The Jacksonville Port Authority (Jaxport) has approved a $210m long-term lease and relocation agreement with Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET).

Under the agreement the world’s largest independent distributor of Toyota vehicles will expand and modernise 35.6 hectares of vehicle processing space at Jaxport’s Blount Island Marine Terminal

SET will relocate operations from its 25.25-hectare facility at Jaxports Talleyrand Marine Terminal and an adjacent 9.3 hectare- private facility into a single 35.6 hectares property at Jaxport’s Blount Island Marine Terminal.

The agreement is for 25 years with three additional five-year renewal options. The public-private partnership includes a nearly $180m lease with Jaxport and an additional $16.5m from SET to modernize the Blount Island terminal. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will also provide a $16.5m grant to assist with terminal development.

Terminal upgrades at Blount Island include two processing buildings and associated work areas, as well as the addition of new on-site rail connections and truck loading areas. SET will remain at its current Talleyrand location until construction on the new facility is complete in late 2024.

“We appreciate the entire Jaxport  team for their business-forward thinking and their focus on our continued partnership. We are excited about this new facility, which will provide our dedicated associates with modern amenities while also increasing production efficiencies to serve our dealers,” said Southeast Toyota Distributors Group Vice President Casey Gunnell.

SET has been operating at Jaxport for more than 50 years and is one of the port’s longest-standing tenants. In 2021, SET moved approximately 157,000 vehicles through Jaxport.

“This public-private partnership, along with the investments being made in the terminal by FDOT, allow us to build on our position as one of the country’s top vehicle-handling ports and meet the growing demand for vehicles in Florida and throughout the nation,” said Jaxport CEO Eric Green.

In partnership with FDOT, $45m in berth upgrades will soon be underway to enhance Jaxport’s vehicle capabilities at Blount Island.

SET is a subsidiary of Deerfield Beach, Florida-based JM Family Enterprises.

Source: Seatrade Maritime News