickey Mouse Move Means Big Bu$ine$$ for JaxPort

By: Jim Turner | Posted: June 20, 2012 3:55 AM
Disney Comes to Jacksonville

Disney Comes to Jacksonville

Florida scored a major victory Tuesday in its fight to build up its seaports against nearby East Coast competition.

Walt Disney Co. announced Tuesday that a major portion of its merchandise to be sold at Disney parks and facilities in Florida would now come through JaxPort, shifting the bulk of its ship unloading from the Port of Savannah, from where many of the China-made mouse ears and princess gowns were then trucked to Central Florida.

About 25 percent of the goods will continue to use Savannah before rolling off to Disney facilities throughout Florida.

With no incentives for the move from Florida, a spokesman for the company simply said this was a “straight up business decision” made possible by recent upgrades at JaxPort.

Disney’s merchandise will travel through JaxPort’s TraPac Container Terminal at Dames Point, a $300 million, state-of-the-art operation opened by Tokyo-based shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines in 2009.

While the company estimated the port would handle 1,300 40-foot containers a year filled with Disney merchandise, no fiscal numbers were available.

Officials with the Jacksonville Port Authority also couldn't put a financial figure on the Disney business, but said the move means jobs and that "having one of the world’s best known brand names associated with our port and with North Florida does attract other big names to take a look at what we offer."

Gov. Rick Scott was joined at the Jacksonville Port Tuesday by Disney Senior Vice President and CFO Anthony Connelly, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, JaxPort CEO Paul Anderson, Florida Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Mark Wilson, and Mickey Mouse to announce the decision by Disney.

"Disney's decision to start shipping products through JAXPORT is welcome news and we will continue to focus on improving Florida's ports so even more companies will choose to do business in our state," Scott stated in a release.

The chamber, which has pushed for improving the state’s sea and land trade, declared that Disney’s decision underscores Gov. Scott’s efforts on international trade and called the decision by Disney -- which came without state incentives -- a “true reflection that worldwide trade is changing, and our state is poised to transform its economy by becoming a global hub for trade, logistics and export-oriented manufacturing activities.”

Connelly is the chairman of the chamber and Anderson is a board member.

The chamber in 2010 released a study that outlined steps for the state to bolster the ports.

After reviewing the chamber’s study, Scott has championed growing Florida’s ports to handle growing international trade, with a focus on the anticipated completion of the Panama Canal expansion in 2015.

Last year, Scott shipped $77 million from the state DOT into the Port of Miami to dredge the channel from its current 42 feet to 50-to-52 feet so it could handle the large Panamax vessels that will flow with more cargo through an expanded Panama Canal.

Florida Ports Council president Doug Wheeler expects Disney shifting 75 percent of its traffic to JaxPort will help draw other business to the Sunshine State’s ports.

 

“Florida ports have been working hard to show companies the significant benefits of shipping through Florida,” Wheeler stated in a release. “The fact that Disney, a company with such a large economic footprint, will now be shipping a majority of their goods through a Florida port highlights that these efforts are working and translating into more jobs for Floridians.”



Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.



Comments (4)

cosmo
10:44AM JUN 20TH 2012
jim:
mike breen will be pleased to know you/we read this. paul anderson(mentioned in the article)is one of the bigs i met in jax. fyi: my (real)pal
mg orender(former pres@ the pga)is visiting my home this weekend-mb
Casey
7:03AM JUN 20TH 2012
Really great news for Jacksonville and Florida but how disappointing to have to get Mouse ears and Princess dresses from China! Wonder what the long term economic benefit would be if those products were made in the US by Americans put back to work compared to the increase just for the Port
Casey
7:03AM JUN 20TH 2012
Really great news for Jacksonville and Florida but how disappointing to have to get Mouse ears and Princess dresses from China! Wonder what the long term economic benefit would be if those products were made in the US by Americans put back to work compared to the increase just for the Port
Casey
7:03AM JUN 20TH 2012
Really great news for Jacksonville and Florida but how disappointing to have to get Mouse ears and Princess dresses from China! Wonder what the long term economic benefit would be if those products were made in the US by Americans put back to work compared to the increase just for the Port

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