JAXPORT Chief Executive Officer Eric Green and other port executives recently welcomed Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault for an update on port growth and a waterside tour of ongoing port projects. The visit included a look at how the projects—from berth enhancements to Mile Point and harbor deepening—work together to make Jacksonville’s seaport more competitive, bringing jobs and revenue to Northeast Florida.
The tour began with a stop at Berths 33 and 34, currently under construction at the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal at Blount Island. The berths are undergoing $109 million in upgrades to simultaneously accommodate two post-Panamax vessels and six electric 100-gauge container cranes.
The group also visited Mile Point, where larger ships can now travel the Jacksonville shipping channel more efficiently, before seeing the site of the Harbor Deepening project, currently under construction. The project will deepen the federal shipping channel to 47 ft., offering the largest container ships calling the U.S. East Coast unobstructed access to the port’s terminals. Harbor deepening is two years ahead of schedule, due in large part to support from the state, as well as strong partnerships at the federal and local levels.
“Today I saw firsthand state dollars hard at work at JAXPORT, one of Northeast Florida’s leading job creators,” Secretary Thibault said. “FDOT is proud to be a strong supporter of these projects—which are vital to JAXPORT’s ability to continue to grow and create jobs and economic opportunity for the people of our state.”
A new economic impact study finds that cargo moving through Jacksonville’s seaport generates more than 138,500 jobs across the state of Florida and $31.1 billion in annual economic output for the region and state.
JAXPORT is Florida’s largest container port by volume and the nation’s No. 2 vehicle-handling port. Jacksonville offers shippers fast access to 70 million U.S. consumers and a shipping channel wide enough for two ships to pass at the same time.