During the first two months of fiscal year 2018, which began Oct. 1, Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT), in Florida, saw container volume reach double-digit growth.
In October and November, 204,492 20-foot equivalent units were moved, compared to 165,571 during the same time frame in fiscal year 2017.
Asian container volume grew 13 percent, reaching 65,227 units moved.
Asian container volume has grown 21 percent annually over the past five years.
Puerto Rican container volume also grew, increasing nearly 40 percent to 125,537 units.
Growth also was recorded for vessel calls and total tonnage, each increasing 19 percent.
In early 2018, construction will begin on a $480 million federal project to deepen the Jacksonville shipping channel to 47 feet, allowing it to accommodate the largest cargo ships. The dredging is expected to increase Asian container volume.
“The Jacksonville Harbor Deepening project is the single biggest opportunity to grow our port and reach our potential as a major gateway for international trade,” JAXPORT Chairman Jim Citrano said.
An environmental nonprofit group called St. John’s Riverkeeper, however, is attempting to delay construction. The group has filed a motion for preliminary injunction.
The group claims dredging cannot proceed without being formally evaluated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.