When it comes to moving over dimensional and project cargo, the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) has what it takes: a dedicated heavy lift berth, high and wide rail clearances and highly trained master riggers, as well as fast access to three rail lines and three major highways.
At the 2019 Railway Industrial Clearance Association’s (RICA’s) annual meeting, JAXPORT’s Director of Cargo Sales and heavy lift cargo expert Frank Camp shared how the port’s growth and diversified cargo capabilities are supporting the shift in how the industry is handling over dimensional and project cargo. His discussion with the audience centered on the conference’s theme: Change, Challenges and Opportunity.
From a port capabilities view, the most significant change the industry is experiencing relates to the mode of transport for breakbulk, heavy lift and project cargo, Camp explained. “We now see RoRo and container vessels at our berths with over dimensional cargo,” said Camp. “Carriers are investing in the necessary equipment to handle this larger cargo, and ultimately it’s increasing the number of options shippers have to move their specialty cargo.”
In addition to the investment in equipment, new vessels are being designed with flexibility in mind. New RoRo vessels are now equipped to handle high and heavy cargoes with high ramp capacity, increased door height and width, and adjustable decks to accommodate a variety of cargo sizes.
While JAXPORT continues to see cargo arrive on traditional lift-on/lift-off vessels, this shift in transport mode complements Jacksonville’s logistical advantages. JAXPORT offers service from the world’s top RoRo carriers and continues to see growth in its container service to ports worldwide.
According to Camp, communication is key as ports begin to balance the entrance of over dimensional cargo on container and RoRo vessels. “We must maintain fluidity of cargo across our terminals – and that requires open communication between everyone involved in the move, from project engineers and carriers to terminal operators and port operation teams.”
When thinking of opportunities, Camp said, JAXPORT offers a strategic location within the nation’s fastest growing consumer market – Florida and the U.S. Southeast. “The State of Florida is projected to grow more than 30 percent over the next 20 years – faster than any state in the U.S. Southeast. This growth will spur projects such as power generation, industrial capacity for manufacturing and more – and JAXPORT will stand ready to help shippers deliver transportation solutions.”
JAXPORT is poised to help shippers seamlessly deliver their cargo throughout Florida and the Southeast. From a deepwater port with dedicated heavy lift berth space to an extensive highway and rail network to companies experienced with project cargo – the Northeast Florida region provides shippers with the tools needed to successfully move their cargo to its final destination.
“At JAXPORT we are always excited to see this type of cargo come across our docks,” said Camp. “We remain focused on providing forward-thinking solutions to help our customers turn challenges into opportunities.”