Jacksonville, Fla., June 19, 2012 – Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has started importing most of the merchandise headed to its Central Florida parks through JAXPORT’s TraPac Container Terminal at Dames Point, a shift that underscores the port’s growing attractiveness to shippers while also supporting statewide efforts to move Florida cargo through Florida seaports.
Florida Governor Rick Scott joined Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, JAXPORT CEO Paul Anderson, Florida Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Wilson and MOL (America) Vice President Dennis Sheehan in welcoming Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, U.S., Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Anthony Connelly, and surprise guest Mickey Mouse to the TraPac docks for the announcement.
“Bringing a majority of our Florida-bound cargo through Jacksonville is a direct result of the port’s ongoing improvement efforts,” said Anthony Connelly, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, U.S. “This is not only a smart business decision but will also enable us to continue to build on the positive impact we have on Florida’s economy. Today, the economic activity generated by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts accounts for 2.5 percent our state’s gross domestic product and for more than one out of every 50 jobs in Florida.”
This is the first time goods headed for purchase at Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida will come through Jacksonville. The move reflects the efficiencies and cost effectiveness of moving cargo through JAXPORT and contributes to a coordinated drive to bring Florida-bound goods through Florida’s ports.
“As we continue to work every day to ensure that Florida is the No. 1 state for business, we are seeing more and more evidence that Florida’s economy is headed in the right direction,” Governor Scott said. “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.”
“This is what all of us in Florida want,” said JAXPORT CEO Paul Anderson. “We want the products our Florida citizens and visitors buy brought in through our ports, not brought by truck or train from somewhere out-of-state. Step by step, one container at a time, we are working to bring the jobs and dollars that come along with the movement of those goods back home where they belong. Shippers, importers and exporters around the globe—and now one of the world’s most beloved brands—are recognizing that we offer an alternative here in Jacksonville that makes good business sense.”
The move also reflects the significance of MOL’s investment in JAXPORT and commitment to Jacksonville. The Tokyo-based shipping company opened its $300 million, state-of-the-art TraPac Container Terminal at Dames Point in 2009. TraPac is the U.S. terminal operating arm of MOL.
“A large part of our commitment to Jacksonville is to share the benefits associated with growth in our volumes with the region and the state,” said Dennis Sheehan, MOL (America) Vice President. “This is a partnership, with all of us doing our part to make business gains which then translate into opportunity for everyone.”
Disney joins a growing list of companies which have shifted business to take advantage of JAXPORT’s efficient services, as they work to better serve the growing consumer market in the southeast U.S. That list includes: Rooms to Go, Michael’s Stores, Haverty’s Furniture, Coach, Bridgestone, PSS World Medical, Sears, Samsonite, Maxwell House and Unilever.