From investment in infrastructure to the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a cleaner, greener fuel source for the maritime industry, Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) is busy building the port of the future.
CEO Eric Green recently described the state of the port as one of forward motion during this time of incredible opportunity for Northeast Florida. The federal project to deepen Jacksonville’s shipping channel is well underway; volumes, capacity and service options are increasing, and the port’s reputation for efficiency is becoming well known worldwide.
Thanks to the dedication of JAXPORT’s employees, partners and associated businesses, plus the steadfast support of local, state and federal elected officials, JAXPORT is ready to meet the demands of this rapidly changing business.
The single biggest opportunity to grow the port comes with Jacksonville’s Harbor Deepening Project. Contractors with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are currently working on the first three-mile segment of the project and the official process to procure a dredger for the second construction contract is underway. The work will take the shipping channel to 47 feet, allowing the largest containerships serving the U.S. East Coast to call JAXPORT more fully loaded.
The project, which has received significant federal and state funding, comes on the heels of more than five years of double-digit annual growth in Asian container volumes at JAXPORT. Asian trade continues impressive growth, up 19 percent last year and continuing pace this year.
JAXPORT is also setting records in auto volumes. Last year, JAXPORT moved more than 693,000 vehicle units, the most in port history, securing JAXPORT’s place as one of the top vehicle-handling ports in the U.S.
This demand is driving the expansion of JAXPORT’s auto capacity. A multi-year project now in progress will add more than 100 acres of vehicle processing and storage space at the port’s Dames Point Marine Terminal. The new facility will offer direct waterside access for loading and unloading vehicles, with major interstates within close proximity and the potential for rail access in the future.
JAXPORT engineers are also busy completing major berth rehabilitation projects at both Blount Island and Talleyrand marine terminals. The rebuild and enhancement of the port’s facilities have included the electrification of major berths and the addition of 100-gauge electric cranes to the port’s already impressive lineup of equipment.
The nearly three-year-old JAXPORT Intermodal Container Transfer Facility is meeting volume projections and offering shippers yet another way to add efficiency to their supply chains. JAXPORT’s Foreign Trade Zone No. 64 continues to save customers time and money and continues to grow in value, with a ninth North Florida county recently making application to join the FTZ.
While all this is happening, the port’s tenants are also demonstrating their commitment to Jacksonville and JAXPORT. For example, Puerto Rican carriers TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, Crowley Maritime and their partners have made multimillion-dollar investments in innovative LNG-powered vessels as well as the development of groundbreaking landside bunkering, waterside fueling and liquefaction plants. Northeast Florida is attracting global attention as JAXPORT and its partners remain in the lead of this clean fuel revolution.
The global transportation and cargo industry is clearly taking notice of the forward motion at JAXPORT. Ocean carriers continue to add service from JAXPORT, energy professionals from all over the world are travelling to Jacksonville to learn more about LNG and more household names are choosing Northeast Florida for manufacturing and distribution facilities.
And if all this wasn’t enough, JAXPORT recently signed a historic long-term agreement with Carnival Cruise Line to extend cruise service from Jacksonville through at least May 2021 and potentially through 2027.
Get connected and find out more about the exciting developments at JAXPORT by visiting our website, JAXPORT.com.