The first vessel in global ocean carrier Sea Lead Shipping Pte Ltd’s new Asia East Coast (AEC) container service made its inaugural call to the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) today. Representatives from JAXPORT and terminal operator SSA Atlantic presented a commemorative plaque to the crew of the 6,661 TEU container ship Hakuna Matata to recognize the ship’s maiden voyage to Jacksonville.
The AEC service calls the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal (JCT) at JAXPORT’s Blount Island Marine Terminal every two weeks. SSA Atlantic provides stevedoring services at Blount Island.
The service connects Jacksonville and other U.S. East Coast ports to four destinations in Asia: Nansha, Ningbo, and Qingdao in China; and Busan, South Korea.
“We are proud to add a dynamic and fast-growing company like Sea Lead to our line-up of global ocean carriers who benefit from Jacksonville’s efficiencies,” said JAXPORT Director of Ocean Carrier Development Joyssy Woody. “The new service expands our connections to and from Asia while providing supply chain solutions to meet the increased demand for container capacity, particularly in the growing Southeast U.S. market.”
Nearly $600 million in infrastructure improvements have been recently completed or are currently underway to increase Blount Island’s container handling capabilities. The Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Project was completed through Blount Island in May 2022, providing a 47-foot deepwater shipping channel to accommodate a wider variety of vessels calling JAXPORT from destinations around the globe.
In coordination with the deepening, JAXPORT recently completed berth enhancements to enable the SSA JCT at Blount Island to simultaneously accommodate two post-Panamax vessels. Phased yard improvements are also underway to allow the SSA JCT to accommodate more containers.
Located in the heart of the Southeast U.S., JAXPORT is Florida’s No. 1 container port by volume and one of the nation’s top vehicle-handling ports. Jacksonville offers two-way ship traffic with no berth or terminal congestion and same-day access to 98 million consumers.