Business, Freight News, Sea

Federal government awards JAXPORT $20 million for terminal improvements

[ November 8, 2019   //   ]
The federal government has awarded the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) a $20 million grant for the reconstruction of more than 100 acres of existing terminal pavement at the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal at JAXPORT’s Blount Island Marine Terminal. The funding is part of a $238 million plan to expand and upgrade the facility, with more than 65 percent of funds coming from private partner SSA Marine.
The enhancements will increase efficiency and allow the terminal to accommodate more containers on an expanded footprint.
Once completed, the facility will be able to handle approximately 425,000 additional twenty foot equivalent units (or TEUs, the industry standard for measuring containers) annually. Other improvements to the terminal include storm drainage, enhanced lighting, signage, utilities and more.
Funds were awarded through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grant program, a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) initiative to invest in port and other transportation projects to achieve national objectives.
“The continued demonstration of support from our state and federal partners shows that the future of JAXPORT is strong,” said Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. “As we continue to expand the capabilities of our port, jobs and economic growth will follow.”
“The award of this highly competitive grant speaks volumes about the significance of this project to the economy of our region and country,” said JAXPORT CEO Eric Green. “We are grateful to Secretary Elaine Chao and our state and federal elected officials who continue to advocate for our growth—further positioning Northeast Florida to take full advantage of the economic opportunities our thriving seaport creates.”
Supporters of JAXPORT’s grant application include Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Rick Scott, Congressman John Rutherford, Congressman Ted Yoho, Congressman Al Lawson, Congressman Michael Waltz and Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.
The Jacksonville International Gateway Terminal is a public-private partnership between JAXPORT and SSA Marine.
SSA Marine is contributing up to $129.7 million for the use of the terminal and facility upgrades, including the addition of three 100-gauge container cranes. In addition, $109 million in berth rehabilitation and upgrades are currently underway that will allow the terminal to simultaneously accommodate two post-Panamax vessels.
The federal project to deepen the Jacksonville shipping channel to 47 ft. is scheduled to be complete in 2023, based on continued funding from all partners, and will allow the facility to accommodate more cargo aboard the larger ships calling on JAXPORT from Asia.
A recent economic impact study found that cargo activity at Jacksonville’s seaport generates more than 26,000 jobs in Northeast Florida and supports nearly $31.1 billion in annual economic output for the region and state.