Central Florida’s nine metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) have grown together to include 7.7 million people – larger than the MSAs of Dallas, Houston or Atlanta, but without the traffic congestion.
The geographic center of Central Florida is near the Intersection of I-4 and US 27 in Polk County. From here, there are 5.5 million people within a 60 minute drive and 8.5 million within a 90-minute drive.
The entire Florida peninsula with 18-million people is within a four-hour drive.
Central Florida is rich in logistics infrastructure. A 90-minute drive from the intersection of I-4 and US 27 in Polk County includes:
• 13 Limited access highways
• 3 Deepwater Ports
• 3 Navigable waterways
• 5 International Airports
• 3 Rail service providers
• A new CSX intermodal container yard
• 500 million sq. ft. of warehouse space
Click here for more infrastructure overview.
Click here for interactive map.
Florida has 15 seaports and an extensive system of navigable waterways and rivers. Seven of its ports are within a day’s round trip drive from Central Florida, and three major ports - Port Canaveral, Port Tampa and Port Manatee - are within a 90-minute drive from Central Florida. Florida’s ports have established trade routes with Europe, Central and South America, the Caribbean Basin, Texas and Louisiana and are the closest US ports to the Panama Canal.
From Central Florida, you can benefit from a wide selection of ports providing bulk, break bulk, RORO and container capabilities with competitive rates and services, numerous connections and frequent sailings.
Click here for more about Central Florida Ports.
Freight Rail and Containers
Winter Haven, Florida has a new, state-of-the-art, 918-acre inland container port with 300,000 containers per year initial capacity. Containerized land freight utilization has improved dramatically since in conception in the 1950’s. Containerized cargo can utilize a rail hub and spoke solution that matches the efficiency of rail over long distances with trucks for delivering to and from the intermodal terminal at either end.
From Winter Haven, CSX is able to offer competitive delivery times to major metropolitan areas at distances over 500 miles that are comparable to trucks, but at lower overall costs. Track improvements and the implementation of positive train control will allow faster transit times while bridge and overpass improvements will allow double stacked containers, further increasing the cost efficiency of this competitive mode of transportation. Central Florida has great rail connections.
Click here for a CSX intermodal map.
Florida has 121 general aviation airports, 12 major military airfields and two space ports. Florida’s airports accommodate 2.5 million tons of cargo serving 41 domestic and 94 international destinations. International trade is the largest driver of Florida’s economy with 36 percent of Florida’s international trade dollars generated by air cargo shipments.
Florida has 15 international airports, including Orlando International and Tampa International, which have scheduled air cargo service. Florida’s international airports handle 143.5 million passengers per year, 50% more than Atlanta-Hartsfield.
The seven international airports serving Central Florida provide a major advantage to Central Florida businesses – lots of flights and competitive air fares coupled with wide-bodied planes for unscheduled cargo to hundreds of cities, both domestic and international.
Click here for more about Florida’s airports.
Central Florida has warehouse space – 500 million square feet of it. The typical net rent for a 65,000 sq. ft. distribution space in Polk County is between $4.25 and $4.75 per sq. ft. and the average sales price in the first quarter of 2017 was $41 per sq. ft. for a building this size.
The heat map shows the locations of Florida warehouse density on a per square foot basis of over 25,000 sq. ft. The concentrations are along the I-4 corridor and in Ocala and Brevard County. Florida is a right to work state with a willing warehouse workforce. Central Florida is a great place to do business.
In 2015, Amazon opened a one-million sq. ft. e-commerce fulfillment facility on County Line Road in Lakeland, Florida and another one just south of Tampa off I-275 in Ruskin. In 2017, Walmart opened two fulfillment centers, each one-million sq. ft., at the northeast corner of I-4 and U.S. 27 in Polk County, Florida. Concurrently, FedEx opened a new 300,000 sq. ft. sorting center on an adjacent site. In the spring of 2017, Amazon applied for permits for a 2.3-million sq. ft. fulfillment center to be constructed just south of Orlando International Airport, and Chewy, a pet food retailer, started construction on a 600,000 sq. ft. fulfillment center in Ocala, Florida. The recent additions totaling over five-million sq. ft. of fulfillment space speaks volumes. Central Florida is the place for e-commerce.
Click here for more about Walmart's e-commerce in Central Florida
Click here for more about Walmart's e-commerce in Central Florida.
40% of U. S. exporters are based in Florida. They export $61 billion in goods and $31 billion in services annually. Florida has exporting expertise, logistics infrastructure and established trade routes. There are a lot of reasons to have your logistics facility in Central Florida:
• From the heart of Central Florida at I-4 and U.S. 27 in Polk County, a company can serve both the Tampa and Orlando metro areas providing more than 5.5 million residents within a 60 minute drive.
• I-4 and U.S. 27 is just south of the theme parks, 120,000 hotel rooms, and 7,000 restaurants; but without the traffic congestion experienced to the north between the resort areas and Orlando. Central Florida is the place to be if you serve the tourist and convention center industries.
• Florida is a net import state. More freight comes into the state than leaves the state creating a pricing advantage for companies that utilize the empty trucks and containers for outgoing freight. Central Florida is the place to be if you have outgoing freight.
• FDOT trade information shows that Polk County’s primary intra-state trading partner is South Florida. If you trade with Latin America through South Florida or want to serve South Florida with bulk products without incurring its high real estate or labor costs in South Florida, then Central Florida is the right place for you. If you want to serve a large, growing population with a bulk product that needs rail or water delivery, Central Florida is place for you. Central Florida is the place for trade.