03 November, 2008

JAXPORT REACHES FOR THE STARS

WHAT IF A NEW COMPANY COMES TO TOWN AND BRINGS IT'S FRIENDS?





It's been no secret that JAXPORT with it's western location on the Atlantic, not under New York or Boston mind you, rather South of Cincinnati, is well positioned to take flight. Already the 14Th in the Nation, this port is headed for number 3 and maybe number 2 on the Atlantic. We've all known something huge was about to take place right under our noses and we for the most part knew 3 of the carriers. But today's news article blows away the whispers and names names, COSCO, YANG LING and K-LINE have been added to our mix. Holy "Made in China" Batman, while the rest of the nation staggers we seem to be soaring. Incredible! Thanks JBJ...THANKS.

Monday, November 3, 2008 - 3:01 PM
Hanjin could call on Jaxport by January
Jacksonville Business Journal
Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd. could begin calling on Jacksonville as soon as January, but it’s more likely it will be another year before the South Korean company adds shipping service to the port.

Jacksonville Port Authority Executive Director Rick Ferrin said Hanjin could call on the TraPac Terminal when it’s completed in January. The good news made the Jacksonville Port Authority Board’s approval of a contract with Hanjin that much sweeter.

If, as expected, Hanjin’s board approves the contract on Nov. 11, then the authority’s board will have a signing ceremony Dec. 10. Hanjin’s board’s signing of the contract will added their shipping line and three others through their alliance with China Ocean Shipping Co., “K Line,” and Yang Ming Line.

With Hanjin coming aboard, the port would double its service to Asia, adding incentive for distributors to ramp up service through Jacksonville.

“This makes a great case for them to get off the fence and go to Jacksonville,” sad Roy Schleicher, the authority’s senior director of trade development and global marketing.

The soonest Hanjin’s $207 million terminal at Dames Point is expected to be completed is July 2011, and the latest is June 2012. The 88-acre terminal will have a 2,500-foot berth that will allow it to handle two post-Panamax ships simultaneously.

Ferrin said Mitsui will handle about 800,000 containers each year. The company will pay $4 million in rent annually for the first seven years, after which the rent will go up to $5 million per year and include U.S. consumer price index increases.

Mitsui will pay the authority $80 per box for 170,000 boxes and will be charged at that annual rate for the first seven years even if it doesn’t handle the full amount, Ferrin said. About 90 percent of the time there are two TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent, a container measurement standard) in a box.

The minimum rate jumps up to 220,000 boxes between the eighth and the 15th year, and then to 250,000 boxes in the 16th year. The 30-year contract has a 10-year potential extension.

The incentive for Mitsui and its alliance partners to handle more cargo is that the charge per box drops to $5 after the minimum amount is reached.

Ferrin acknowledged that the slumping international container traffic and the credit crunch could affect Mitsui, but said the company was strong enough to come through it. Hanjin has an “A” bond rating by a South Korean equivalent to the U.S.’s Fitch and Moody’s, said Michael Poole, the authority’s chief financial officer.

Ferrin said Hanjin’s use of rail-mounted gantry cranes, which are automated container handling machines that work around the clock, will allow it to handle nearly as much freight on the current site as the originally intended site known as the Zion property owned by Zion Jacksonville Limited Partnership.

He said Mitsui’s rail-mounted gantries will likely handle the larger Asian ships, and its rubber-tired gantries will handle the smaller South and Central American ships.

The terminal is expected to create 1,600 direct jobs and 4,000 jobs indirectly. The addition of new Asian shipping service by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and Hanjin are projected to triple the port's container traffic.

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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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