The company claims its product volume to Puerto Rico is expected to grow by at least 400% over the next six months, making it the fourth highest volume export for Nestlé.
Nestlé Nesquick flavoured milk
The move relates to all Nestlé USA products exported to Puerto Rico including Lean Cuisine, Nestle Coffee-Mate coffee creamer, Nestle Carnation Milks, Nestle Nesquick flavoured milk and Nestle Crunch candy bars.
Edie Burge, corporate communications, Nestlé USA, told FoodProductionDaily, the company recently made a decision to change its business model in Puerto Rico by closing its distribution center there, and ship directly to customers or via distributors.
“As a result, our customers in Puerto Rico asked that they pick up out of our Atlanta, GA distribution center (which ships out of Savannah or Jacksonville ports) instead of our Allentown, PA distribution center (which ships out of Philadelphia or New York/New Jersey),” he said.
“To accommodate their requests, we shifted our Puerto Rico volume to Jacksonville and Savannah ports.”
Burge added Nestlé USA is not shifting all of its shipments from the Port of New York and New Jersey to JAXPORT in Jacksonville, Florida.
Shipping close to 500 loads annually
“Going forward, we anticipate shipping close to 500 loads annually out of Jacksonville, which represents approximately 71% of our business to Puerto Rico,” he said.
“We expect some volume to remain in New York/New Jersey, as well as Savannah.
“We value our relationships with the Ports of New York and New Jersey, as well as those of Savannah and Jacksonville.”
Paul Bakus, president, corporate affairs, Nestlé said it was excited about the opportunity to move shipments to JAXPORT because ‘Florida offers a great climate for our business to compete globally and JAXPORT is ideally situated to effectively move our products to our expanding markets’.
Governor of Florida expects additional jobs
Florida has 15 seaports and Nestlé currently employs over 2,000 people in the state.
Rick Scott, Governor of Florida, implied there could be more jobs added to the already 2,000 workforce which Nestle USA has in Florida as a result of the business shift.
However, according to joc.com while Nestlé claims it will continue to use its other ports, Lenis Rodrigues, of the port authority said the service between New York-New Jersey and San Juan, Puerto Rico ended three years ago with the departure of Jones Act carrier Horizon Lines.
“From the port authority’s understanding, none of these remaining exports will be shipped out of New York or New Jersey ports. What we understand is it’s coming from Pennsauken, New Jersey," said Rodrigues.