Long-term investments by the state government and private companies are setting Florida up to be the next global hotspot for efficient trade and logistics. This is due largely to an increase in Intermodal Centers in Florida, which have a large impact in improving freight handling and transfers as well as the overall efficiency of cargo movement. These improvements will allow Florida to better capitalize on its central location, with easy access to the rest of the U.S. and the Caribbean, as well as Central and South America, Europe and Africa.
Florida adopted its first Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) Plan in 2005, and it has become the main comprehensive plan guiding investments in Florida’s transportation systems. The 2010 update of the SIS plan aimed at investing in transportation facilities and improving transportation for people and goods. The updates occur every five years with the next one due in 2015.
One of the successes of the plan is the new Central Florida Intermodal Logistics Center (ILC) in Winter Haven, Florida. With 318 acres of space and the ability to process up to 300,000 shipping containers per year, the Central Florida ILC will serve as the distribution hub for Orlando, Tampa and South Florida.
Another facet of intermodal transportation is that it will include passenger transportation along with freight. One large planned Florida project is the Orlando International Airport Intermodal Center. This center will help deliver passengers to Orlando International by connecting surface transportation, commuter and high-speed rails and air transportation.
A final draw that is being marketed for Florida is its existence of multimodal transports, which can send payloads to space. The major spaceport at Cape Canaveral already provides access for road, rail, sea and space, and the combination of these modes of transport provides an enticing incentive for companies to relocate to Florida. This, combined with the other new developments in intermodal transport will boost local economies and help make Florida into a global hub for transportation.