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Jacksonville harbour deepening project complete

The Jacksonville Port Authority (Jaxport) has completed its harbour deepening project through its Blount Island Marine Terminal. The project deepened 11 miles of the federal shipping channel – from the sea buoy to Blount Island – to a depth of 47 feet from its previous depth of 40 feet. (Deepening of another two miles has been authorized and is under review.)

The initial feasibility study for the project began in 2005, and construction by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District started in February 2018.

The 47-foot harbour provides the channel depth needed for larger ships to call Blount Island to and from destinations worldwide and allows existing ships calling Jacksonville to carry more cargo on board. In addition, the project includes a new turning basin allowing larger vessels to turn around at Blount Island berths.

Deepening through Blount Island was completed three years ahead of the original project schedule. The total funding to date is $420m funded through a public-private partnership between the federal government, the State of Florida, City of Jacksonville, Jaxport and SSA Atlantic, operator of the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal (JCT).

In coordination with the deepening, Jaxport completed more than $100m in berth enhancements this month to enable JCT at Blount Island to simultaneously accommodate two post-Panamax container ships. In early 2023, SSA Atlantic will welcome three new eco-friendly 100-gauge container cranes, bringing the JCT’s total to six.

In addition to the deepening, berth improvements and new cranes, more than $70m in terminal enhancements – funded by SSA and a grant from the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) – are also underway to expand container capacity at the SSA JCT. By spring of 2023, SSA will complete the first three of seven construction phases, producing approximately 31 acres of newly paved and improved operating area. The total project of approximately 93 acres will be complete by the end of 2024, allowing the SSA JCT to accommodate 500,000 TEUs annually.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
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