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JAXPORT, Puerto Rico Ports Authority meet in San Juan

The event explored best practices in operations and other areas outlined in the memorandum of understanding signed by the ports in 2021.

Leadership from the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) recently traveled to San Juan to join the Puerto Rico Ports Authority in hosting the inaugural Puerto Rico-Jacksonville Ports and Partners Summit on the island.

Jacksonville is the No. 1 port in the United States for trade with Puerto Rico, handling nearly 90% of all sea trade between the island and the U.S. mainland.

In addition to the port authorities, other participants in the two-day event included the three Jacksonville-based ocean carriers serving the island from JAXPORT — Crowley, TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, and Trailer Bridge — as well as the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association and the Puerto Rico Shipping Association.

“We always mention that Puerto Rico and the state of Florida share notable similarities in their ports; both are strategic, solid locations for regional and international commerce. They facilitate diverse industries and support the economy,” said Puerto Rico Ports Executive Director Joel A. Pizá-Batiz.

“The synergy and symbiotic relationship between Puerto Rico and Jacksonville are strong and critical. This summit is a testament to that sense of fellowship, friendship and partnership,” said Pizá-Batiz.

The summit featured discussions about best practices in a range of areas, including business continuity during hurricane season, infrastructure upgrades, grant pursuits and sustainability. The group also toured PRPA facilities, including cargo operations at Crowley, TOTE and Trailer Bridge.

“Puerto Rico is our longest-running trade partnership, and we are proud of the relationships we have built with our partners serving the trade,” JAXPORT CEO Eric Green said. “Many of the goods our neighbors on the island use every day come from Jacksonville, and it is an honor and a privilege to serve their community in this role.”

The goal of the summit is to continue to advance the strategies outlined in the memorandum of understanding JAXPORT signed with the PRPA in 2021. Through the MOU, the ports are collaborating in key areas including business development and marketing, developing relationships with current and potential shipping companies and ocean carriers, and best practices in environmental protection, operations and security.

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