Major cargo terminal for JaxPort scuttled

Published On: Mar 21 2013 02:39:13 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 21 2013 05:57:57 PM EDT

A South Korean shipping company has notified the Jacksonville Port Authority it has cancelled plans to build a major cargo terminal in Jacksonville.

Hanjin Shipping Company says it decided against building its own $300 million terminal at JaxPort that has been in the works for almost a decade, but the port announced that instead of a permanent terminal, that there will soon weekly visits by Asia cargo ships.

"After a diligent, coordinated review of our plans, we have come to the conclusion that it is in our mutual best interest and in the interest of the state and region to set aside the terminal development contract," said JaxPort interim CEO Roy Schleicher. "We will now commit our combined energies to filling the ships on each of these new rotations and expediting the process for authorization and funding of the 47-foot harbor deepening project, which is of critical importance to the port and to our businesses."

The port says some of the money that would have been used to build the Hanjin terminal can now be used for dredging and container upgrades.

The Hanjin terminal was expected to create more than 2,000 jobs directly involved in moving cargo, and more than 3,500 additional indirect jobs.

While the additional jobs would be welcome, the head of the union representing dock workers say the new Asian port visits and increasing cargo coming through Jacksonville's port continues to generate more work and help the local economy.

"That gives us more instant work for the workforce in the port of Jacksonville, and that helps the Jacksonville economy, and those dollars, for a large part, will be spent in Jacksonville," said Charles Spencer of the International Longshoreman Association.

The terminal was scheduled to be built at the site now used as a cruise ship terminal, but port officials say it is a prime location and will likely be sought out by another company.


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