Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

YOU SHOULD KNOW ROY SCHLEICHER; His Catalog of Contacts Helps the Port's Future Growth Job Creation, Economy Boost Will Take Time, Schleicher Says

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

YOU SHOULD KNOW ROY SCHLEICHER; His Catalog of Contacts Helps the Port's Future Growth Job Creation, Economy Boost Will Take Time, Schleicher Says

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID HUNT

The terminal didn't happen overnight, nor will its impact be quickly felt.

For Roy Schleicher, Jacksonville Port Authority's senior trade development and marketing director, the moments - no matter how many - remain sweet.

When he took the job in August 2001, he envisioned stacks of containers at Dames Point, in the area expected to open as the TraPac terminal within the next year.

The terminal effectively links Jacksonville to Asia via Japanese shipping giant Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. At capacity, the terminal is expected to double container traffic in Jacksonville. It's also expected to be a major contributor to a port economic impact projection - 75,000 to 100,000 jobs turning over $6 billion annually within the next decade.

Schleicher used the decades of shipping industry knowledge he gained while working the bulk of his career in Baltimore - along with the accompanying Rolodex - to make his vision reality.

THE CONSTRUCTION IS VISIBLE, BUT WHEN, REALISTICALLY, WILL WE SEE THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF TRAPAC?

I think you'll start seeing a small amount when the ships come in. It will grow. We have shipping companies and trucking companies calling us on a daily basis. Tugboat pilots will make more money. Stevedores will make more money, but the impact has already started through construction and all the trades. The maritime impact will happen as soon as ships start calling. It will be a steady build-up.

WHEN CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE JOB GROWTH FROM THE PORT'S EXPANSION?

Nobody's going to hire 100 people for their firm if they just start up. It won't be like flipping a light switch, but it will happen. I think the number of jobs batted around is fairly accurate. But don't forget there's always a guy who says, 'Now that there are more trucks, I need to open a gas station. Now that there are more people, we need more housing and construction. …

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