Crowley may get new Jax terminal: Report

Crowley may get new Jax terminal: Report

The Jacksonville Port Authority is considering construction of a $125 million cargo terminal to accommodate a possible move to its Blount Island Marine Terminal by Crowley Liner Services Inc., according to a published report.

Crowley would consolidate and expand its two Talleyrand Avenue shipping facilities on 100 acres at Blount Island, requiring three Blount Island tenants to shift to nearby Dames Point, The Times-Union reported.

The move will provide the carriers with needed capacity and the JPA with up to $7 million annually in additional revenue, Rick Ferrin, the authority's executive director, told the newspaper.

"For us, this could be a real quantum leap forward in the container business," Ferrin said -- attracting as much as 1 million TEUs a year.

Work would begin simultaneously next year on the new Dames Point terminal and a new $5 million loading dock for Crowley at Blount Island, Ferrin said.

Ferrin and Marty Fiorentino, chairman of the Port Authority's board, plan to travel to Oakland, Calif., within the next few weeks to sign a letter of agreement with Thomas Crowley Jr., the chairman of Crowley Liner Services' parent company, Crowley Maritime Corp., according to the article.

Crowley owns a 65-acre terminal at Talleyrand Ave. to handle its barge shipments to Puerto Rico. It also leases 15 acres at the nearby Talleyrand Marine Terminal, for ships serving the Caribbean, Cuba and Mexico.

A spokesman for Crowley Liner Services told the newspaper that the company was "optimistic" about the proposal.

APM Terminals, Seastar and Coastal Maritime have operations at Blount Island. APM and Coastal are already being relocated to other parts of Blount Island as part of a $16 million project to move them out of the explosive safety zone established by the Marine Corps, which loads weapons and ordnance on the island.

The shift would also open up about 60 acres on Blount Island for a new carrier. Ferrin was quoted as saying several lines have expressed interest in the site but no deals have been completed.