St. Johns County Business Spotlight: American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier

St. Johns County Business Spotlight: American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier

American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group, Inc. (ARC) provides global logistics and shipping services to the U.S. Government. ARC and its affiliates own and manage the largest U.S.-flag roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) fleet of vessels. This includes providing American-owned, managed and crewed Ro-Ro shipping and intermodal services committed to the requirements of the Department of Defense, other U.S. Government departments and agencies, and commercial customers. The company carries wheeled cargo, such as cars, trucks, trailers and aircraft, as well as other types of cargo, including household goods and breakbulk project cargo.

Chris Heibel

ARC relocated its corporate headquarters from New Jersey to St. Johns County in 2021 under the direction of Chris Heibel, senior vice president commercial. ARC’s corporate office is now located in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Chris shares his thoughts on working here in St. Johns County.

Q: What inspired you to select St. Johns County as the home of your business?

A: Selecting St. Johns County as the home for our business was a strategic decision driven by several compelling factors.

First and foremost, the proximity to the ports in the region played a pivotal role in our decision-making process. St. Johns County’s location provides easy access to crucial ports, both in Florida and Georgia, facilitating our operations.

The tax structure of Florida further solidified our choice. Florida’s business-friendly tax environment, with no state income tax, creates a conducive atmosphere for growth and financial stability.

Our familiarity with the Jacksonville area was a significant factor in the decision-making process. Having this previous knowledge was key in establishing strong partnerships and seamlessly integrating into the regional economy.

St. Johns County’s status as a logistics hub was another compelling factor. With prominent industry partners like Tote, Landstar and Sudduth in the vicinity, we recognized the potential for collaboration and mutually beneficial partnerships. This concentration of local logistics expertise enhances the overall business ecosystem, providing a robust foundation for our business growth.

The county’s excellent infrastructure further influenced our decision. From well-maintained roads and transportation networks to state-of-the-art facilities, St. Johns County offers the essential infrastructure necessary for the smooth functioning of our operations.

Moreover, we were drawn to the fact that St. Johns County is a very pro-military community. This aligns with our values of supporting and engaging with the military, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose.

Q: What is the best part about having a business here in St. Johns County?

A: The best part about having a business here in St. Johns County can be summed up in three words: location, location, location. This geographic advantage has offered a multitude of benefits that significantly contribute to our thriving business environment.

One of the standout advantages is the absence of state income tax in Florida. This favorable tax climate not only maximizes our profitability but also provides a competitive edge in hiring.

The presence of a good airport in the vicinity is another key asset. A well-connected and efficient airport makes travel for our team and clients convenient and time-effective. Plus, we get a lot more visitors now that we are in Florida.

Proximity to partners and ports is a game-changer for us. St. Johns County’s strategic location places us near key partners and ports.

Beyond the business landscape, the sense of community in St. Johns County is truly exceptional. The supportive and vibrant community enhances ARC’s workplace culture, making it a better environment for our employees.

Q: What is your biggest business success to date?

A: ARC’s biggest business success to date is rooted in the strong foundation we’ve built through our integration into St Johns County and the meaningful relationships we’ve developed, including via the Chamber of Commerce. From the outset, we recognized the importance of not just being a business operating in the community but becoming a productive part of it.

One significant measure of our success is our employee growth since our arrival. We’ve expanded our workforce by about 15%, contributing to the local economy, and hope to grow it further.

An often-overlooked success lies in the high morale at ARC. Our employees are not just part of a workforce; they are members of a close-knit team. Creating a positive and supportive work environment has been a priority for us, one that has been helped by our new location, and the resulting high morale has a direct impact on our success.

Q: What is your vision for the future of your business?

A: Our vision for the future of ARC is very optimistic, driven by a commitment to sustained growth, acquiring new business opportunities, and deepening our engagement within the community.

We envision a trajectory of continued growth, both in terms of existing markets and future opportunities. This growth encompasses expanding our business via new contracts and exploring untapped markets.

To realize our vision, ARC is dedicated to actively seeking and securing new business opportunities. By staying agile and adaptive, we aim to position ARC business as the preferred choice for partners in the government logistics space.

ARC also recognizes the importance of being a socially responsible corporate entity, and we aspire to deepen our roots within the community. This includes actively participating in local initiatives, supporting charitable causes, and contributing to the overall well-being of the communities in which we operate.

Q: Outside of work, what activities do you enjoy here in St. Johns County?

A: I cannot imagine I am a whole lot different than most residents of St. Johns: golf, fishing, the beach, nature.

Q: Do you have any parting thoughts you’d like to share?

A: As I reflect on our decision to relocate to Florida, I am filled with gratitude and a sense of accomplishment. The move has proven to be a great decision, marked by several positive outcomes that have profoundly shaped ARC’s culture and operational dynamics.

One remarkable aspect of ARC’s relocation is the dedication and commitment demonstrated by our workforce. A staggering 80% of our team made the move from New Jersey to Florida, showcasing their loyalty and belief in our shared vision.

Equally noteworthy is the fact that the vast preponderance of those who made the move are not just content, but genuinely happy with the decision. The vibrant Florida lifestyle, coupled with the thriving local community, has contributed to a more fulfilling and satisfying professional and personal experience.

For more information about ARC, visit For more information about the St. Johns County Department of Economic Development, visit