2001    Port security becomes paramount
The Florida Legislature passed the Florida Seaport Security Act (FS 311.12), which set minimum statewide security standards for Florida seaports in an attempt to curb "domestic" crimes such as theft and vandalism. The tragic events of September 11 refocused security efforts to protecting Florida ports against acts of terrorism.

2001    JPA divides into JAXPORT and JAA
During its 2001 regular session, the Florida Legislature repealed the JPA's existing charter and abolished the JPA by enacting Chapter 2001-319, Laws of Florida. Two new authorities were created: the Jacksonville Airport Authority took over control and operations of all aviation facilities formerly controlled by the JPA, and the Jacksonville Seaport Authority (doing business as the Jacksonville Port Authority, or JAXPORT) was created to handle all matters related to the marine operations and facilities formerly controlled by the JPA. The seaport continued to call itself the "Jacksonville Port Authority" or "JAXPORT."

2002    JAXPORT launches Strategic Plan
JAXPORT's Board of Directors and Senior Management Team completed the first strategic business plan for the new JAXPORT, placing an emphasis on growing the port's business and economic impact for the community.

2003    U.S. Army Corps deepens harbor to 41 Feet
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deepened a section of the St. Johns River from 38 to 41 feet.

2003    JAXPORT sells land to U.S. military
The U.S. Navy, on behalf of the Marine Corps, purchased from JAXPORT 137 acres of largely undeveloped property on Blount Island. The Navy also purchased from JAXPORT a restrictive use easement on another 133 acres of developed property. The sale accommodated the military's continued use of the eastern half of Blount Island for the loading of military equipment.

2003    Cruise lines begin service in Jacksonville
Celebrity Cruises and Carnival Cruise Lines both announced plans to begin regular service from Jacksonville - the city's first regular cruise service. JAXPORT built a temporary cruise terminal in only six months. Celebrity kicked off their Jacksonville service with an 11-night cruise to the Caribbean on October 27, 2003 aboard the 1,375-passenger Zenith.

2004    Port and cruise officials christen Carnival Miracle in Jacksonville
Carnival Cruise Lines inaugurated service from Jacksonville on Feb. 27, 2004 with service aboard its newest vessel, the 2,124 passenger Carnival Miracle. The ship was built in Finland and sailed straight to Jacksonville for its maiden passenger voyage. The ship's Godmother, former U.S. Army Private Jessica Lynch, christened the ship during a naming ceremony at the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal only hours before it sailed for a three-day cruise to the Bahamas. The occasion marked the first time a brand-new cruise ship had been introduced at the nation's newest cruise homeport.

2005    JAXPORT plays an integral role in Super Bowl XXXIX
As the Official Port of the Jacksonville Super Bowl XXXIX Host Committee, JAXPORT provided docking and logistical coordination for four of the five cruise ships serving as floating hotels during Feb. 2 - 7, 2005. Collectively, those vessels provided more than 3,500 rooms and numerous restaurants, night clubs and other amenities to NFL guests.

2005    Jacksonville gets direct container service to Asia
JAXPORT signed a 30-year lease agreement with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd., (MOL) a Tokyo-based logistics and ocean transportation company. The agreement called for the construction of a 131-acre container-handling facility, including two 1,200-foot berths, six Post-Panamax container cranes, and other infrastructure necessary to accommodate the new Jacksonville-Asia container connection.

2006    JAXPORT launches first port jobs website in nation
JAXPORT launched a new "Port Jobs" website at www.jaxportjobs.com to unite job seekers with companies in the maritime industry. The site lists job openings at dozens of maritime companies doing business at Jacksonville's bustling seaport. Provided free of charge, the site allows residents to search for port jobs, post résumés and learn about Jacksonville's port and local maritime companies - all at one convenient Internet website.

2009    TraPac Container Terminal opens at Dames Point
Following two years of site permitting, design and clearing, and two years of construction, the TraPac Container Terminal at Dames Point opened for business on Jan. 12, 2009. The new terminal is the first Post-Panamax JAXPORT facility exclusively dedicated to handling containers going to and coming from ports throughout Asia.

2010    Last phase of 40-foot deepening completed
The third phase of the St. Johns River harbor deepening project is completed. Contractors for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District deepened 5.3 miles of the river from mile 14.7 to mile 20, from a depth of 38 feet to 40 feet. Completion of this portion of the project will help JAXPORT remain competitive, specifically to accommodate depth requirements of fully-loaded cargo vessels.

2011    JAXPORT receives 1 millionth cruise passenger
An Arkansas eighth grader becomes the one millionth passenger to arrive for a cruise through JAXPORT’s cruise terminal. Emily Wilt and her family received VIP treatment throughout their 5-day trip aboard the Carnival Fascination.

2012    Yang Ming Milestone makes history at JAXPORT
JAXPORT’s TraPac Container Terminal at Dames Point welcomes the largest vessel to ever call on Jacksonville’s seaport. The Yang Ming Milestone, which can carry 6,600 containers, arrived on Jan. 31 from Southeast Asia. The Milestone is more than 1,000 feet in length and at a breadth of 131 feet is too large to fit through the currently operating Panama Canal locks.

Thank you for journeying with us through Jacksonville's port history. Stay tuned for more historic updates as JAXPORT continues to contribute to Jacksonville's economy and community.

Return to the beginning of the timeline.