Jacksonville’s Deepened Harbor Sets New Record for ‘Largest Ship’

The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) has announced a new record with the arrival of the A storkthe largest container ship to ever call at Jacksonville.

The vessel is operated by Ocean Network Express (ONE) within THE Alliance network and has a deadweight tonnage of 14,000 TEU. This represents a significant increase in capacity compared to the previous record ship, which had a capacity of 11,923 TEU.

The A stork is the first of nine major vessels calling at JAXPORT weekly via THE Alliance’s EC5 container service.

Effective May 2023, THE Alliance has increased the vessels deployed in service, replacing smaller vessels with six larger 14,000 TEU vessels and three larger 13,000 TEU vessels. The modernized ship sizes result in an average increase in container carrying capacity of 60% compared to previous ships.

As part of the expansion, EC5 service will now call at SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal (JCT) on Blount Island, utilizing the terminal’s newly deepened 47-foot port, which provides the necessary draft to accommodate larger vessels.

Photo courtesy of JAXPORT

The port continues to implement infrastructure improvements to support JAXPORT’s mission of creating jobs and economic opportunity for Northeast Florida.

JAXPORT marked the completion of the Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Project in May 2022. The project involved deepening 11 miles of the Federal Shipping Canal to Blount Island to a depth of 47 feet, from the previous depth of 40 feet, to allow larger ships to call at Blount Island and existing ships calling at Jacksonville to carry more cargo on board . The project also included a new turning basin that will allow larger vessels to turn at Blount Island’s berths.

“The pursuit of major projects like the JAXPORT Harbor Deepening Project has helped secure Florida as a leader in transportation and supply chain,” commented Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. “These investments have tremendous repercussions for Florida residents and all the people our seaports serve, and the returns extend well beyond state lines.”

Photo courtesy of JAXPORT

JAXPORT CEO Eric Green said the arrival of ONE Stork is another milestone for the port and community of Jacksonville.

“The port deepening and other investments that have been made at our port are allowing these larger ships to call at Jacksonville, creating jobs and economic impact across our region and state,” Green said. “We are grateful for the partnership we have with our THE Alliance partners and look forward to their continued growth and success in Jacksonville.”

Later this summer, the SSA JCT will welcome three new 100 gauge container cranes as part of a modernization of the Blount Island terminal.

“We look forward to welcoming more services to this growing gateway as we continue to invest,” said Lauren Offenbecher, President of SSA Conventional.

“Setting the record for the largest ship to call at Jacksonville is truly a success story because of the investment in our seaports and the need for a robust supply chain network,” added Jared W. Perdue, PE, Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

The EC5 port rotation includes Laem Chabang (Thailand), Cai Mep (Vietnam), Singapore, Colombo (Sri Lanka), Suez Canal, Halifax (Canada), New York, Savannah, Jacksonville, Norfolk and Halifax.

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