Logistics Blog | Total Distribution, Inc. in Jacksonville, FL

The average vessel calling on the U.S. East Coast has a capacity of more than 5,000 TEUs (twenty- foot equivalent units), compared to an average cargo hold of 3,980 TEUs in 2009. Similarly, the size of the average ship calling the U.S. West Coast has grown from 4,682-TEUs to close to 6,000 TEUs.

These larger ships require deeper channels in order to dispatch their cargoes. The wave of the future calls for a harbor depth of 47 feet.

Three competing ports in the Southeast, Jacksonville, Savannah and Charleston, are striving to reach that target depth before the next guy. Jacksonville and Savannah are now at 40 feet and Charleston is at 42. Failure to accommodate these larger ships will later adversely affect growth.

Drawing on Jacksonville’s situation as an example, port leadership is focused on deepening the harbor channel to 47 feet for a total of 11 miles, from the mouth of the St. Johns River to the Blount Island Marine Terminal. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is ready to award a contract for construction of the first segment of the deepening project. The work is expected to begin in early 2018, and it will take 5-6 years to complete.

The full cost of the Jacksonville project will be $484 million. Federal sources have already contributed $21.5 million to the first segment and have designated the project a “new start”, making it eligible for 50 percent funding in federal dollars. And, according to Nancy Rubin, JAXPORT senior director of communications, “the port and several of its private tenants will contribute, as well as funding from the City of Jacksonville will likely be sought.”

But the bottom line is what the port, shippers and the surrounding economy will gain from the deepening of the harbor. According to Rubin, the project is expected to triple JAXPORT’s container business in 20 years, creating more than 15,000 new area jobs and an estimated $12 million in new local annual tax revenue. Without the deeper harbor, the big ships will begin to bypass Jacksonville and it would slowly begin to lose the business it already has.

Story by: Russ Dixon

Simplify Your Supply Chain with Total Distribution, Inc.

Total Distribution offers expertise in all areas of supply chain management and third party logistics. If you need trucking, warehousing, packaging and/or staffing services, contact us first to learn more about our rates, services and what we can offer you as one of the best third party logistics companies in Jacksonville, Florida and the Southeast.



Warehousing Services Florida


Food-grade warehouse conveniently located in Jacksonville, FL near Jaxport and I-95.

Contract Product Packaging


Florida co-packing and contract packaging services in a food-grade warehouse facility.

Dry Van Carrier, Trucking Services


Award-winning dry van trucking company with centrally located Jacksonville, FL terminal.

Logistics & Warehouse Staffing Agency


Powering your supply chain with skilled warehouse employees trained and vetted by our staffing division.