26 July, 2008

6,000 New Jobs Unloaded At Tri-Pack Terminal

JAXPORT welcomes first direct Asian container serviceMOL container chip arrives in Jacksonville six months ahead of schedule July 7, 2008 -- JAXPORT officials, Mayor John Peyton and members of the Jacksonville City Council gathered at Blount Island Marine Terminal on July 7 to greet the first Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) container vessel to call on Jacksonville.
The event marks the arrival of the first direct cargo service between Jacksonville and Asian markets. The MOL Vision arrived six months ahead of the scheduled opening of the new 158-acre TraPac Container Terminal at JAXPORT’s Dames Point property. The Vision traveled from Ningbo, China through the Panama Canal before reaching Jacksonville, its first U.S. port of call.
“This is truly a momentous occasion,” said JAXPORT Executive Director Rick Ferrin, who was at the dock to meet the MOL vessel. “The arrival of this ship marks the true beginning of all-water service from Asia to Jacksonville through the Panama Canal, which will be a major economic stimulus for our region.”
As the future base of MOL’s U.S. South Atlantic port activities, TraPac will offer state-of-the-art post-Panamax container handling systems with a yearly capacity of 800,000 containers.
MOL noted that increasing development in South Georgia and North Florida is quickly making Jacksonville one of North America’s rising stars of international trade. With nearly 50 major distribution centers within miles of JAXPORT and 17,000 acres of available building and expansion capacity, JAXPORT is fast becoming the premier South Atlantic port for shippers looking to take advantage of its strategic location.
The TraPac Container Terminal at Dames point will double JAXPORT’s container handling capacity. In addition the terminal is expected to create 6,000 new jobs and generate $1 billion in economic activity for the region

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The arguments rage to this date, "Should have never been built," "waste of taxpayer money," "Doesn't go anywhere," "Nobody rides it..." etc. Bottom line is we have it, and it is finally showing signs of life. Simple extensions to the Stadium, San Marco, and the area of Blue Cross in North Riverside would turn this little train around. Addition of Park and Ride garages and multimodal transit terminals at the end points would bring on the crowds. The video must have been shot on a Sunday Morning, as downtown is certainly as packed with life as any other major City on weekdays. Jacksonville is a city of Bikes, joggers, walkers, buses and cars, one almost wonders how the photographer managed to find this quiet moment.

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