JAXPORT and the TraPac Container Terminal at Dames Point Saturday welcomed the 10,100-TEU (container) MOL Bravo, the largest containership to ever visit a Florida port. The MOL Bravo transited the Suez Canal from Asia before reaching the U.S. East Coast.
Although the ship is moving a significant amount of cargo during its Jacksonville stop, it won’t be able to operate at full capacity due to the 40-foot depth of the St. Johns River shipping channel. The federal project to deepen the channel to 47 feet to accommodate more cargo aboard the largest ships is set to begin construction by early 2018.
"When our harbor is deepened to 47 feet, a ship like the MOL Bravo will move twice as much cargo in and out of JAXPORT," said Dennis Kelly, Regional Vice President and General Manager, TraPac Jacksonville.
"We are currently at a depth challenge. When we get the river to 47 feet, we will start seeing significantly more cargo," said Vincent Cameron, President, International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) Local 1408. "Containers represent jobs and the more containers we bring in the more jobs we create."
JAXPORT offers direct trade with Asian ports through both the Panama and Suez Canals. The world’s three largest ocean carrier alliances offer service through JAXPORT. These alliances now dominate Asian trade with the U.S.
The port has recorded an average of 21 percent annual growth in Asian container volumes during the past five years.