JAXPORT highlights growth initiatives

JAXPORT highlights growth initiatives

Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) Chief Executive Officer, Eric Green, has outlined major growth initiatives currently underway in and around port terminals that are positioning Jacksonville for future cargo volume growth.

Hosted by the Propeller Club of the US – Port of Jacksonville, State of the Port provided updates on JAXPORT’s infrastructure projects, business opportunities, and supply chain trends impacting Northeast Florida’s maritime industry to a crowd of more than 500 transportation and logistics professionals.

In fiscal year 2023, JAXPORT moved more than 1.3 million containers, maintaining its position as Florida’s largest container port and one of the top 10 container ports in the nation. Cargo activity through Jacksonville’s seaport supports 138,000 jobs and $31 billion in annual economic output for the region and state.

Business developments so far in 2024:

  • JAXPORT’s first and only direct container service with the West Coast of South America will begin this spring. Operated by MSC, the new Ecuador-NWC and Scan Baltic-USA rotation merges MSC’s Scan Baltic to USA service, which already calls JAXPORT, with its Ecuador to NWC service.

  • The port finalised a long-term agreement with terminal operator Enstructure to expand its existing footprint at the Talleyrand Marine Terminal. Enstructure will assume the adjacent acreage that Southeast Toyota is vacating and construct new on-terminal covered storage to accommodate more breakbulk (non-containerised) cargo.

  • JAXPORT reached an agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line to provide passenger cruise service beginning in November 2025. The 2,394-guest capacity Norwegian Gem will homeport in Jacksonville from November to April every year through 2028, offering seasonal cruises to The Bahamas and Eastern Caribbean.

  • European fashion retailer Primark cut the ribbon on its new Jacksonville distribution center – only the second of the company’s facilities in the US and its first in the US Southeast Jacksonville’s capabilities as a port community were a major factor in bringing this new business to Jacksonville.

On-terminal infrastructure projects currently underway:

  • Containers: The $72 million SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal modernisation project is halfway complete. Upon completion in 2025, JAXPORT’s total container capacity will grow to more than 2 million TEU, nearly double its current throughput.

  • Vehicles: Southeast Toyota is making progress on the construction of a 250,000-square-foot auto processing facility at Blount Island. To further enhance auto capabilities, JAXPORT is expanding two vehicle berths at Blount Island, expanding one berth to accommodate two ships instead of one and widening a second to more efficiently accommodate larger vehicle ships.

  • Environmentally-friendly equipment: The port welcomed three eco-friendly cranes in 2023 and has begun the process of purchasing additional equipment through the $47 million JAXPORT EXPRESS sustainability initiative, including new hybrid-electric RTG cranes, electric forklifts and Tier 4 (low emission) diesel top picks.

On-terminal investments are driving growth outside JAXPORT’s gates with the addition of new industrial real estate.

According to real estate firm Cushman and Wakefield, new commercial leasing activity in Jacksonville totaled 3.7 million square feet in the third quarter of 2023, a historic high for the Jacksonville market.

During the event, CEO Green announced that baby products supplier Frida is the latest global brand to expand its distribution business in Jacksonville.

Frida, the brand behind the well-known SnotSucker nasal aspirator, recently opened a new 270,000-square-foot distribution centre in Westlake Industrial Park in West Jacksonville. The company ships nearly all of its US cargo through JAXPORT.

READ: JAXPORT terminal modernisation project hits midway milestone

“International brands are recognising Jacksonville’s advantages and opening distribution centres and warehouses near port terminals, ultimately creating jobs and economic impact for the region and state,” said JAXPORT Chief Commercial Officer, Robert Peek.

“Jacksonville’s position as America’s Logistics Center continues to evolve because of the many investments and partnerships working to increase cargo handling now and into the future.”

READ: ONE establishes new West India container service to JAXPORT

“JAXPORT and our partners have celebrated a series of significant developments already this year,” said CEO Green.

“From the addition of new trade lanes and public-private partnerships to a new cruise service, we are building on our diversification of business and preparing for growth across key cargo types and business lines.”

Just last month, JAXPORT Board of Directors unanimously approved a long term, 30-year agreement with US marine terminal and logistics company, Enstructure, for the lease and development of a 79-acre waterfront property at JAXPORT’s Talleyrand Marine Terminal.

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