Thanks to investments like harbor dredging and other port development projects, the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) yesterday marked a new record with the arrival of the ZIM vessel Cape Sounio, the largest container ship to ever call Jacksonville.
“We are grateful to our 2M alliance partners – ZIM, Maersk, MSC, HMM and Hamburg Süd – for making this milestone possible,” said JAXPORT Chief Commercial Officer Kristen DeMarco. “Investments like harbor deepening and our international container terminal at Blount Island ensure that JAXPORT will continue to provide efficient logistics solutions for our customers while growing our region’s economy through the jobs and economic opportunity these bigger ships bring.”
The vessel, which transited the Panama Canal from Asia before reaching the U.S. East Coast, loaded and offloaded cargo at JAXPORT’s Blount Island Marine Terminal.
The ship’s arrival comes two weeks after JAXPORT and terminal operator SSA Atlantic reached a long-term agreement on a state-of-the-art, $238.7 million international container terminal at Blount Island. The terminal will have capacity for approximately 80 acres with the potential to grow up to 120 acres.
The Jacksonville Harbor Deepening project will offer 47 feet of deepwater access, allowing vessels like Cape Sounio to call JAXPORT more fully loaded.
The project is scheduled to be complete in 2023, based on continued funding from all partners, and includes the addition of a vessel turning basin.
JAXPORT is also investing $109 million in berth rehabilitation and upgrades which are already underway and will allow the terminal to simultaneously accommodate two post-Panamax vessels.