The Jacksonville Port Authority is delaying for as long as two years construction of the new container terminal it will build in North Jacksonville for Hanjin Shipping.
Jaxport said the delay of construction will allow enough time to complete the deepening of the Jacksonville harbor to the intended post-Panamax depth of 48 feet, which will enable it to accommodate the larger container vessels Hanjin and its partners in the CKYH alliance will operate after the Panama Canal completes its new set of locks in 2014.
Instead of opening at the end of 2014, the terminal will be ready for its first cargo ship in 2016. The delay is the latest in a series of delays for the terminal, which originally was supposed to be built by the end of 2011 when Hanjin and the port authority signed a lease agreement in 2008.
"It is anticipated that the process of constructing the Hanjin-Jacksonville terminal will begin 18 to 24 months from now, allowing for the completion of the expected deepening of the St. Johns River and the opening of the new Hanjin Terminal to coincide," said Jaxport Board Chairman Dave Kulik.
"This decision should be seen for what it is, a prudent course of action for both Hanjin and the Jacksonville community, one that will ensure each partner realizes the maximum benefits from this joint project by ensuring that the larger container ships we must bring to Jacksonville can be accommodated from day one," Kulik said.
"We have been in communication with Hanjin leadership in New Jersey and Korea to coordinate efforts to work through this delay," said Jaxport Executive Vice President Roy Schleicher. "During this dialogue, Hanjin has continually stressed its commitment to Jacksonville and Jaxport. That commitment has not changed. I have worked closely with Hanjin through the years and they tell me they intend to push this project forward. Hanjin is also very proud of its recent agreement with the International Longshoremen's Association."
The start of construction on the Hanjin terminal had already been delayed by a year until Hanjin reached agreement with the ILA last September on staffing requirements at the highly automated terminal.
The 90-acre, $300 million Hanjin Container Terminal will be on Jaxport's Dames Point Marine Terminal, adjacent to the TraPac Container Terminal built for MOL, which opened in January 2009.
-- Contact Peter T. Leach at email@example.com.