JAXPORT has signed a new lease agreement with its current tenant Seattle-based SSA Marine to be the operator of the port’s new Blount Island international container terminal with a $298 million, 25-year facilities lease agreement.
As part of the deal, SSA will invest $129.7 million in terminal improvement, contribute $28 million to JAXPORT’s $484 million deepening project and add three cranes to the terminal. In total, the contract will generate $372 million – $16 million this year.
“The most important investment that I think you’ll hear multiple times today is the private investment in terminal improvement and harbor deepening,” said JAXPORT CEO Eric Green. “This is history in the making.”
SSA operates more than 250 locations across five continents, including 50 acres at Blount Island. The agreement expands its terminal to 80 acres, with options to expand to 120 acres as space becomes available.
“We wouldn’t be in this port if we didn’t believe Jacksonville was on the way forward,” said SSA Marine President Mark Knudsen. “We have a lot of confidence that Jacksonville is going to be a big up and coming terminal.”
JAXPORT’s trade lane has averaged 14 percent annual growth over the last five years, and it is up 17 percent so far in the 2019 fiscal year, largely contributed to the success of the port’s Asian container trade. The port’s deepening project, which will add seven feet to the shipping channel, is on track to be finished in 2023.
More information can be found at JAXPORT’s website.