Inbound Logistics | October 2022


says. “Together with Ports America, the port has recently doubled its paved storage area, constructing a new gate complex. And we expect to receive three additional container gantry cranes later in 2022.” The new cranes will be operational by early 2023. The port also will soon break ground on a new on-dock transload warehouse, he reports. n

this growth by staying ahead of the curve thanks to our terminal build-out program and working closely with our terminal operator partner Ports America by aggressively expanding capacity,” he reports. As a result, berth calls at Port Tampa Bay are smooth and efficient. “Importers and exporters experience no waiting or congestion,” Alfonso

As the closest port to the growing Tampa/Orlando I-4 Corridor, Port Tampa Bay’s location allows for multiple round-trip deliveries per day from roadway to waterway. “This capability reduces trucking costs and empty trucks on the road, providing numerous economic and environmental benefits,” Alfonso says. Port Tampa Bay also serves as the closest port to Florida’s hub for the grocery and food and beverage sector. “Our partner Port Logistics Refrigerated Services developed a state- of-the-art 135,000-square-foot cold storage warehouse, with 148 reefer plugs, and fumigation services, as well as an adjacent berth served by two dedicated mobile harbor cranes,” Alfonso says. Moreover, the port’s ideal location provides shippers all the logistics assets of Florida’s Distribution Hub with more than 400 million square feet of distribution center capacity. Florida now has the 15th largest economy in the world and is one of the fastest-growing states in the country. The state’s rapidly expanding population has overtaken New York, making it the third- largest state in the United States. “Importers and exporters who support this huge consumer market are demanding a Florida-first supply chain strategy with expanded direct ocean container services,” Alfonso says. HOT MARKET WITH AMPLE ROOM FOR GROWTH Home to nearly half of the state’s 22 million residents and welcoming most of the state’s more than 125 million visitors each year, the Central Florida region is one of the hottest industrial real estate markets in the country. Of particular interest to site-selection teams is the region’s room for growth. “Port Tampa Bay is blessed to have plenty of land for expansion and stands ready to welcome new business and serve as a supply chain alternative and solution,” Alfonso says. Port Tampa Bay’s container volume has increased by 18% over the past year, he adds. “Our port has easily accommodated

Jolt your location quest by answering these questions, says Ohio State University Prof. Edward (Ned) Hill: • Is your company using a site-location consultant or is the search being done in-house? • How does your company account for real estate and does it want fixed assets on its books or not? If the company is privately held, how are the firm’s real estate holdings structured? • Is the search strategic or tactical? If it is a “fire drill” to solve an immediate production or space problem, the company runs a greater risk of “sub- optimizing” (a polite term for making the wrong choice). If it is strategic, make sure the entire team understands the goals. • Has your company implemented lean management across the organization and is the search part of lean optimization? • Is your company clear on the purposes of the proposed facility? Or another way of asking this question is: What is the problem that will be solved or the opportunity that is being addressed? The use determines the search, and clarity on the use will save time and money. • Is your company currently using outsourced providers to fulfill the function? Should the function be reintegrated? If the function is integrated, does it provide some form of competitive advantage? If so, what is it? Once you identify potential locations, explore these three critical areas: • Taxes. How expensive are the taxes to your company and to its employees? What are the services provided in return? How important are those services to the company or to its employees? • Quality of life. Does the location have the quality-of-life attributes your company seeks? Specific quality-of-life factors are important to specific demographic groups who are target employees. These can include housing availability and cost, education, recreation, childcare, and other social services. • Business services. Does the region have service providers that are critical to the firm’s operations? SITE SEARCH CHECKLIST

52 Inbound Logistics • October 2022

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