The Jacksonville Port Authority on Tuesday celebrated the largest vessel ever to call the Florida port. 

The container ship, One Stork, has a carrying capacity of 14,000 twenty-foot equivalent units. Previously the largest ship to call Jaxport had a capacity of 11,923 TEUs.

One Stork is the first of nine larger vessels that will call Jaxport through the EC5 container service operated by The Alliance. The container ship is operated by Ocean Network Express (ONE) within The Alliance, a partnership that also includes shipping lines Hapag-Lloyd, HMM and Yang Ming.

One Stork berths at SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal at Blount Island on Tuesday. (Photo: Jaxport)

Effective this month, The Alliance has upsized the vessels used in the EC5 service, replacing smaller container ships with six 14,000-TEU vessels and three 13,000-TEU vessels. According to Jaxport, the upgraded vessel sizes average a 60% increase in container carrying capacity over the previous ships in the EC5 service.  

The EC5 service now calls the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal at Blount Island to utilize the deepened 47-foot harbor, which provides the water draft needed to accommodate the larger vessels.

Jaxport hosted a ribbon-cutting in May 2022 to mark the completion of the deepening of the federal shipping channel from 40 feet deep to 47 feet. The deepening project, which was completed three years ahead of schedule, cost $420 million and was funded by the federal government, state of Florida, city of Jacksonville, Jaxport and SSA Atlantic. 

“SSA’s efficiencies continue to grow as we are making significant progress on the modernization of the SSA JCT on Blount Island,” Lauren Offenbecher, president of SSA Conventional, said in a news release Tuesday. “We will welcome three new 100-gauge container cranes later this summer. We look forward to welcoming more services to this growing gateway as we continue to invest.”

The EC5 service calls Laem Chabang, Thailand; Cai Mep, Vietnam; Singapore; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Halifax, Canada; New York; Savannah, Georgia; Jacksonville; and Norfolk, Virginia.

Jaxport officials said commodities on the service may include imports of furniture, electronics, appliances and medical equipment. The service also accommodates exports of such goods as forest products, resin and clay. 

“It’s a proud moment to see the investments Florida makes hard at work. Setting this record and accommodating the largest container ship that Jacksonville has ever had is directly linked to the continued investments in our seaports,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a statement released by Jaxport. “Pursuing major projects like the Jaxport Harbor Deepening Project have helped secure Florida as a leader in transportation and supply chain capabilities. These investments are paying huge dividends for Floridians and all the people our seaports serve, which extends far beyond state lines.”

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The post Jaxport welcomes largest container ship to call appeared first on FreightWaves.

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