The Jacksonville Port Authority (JaxPort) and SSA Marine have started the construction of a new SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal.

The project has received an investment of approximately $238.7m. It forms part of the expansion of SSA’s existing leasehold at Blount Island Marine Terminal.

It is a public-private partnership (PPP) between JaxPort and SSA Marine. SSA is funding over 65% of the landside improvements.

The development of the new terminal and operations will continue concurrently. The container terminal development project is scheduled to be completed by 2023.

SSA Marine project engineering and implementation vice-president Ari Steinberg said: “There is no doubt about it, Jacksonville’s port is on the rise.

“This public-private partnership enables SSA to provide a world-class facility for our customers while investing in Northeast Florida, a community in which we have proudly served for more than four decades.”

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The US Department of Transportation has granted $20m for financial support, which will be used for terminal improvements such as larger container docking.

The US Department of Transportation Maritime Administrator Rear Admiral Mark Buzby said: “An investment in the Port of Jacksonville delivers benefits for the local economy and for American workers.

“This grant will also indirectly help support the jobs of the American civilian mariners, who crew military sealift vessels that help us carry the fight wherever we must go.”

The port authority is also executing the Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Project.

The project includes dredging an 11-mile stretch of the St Johns River and deepening of the Jacksonville shipping channel to 47ft. It will enable the terminal to accommodate large container ships.

The harbour deepening project involves building a vessel-turning basin so that larger ships visiting the terminal can turn at Blount Island.

Apart from attracting new businesses to the port, the new terminal is expected to generate approximately 3,500 jobs in the region.