If you’ve traveled into Jacksonville in the past decade – and we’re going to go ahead and assume you have – you’ve probably noticed the signs marking your entry into both Jacksonville and Duval County.
You may also have noticed that on those signs, the city is given a nickname: “America’s Logistics Center”.
How did Jacksonville earn this nickname? Well, as it turns out, it’s more of a self-appointed nickname.
The signs declaring us as the country’s center of logistics were put up by the city in 2007. It was part of a branding strategy from JAX Chamber that intended to highlight the city’s active and growing role in the country’s economy.
It’s a bold claim, but one based on Jacksonville’s impressive features. As the chamber of commerce’s website notes, the Jax metropolitan area features 10 airports, 4 ports, and railroad infrastructure. All are important factors toward becoming a logistics hub.
So is it true? Are we America’s logistics center?
Well, not exactly.
A report from the Global Cities Initiative ranked Jacksonville’s import and export activity as 31st among U.S. metropolitan areas. The city rarely makes it onto lists of top logistics hubs.
We’re also not the only city that claims the title. Memphis, TN markets itself as “North America’s Logistics Center”.
The self-appointed title has, however, given city leadership something to work toward, with the goal of fully earning the title.
So far, solid progress is being made. Just last year, Amazon announced it was investing in the city in the form of two distribution centers.
As Jacksonville’s economy continues to grow, it has a chance to forge a clear identity around its strengths. As we noted, the infrastructure is already in place to become a major national hub for logistics.
In other words, it has a good chance of earning the nickname it gave itself.