The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) board of directors has approved a US$210 million long-term lease and relocation agreement with Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET), the world’s largest independent distributor of Toyota vehicles.
SET, a subsidiary of Deerfield Beach, Florida-based JM Family Enterprises, will relocate operations from its 200,000 m² facility at JAXPORT’s Talleyrand Marine Terminal and an adjacent 93,000 m² private facility into a single 356,000 m² property at JAXPORT’s Blount Island Marine Terminal.
"Combining operations at Blount Island creates operational efficiencies and additional space for SET to accommodate more vehicles," said JAXPORT in its announcement.
The agreement is for 25 years with three additional five-year renewal options. The public-private partnership includes a nearly US$180 million lease with JAXPORT and an additional US$16.5 million from SET to modernise the Blount Island terminal.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will also provide a US$16.5 million grant to assist with terminal development.
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.
“Last year, five of the nation’s 15 best-selling vehicles were Toyotas, many of which move through JAXPORT, including the country’s best selling mid-sized pickup, the Toyota Tacoma,” said JAXPORT board chair Wendy Hamilton.
JAXPORT CEO Eric Green commented, “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.”
In partnership with FDOT, US$45 million in berth upgrades will soon be underway to enhance JAXPORT’s vehicle capabilities at Blount Island. The upgrades include expanding one auto berth to accommodate two larger vehicle ships simultaneously instead of one and the expansion of a second berth to more efficiently accommodate the larger vehicle ships calling the terminal.
JAXPORT is currently negotiating with a global vehicle manufacturer for use of the site at Talleyrand which will be vacated by SET.