Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) achieved 20 percent growth in Asian container shipments during the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2014, over fiscal year 2013, moving 272,524 twenty foot equivalent units (containers) compared to 226,938 last year.
The Asian container trade is the fastest growing segment of JAXPORT’s container cargo business, accounting for nearly 30 percent in 2014, up from 24 percent the previous fiscal year, according to the Port Authority’s data.
The port has recorded an average of 28.5 percent annual growth in Asian container volumes during the past five years.
“Increased Asian business is an important factor in JAXPORT’s rise in national rankings. PIERS, the data division of the Journal of Commerce, ranked Jacksonville the fourth fastest growing U.S. port for containerized imports in 2013,” the authority said in a release.
Jacksonville’s total imports grew at 10.5 percent, behind only Tacoma, Port Everglades and Long Beach. Jacksonville is also ranked as the ninth largest container export port in the U.S. and the largest container port complex by overall volume in Florida.
JAXPORT offers direct trade with Asian ports through both the Panama and Suez Canals and currently 12 of the 18 global ocean carriers servicing the Asia-U.S. trade lane offer service at JAXPORT.
The Port Authority said that the two major harbor improvement projects currently underway, including the authorized project to deepen the Jacksonville shipping channel to 47 feet, will offer the largest container ships calling on the U.S. East Coast unobstructed access to the port’s terminals.
Other investments include construction of an on-dock rail facility, berth and rail upgrades and the purchase of several 100-gauge container cranes.