Jacksonville continues to add to its reputation as America’s Logistics Center.
Jacksonville-based Crowley Maritime Corporation, a leader in logistics, marine and energy solutions, donated $2.5 million to the University of North Florida (UNF) for the creation and operation of the Crowley Center for Transportation and Logistics (CCTL). This center of excellence will establish a commitment to the growth and development of skilled, talented students in transportation and logistics, an industry that is growing at a rapid pace in the Jacksonville region.
The endowment will help fund the CCTL operations and leadership, faculty support, visiting scholars, pertinent industry research, pursuit of federally funded grants and contracts, student recruitment in the areas of transportation, logistics and data analytics, and curriculum.
The center will be housed in the UNF Coggin College of Business of which the transportation and logistics program is considered among the best in the nation due to an active and supportive regional professional community and a high-tech Logistics IT Solutions Lab for students to learn about supply chain tools and solutions.
“This donation represents a strategic investment in our industry’s future – the talent and knowledge our leaders of tomorrow and the research needed to propel our industry forward successfully,” said Tom Crowley, the company’s chairman and CEO.
Developing home-grown skilled logistics talent is of the utmost importance now and will be in the future as our region continues to attract and expand business in this industry. With JAXPORT’s and Port of Fernandina’s steadfast growth and the presence of three major interstates, the Jacksonville region has seen an expansion of logistics, distribution and e-commerce over the last several years, including the most recent announcement of American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group’s headquarters relocation to Ponte Vedra Beach in June.
In recent months, the region has also announced new and expanding logistics and distribution centers, including:
- The Kroger Company – the national grocery chain is adding 180 new jobs at a cross-dock distribution facility to support its refrigerated e-commerce delivery.
- FlexCold – cold storage company building a temperature-controlled facility to serve meat protein exporters adding 20 new jobs and $47.3 million in capital investment.
- FedEx Ground – expansion of long-time third-party logistics facility in Jacksonville adding 125 jobs and $10 million in capital investment on parking lot expansion for increased operations.
These announcements and future logistics and distribution companies will benefit from the targeted curriculum and training established through the CCTL.
“Crowley Maritime’s gift to establish this center is not only important for the Coggin College and UNF but is a major investment in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida,” said Richard Buttimer, dean of UNF’s Coggin College of Business. “This center will train future generations of transportation, logistics and supply chain leaders to ensure that Jacksonville has a world-class pool of talent and leadership for this vital industry.”