After a 20-year hiatus, the Port of Port St. Joe has signaled it’s open to the international shipping world with the recent arrival of the foreign flag ship M/V UBC Saiki in St. Joe Bay.
The port reopening has for many years been the mission of husband-and-wife team Clay and Ashley Crosby, owners of Twin Rivers Company. The longtime successful land and timber company expanded their business service line 15 months ago to include exporting wood chips. With permits in hand, the company began shipping the wood biomass to Puerto Cortes, Honduras in mid-May.
This dynamic economic development opportunity comes on the heels of Panama City-based Eastern Shipbuilding’s expanded footprint into the Port of Port St. Joe, where finishing work is being completed on new Staten Island Ferries.
“It’s a great day in the history of the Port of Port St. Joe, with the finishing work on the Staten Island Ferries being done by Eastern Shipbuilding, and the return of international shipping with the Twin Rivers Company,” said Guerry Magidson, Port Authority Chairman for the Port of Port St. Joe.
Located in Gulf County, the Port of Port St. Joe offers a deepwater seaport with nearly 1,900 linear feet of frontage. It is well-suited for bulk and cargo shipments, offering access to rail, the U.S. Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, as well as state and U.S. highways.
The reestablishment of a working shipyard in Gulf County, as well as the reestablishment of international exports, is a victory for the Gulf County Economic Development Coalition (GCEDC). Simply put, both efforts have created jobs and helped diversify the local economy.
“Kudos go out to Twin Rivers for their effort in navigating the myriad of permitting and international trade issues necessary to establish the terminal and shipping operation,” said Jim McKnight, director of the GCEDC.
Portions of this article were reprinted with permission by The Star.