By the numbers, the Post of Jacksonville really stacks up. It’s the largest container port in Florida, with its three ports handling 8.2 million tons of cargo – that’s a record-high 926,000 TEUs and 630,000 vehicles annually.
Consider these port facts and make the call. Is the port ready for the intensified traffic that results from the Panama Canal’s expansion?
- The Port generated just shy of $52 million in operating revenue in 2012 – its twelfth consecutive year of growth. Container ship calls also increased by 15 percent, up to 2,083 in 2012 from 1,765 in 2009, thanks in part to the port’s constant expansion.
- Three cargo terminals make up the port:
- Blount Island Marine Terminal – The largest terminal with 6,600+ linear feet of berth space handles 80 percent of all port cargo. Situated on 754 acres and nine nautical miles from the Atlantic Ocean, it handles container, Ro/Ro, break-bulk and general cargo. It operates one 112-ton whirly crane and eight container cranes. The terminal includes 240,000 square feet of transit shed space and a 90,000-square-foot container station.
- Talleyrand Marine Terminal – Sitting on 173 acres and 21 nautical miles from the Atlantic, the terminal has 4,780 linear feet of berth space and handles container, break bulk, liquid bulk, automobiles and some other general cargo. It operates two 50-LT (long traveling) capacity rubber-tired gantry cranes and four container cranes. Direct access to Talleyrand Terminal Railroad Inc. allows the on-dock rail system to directly switch to Norfolk Southern and CSX rail lines.
- Dames Point Marine Terminal – The newest terminal consists of two 1,200 linear feet berths on 585 acres 10 nautical miles from the Atlantic. It handles a small amount of container, bulk and cruise cargo using six container cranes and six rubber-tired gantry cranes, but focuses mostly on goods traveling to and from Tokyo-based ports.
- The depth of the St. Johns River deepened by 2 feet, taking it to 40 feet, along all four of the port’s terminals. Jaxport (also known as the Jacksonville Port Authority) is investigating the optimal river depth that will enable the port to accept larger, post-Panamax vessels but will not comprise budget. The most favorable depth? Deepening to 47 feet is expected to be sufficient through 2035.
- The port lies within Foreign Trade Zone No. 64, which was ranked third-best in the world in 2010, according to fDi Magazine. The zone was ranked according to its economic potential, number of facilities and space, cost effectiveness and efficiency, transportation incentives and overall foreign direct investment strategy.
- Over 60 million customers are located within a 24-hour drive of the port, and it’s serviced by 100+ trucking firms.
- The port supports nearly 65,000 jobs that are directly and indirectly related to port activity, with an annual economic impact of $19 billion.
The Port of Jacksonville is part of a series on the preparedness of U.S. ports for the Panama Canal expansion. Download an in-depth look at the port published by the NAIOP Research Foundation.
Kathryn Hamilton is Vice President for Marketing and Communications at NAIOP Corporate.