Jaxport outlines big plans as canal deepening nears completion
CEO Eric Green said Jaxport is paving the way for a future serving more — and bigger — ships with its biggest growth initiative, the Jacksonville, Fla. Ship Canal Deepening, on track for completion. in May.
“The solution to the nation’s port congestion problem is right here in this room,” Green said during his State of the Port address on Tuesday. “As the industry looks to tackle everything from truck capacity issues to labor and equipment issues, protecting the supply chain is a global priority. That’s where Jacksonville’s modern deep-water seaport comes in.
The deepening project includes the construction of a basin to allow larger container ships to turn at berths at the Blount Island Marine Terminal. In coordination with the deepening of the channel to 47 feet, more than $100 million in berth improvements will be completed this summer to enable the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal at Blount Island to simultaneously accommodate two post- Panamax. By the end of the year, SSA Atlantic will receive three eco-friendly container cranes and complete the first 20 acres of a modernization project to allow the facility to accommodate more containers, according to Jaxport.
In addition, Ceres Terminals has committed $15 million of private investment in cargo handling equipment and systems at Dames Point Marine Terminal. Jaxport said to bolster its position as one of the nation’s leading vehicle handling ports, it is also expanding a berth at Blount Island to berth two vessels from a single berth.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stopped by Jaxport last week to announce that Singapore-based shipping carrier Sea Land has chosen Jacksonville as the port of call for its first-ever US East Coast service. United.
The Asia East Coast (AEC) service will call the SSA Jacksonville container terminal every two weeks, beginning with the arrival of the Hakuna Matata, with a capacity of 6,661 twenty-foot equivalent units, on May 7. Port rotation is Nansha, Ningbo and Qingdao, China; Busan, South Korea; Norfolk, Virginia; Newark, New Jersey; Charleston, South Carolina; and Jaxport.
“We are delighted to introduce this new service and new destinations for our customers. Port congestion has been a challenge for everyone recently and the AEC will allow us to serve more efficient ports for our customers,” said Cho Kit Wei, Sea Land’s general manager, in a company announcement. “We are confident that the market and our partners will respond well to the service and we look forward to developing strong partnerships on this business path.”
Sea Land currently serves only one US port, Long Beach, Calif., via transpacific service launched last June.
Jaxport was part of another first in late February, when Eagle LNG refueled 7,500-car carrier Siem Aristotle from Talleyrand LNG’s Jacksonville bunker station. This was the first time Siem had refueled the vessel from a landside bunker facility and the first vessel Eagle LNG had refueled of this size at JAXPORT.
Siem Aristotle is the first deep-sea car and truck transporter equipped with dual-fuel engines and designed to run on liquefied natural gas and marine diesel. This is a dedicated Volkswagen Group service transporting vehicles from Emden, Germany to the East and Gulf Coasts of the United States and Mexico.
“This milestone is another evolution in Jacksonville’s LNG capacity growth,” Green said. “Our Jaxport partners have invested more than $1 billion in LNG advancements across the region, which positions Jacksonville well to meet the growing clean fuel needs of our customers around the world.”
Jaxport said it moved a record 1.4 million containers in fiscal 2021, which ended September 30. It also handled over 616,000 vehicles.
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