Jacksonville logistics industry optimistic about 2018


   Port operations and e-commerce fulfillment in the Jacksonville, Fla. market are looking strong in 2018, Jacksonville logistics expert Ike Sherlock told the Jacksonville Business Journal.
   Sherlock cited increased cargo traffic through Jaxport, the trucking industry’s record high levels of activity in 2017 and Amazon’s two new fulfillment centers in Jacksonville. However, Sherlock told the Jacksonville Business Journal, “labor is a key concern, having the right, skilled labor to staff the market,” and trucking capacity will remain tight into the first quarter of 2018.
“I am very bullish about the coming year in all modes,” said Sherlock, who is the executive vice president of warehousing and trucking logistics company The Grimes Companies, president of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and the Florida director of the Southeastern Warehouse Association.
    The one exception, according to Sherlock, is in the railroad industry. The changes in operations and leadership that local Class I CSX is experiencing right now offers little insight into the local rail sector.
   “CSX is making sweeping operational changes in an already soft market,” said Sherlock. “We’re waiting for that to stabilize.”
   CSX’s former president and CEO Hunter Harrison passed away unexpectedly last month, leaving the company less than one year into the implementation of his “precision scheduled railroading” (PSR) operating model, which caused significant service disruptions throughout 2017.

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