The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Maritime Administration (MARAD) has awarded a $23.5 million Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) grant to JAXPORT’s Exemplifying Potential to Reduce Emissions with Sustainable Solutions (EXPRESS) project. The JAXPORT EXPRESS project is a $47 million public-private partnership by JAXPORT and two of its port tenants, SSA Jacksonville and Crowley. This grant will support sustainability initiatives at the port’s Blount Island and Talleyrand marine terminals.
EXPRESS is one of the first large-scale investments in zero- and near-zero-emission cargo-handling equipment technologies in Florida. The initiative will achieve greenhouse gas reductions, expand energy-efficient terminal infrastructure, increase JAXPORT’s cargo throughput, and develop a plan to transition to lower emission port infrastructure and maritime operations.
“We are grateful for the support of the Federal government and port partners SSA and Crowley as we work together to do our part to make the supply chain cleaner and greener for our community,” said JAXPORT CEO Eric Green. “This investment marks a milestone in our initiatives to build the port of the future and move cargo in the most efficient and eco-friendly way possible.”
As part of the EXPRESS project, $31.2 million will be spent purchasing new eco-friendly cargo handling equipment for the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal (JCT) at Blount Island, including six hybrid-electric rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes, as well as nearly a dozen units of low- and zero-emission container top picks, forklifts, and related charging infrastructure. The initiative is supported by more than $370 million in ongoing investment by JAXPORT and SSA to modernize the SSA JCT, including a $20 million grant awarded by MARAD in 2019. SSA is also investing more than $40 million for the addition of three eco-friendly container cranes that will arrive at JAXPORT in February 2023.
“SSA is committed to actively enhancing our environmental performance as we continue to grow our business in Jacksonville,” said SSA Conventional President Lauren Offenbecher. “We thank MARAD, JAXPORT, and Crowley for partnering with us to protect the environment and make operations cleaner, more energy efficient, and sustainable for future generations.”
Additionally, $14.6 million will be spent at Crowley’s JAXPORT Talleyrand Terminal for the addition of nearly two dozen zero-emissions equipment for cargo handling, including specialty yard tractors and forklifts, as well as related charging stations for Crowley’s supply chain services. The grant also supports the addition of 160 refrigerated cargo charging stations (reefer plugs) to sustainably meet current and future growth needs at the port without using diesel as fuel. These emissions reduction efforts build upon Crowley’s investments increasing the efficiency and sustainability of the Puerto Rico trade by deploying Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) container ships, four forthcoming LNG-fueled ships for the U.S.-Central America trade, and a state-of-the-art LNG bunkering facility at the terminal.
“JAXPORT EXPRESS is a great example of the partnership we need to reach our sustainability commitments and be even more efficient in our supply chain operations and services,” said Brett Bennett, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Crowley Logistics. “As we continue our journey to reach net-zero emissions, moving to an electric fleet and more efficient terminal equipment will help us make a major impact in the Jacksonville community, where we already utilize lower emission fuels, and be leaders in our industry. We appreciate the support from the U.S. Department of Transportation, MARAD and JAXPORT and look forward to collaborating to reach our shared goal of a cleaner, decarbonized world.”
Through the project, JAXPORT will spend $1 million to support port-wide electrification through the development of a Port and Maritime Electrification Plan—a plan for transitioning JAXPORT, the local maritime industry, and other similar ports towards lower emissions technologies. The project includes initiatives to develop and implement workforce development programs to establish the labor pool necessary to maintain and operate the equipment and support future widespread deployment of eco-friendly technologies.
“This critical funding will help bolster growth and energy efficiency at the port, and will make JAXPORT a leader in port modernization efforts,” said Congressman John Rutherford. “Not only will this project reduce environmental impacts on the St. Johns River, it will also create jobs, improve efficiency, and grow the economy throughout Northeast Florida.”
“Today’s announcement is yet another example of how President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is delivering for Floridians,” Representative Al Lawson said. “As a supporter of this legislation, I am thrilled the U.S. Department of Transportation chose Jacksonville as one of the forty-one projects to receive funding through the Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program. The allocated funding will be used for the procurement and installation of vital and energy efficient equipment that will benefit the city of Jacksonville as a whole.”
“JAXPORT has been leading the way for years, working to make Florida a top destination for commerce on the East Coast,” said Congresswoman Kat Cammack. “This new grant will only enhance JAXPORT’s efforts and improve resiliency and energy efficiency at the port to better the important work taking place there every day. I look forward to seeing the continued progress of the JAXPORT EXPRESS Project.”
“JAXPORT is an economic engine for Northeast Florida and I’m pleased USDOT is funding this important project to improve resilience, efficiencies, and water quality in the St Johns River,” said Representative Michael Waltz. “The port currently supports 138,000 jobs and generates over $30 billion in annual economic impact and federal investment is key to JAXPORT’s continued growth.”
Additional supporters of this funding include U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott.
Located in the heart of the Southeast U.S., JAXPORT is Florida’s No. 1 container port by volume and one of the nation’s top vehicle-handling ports. Jacksonville offers two-way ship traffic with no berth or terminal congestion and same-day access to 98 million U.S. consumers.