The U.S. port of Jacksonville (JAXPORT) has finalized a USD 37.6 million contract to purchase three new 100-gauge cranes for its Blount Island Marine Terminal, with the Florida Department of Transportation granting the port USD 15 million for the purchase.
China’s Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries, Co. Ltd. (ZPMC) has been contracted for the manufacturing, delivery and set-up of the cranes, with Shaw GVB, a subsidiary of Chicago Bridge and Infrastructure, providing engineering services before and during construction.
The new cranes will have a reach of 22 containers across a ship’s deck, up from the 16 container reach of Blount Island’s current 50-gauge cranes. The new cranes will be electric instead of diesel, reducing air emissions. Berth 35 at Blount Island is being upgraded to handle the new cranes.
The final design for the berth enhancements will be completed this fall, with a 16-month construction period expected to start in January 2015. JAXPORT’s long-term strategic plan calls for the purchase of a total of ten 100-gauge cranes for Blount Island in the next 10 years.
The new cranes will help the port handle the increase in volumes expected by the new shipping alliance in the South American trade between Hapag-Lloyd, CSAV Group, Hamburg Süd, Aliança, Yang Ming and NYK bringing more big ships to JAXPORT.
The alliance is said to offer additional capacity for the port to attract cargo moving between the U.S. East Coast and ports in Brazil and Argentina.
The ocean carriers will be phasing in larger capacity vessels for use in the weekly service. As part of the new service, Hamburg Süd’s 5,500 TEU (twenty-foot containers) Monte Rosa called on JAXPORT’s Talleyrand Marine Terminal for the first time last week.
Top commodities shipped between Jacksonville and South America include plastics, automobile parts, wood pulp, food products and industrial materials.