The Jacksonville Port Authority announced June 23 completion of the final phase of $100 million in infrastructure improvements at the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal at Blount Island.
The last stage of the project, the rehabilitation of 700 linear feet of deepwater berthing space, was completed at the end of June in coordination with the Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Project completed in May.
“This project significantly enhances our deepwater berthing capabilities at Blount Island, maximizing the efficiencies created by the deepening project,” JaxPort CEO Eric Green said in a news release.
The SSA JCT now features a 47-foot channel depth with 2,400 linear feet of rebuilt berthing space capable of simultaneously accommodating two post-Panamax container ships.
Post-Panamax ships are large vessels that can pass through the enlarged Panama Canal.
The berth rehabilitation project began in 2016 with installation of a high-voltage electrical system equipped to power up to 10 electric container cranes, including three already in use and an additional three currently on order by SSA Atlantic.
The berth improvements and eco-friendly cranes increase energy efficiencies, reduce emissions from diesel-powered cranes and enhance night operations through the addition of high-powered LED lighting.
The berths also offer on-dock rail for cargo handling and feature heavy lift capabilities, including one of the nation’s highest weight-bearing capacity docks.
The project was funded 75% by the Florida Department of Transportation with a 25% JaxPort contribution.
In addition to the reconstructed berths and new cranes, more than $72 million in phased yard improvements are underway to enable the SSA JCT to accommodate 500,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) annually. The yard improvements are funded by SSA Atlantic and a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration.
JaxPort is Florida’s largest container port and one of the nation’s top vehicle-handling ports. Jacksonville’s 47-foot deepwater shipping channel offers two-way river traffic and no berth congestion. Nearly 100 million consumers live within a one-day truck drive with major interstate highways near the port’s terminals.