JAXPORT receives $23.5M grant for low- and zero-emissions cargo equipment

jaxport provided
The money is headed to a $47M joint project of the Port and two of its tenants.

Cutting emissions in transportation is necessary to head off the worst effects of climate change. And ports, whose reason for being is logistics, are a part of that effort. JAXPORT is accepting a $23.5 million grant in furtherance of its project at dramatically reducing emissions from cargo-handling equipment.

The money is headed to a $47 million joint project of the Port and two of its tenants — SSA Jacksonville and Crowley — called Exemplifying Potential to Reduce Emissions with Sustainable Solutions (EXPRESS). It’s one of the first such efforts in Florida to put into place zero-emission and near-zero-emission cargo handling equipment.

“We are grateful for the support of the Federal government and port partners SSA and Crowley as we work together to do our part to make the supply chain cleaner and greener for our community,” JAXPORT CEO Eric Green said in a statement. “This investment marks a milestone in our initiatives to build the port of the future and move cargo in the most efficient and eco-friendly way possible.”

Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) will support work at both the Blount Island and Talleyrand terminals. Plans are in the works for $31.2 million in “new eco-friendly cargo handling equipment” at the SSA terminal on Blount Island.

The purchase is to include six hybrid rubber-tired gantry cranes and around 12 low- and zero-emission container top picks, forklifts and charging infrastructure. SSA committed to more than $40 million for three “eco-friendly” container cranes scheduled to arrive in February.

“SSA is committed to actively enhancing our environmental performance as we continue to grow our business in Jacksonville,” said SSA Conventional President Lauren Offenbecher. “We thank MARAD, JAXPORT, and Crowley for partnering with us to protect the environment and make operations cleaner, more energy efficient, and sustainable for future generations.”

Another $14.6 million is being spent at Crowley’s terminal at Talleyrand for around 12 pieces of zero-emissions equipment, including specialty tractors and forklifts, and charging stations. Money will also go to 160 new refrigerated cargo charging stations to meet current and future growth needs without having to rely on diesel fuel for power.

JAXPORT is planning another $1 million for the development of the Port and Maritime Electrification Plan, which is to lay out the path for the Port and local industry to transition to a lower-emissions future.

“JAXPORT EXPRESS is a great example of the partnership we need to reach our sustainability commitments and be even more efficient in our supply chain operations and services,” said Brett Bennett, senior vice president and general manager at Crowley Logistics.

“As we continue our journey to reach net-zero emissions, moving to an electric fleet and more efficient terminal equipment will help us make a major impact in the Jacksonville community, where we already utilize lower emission fuels, and be leaders in our industry. We appreciate the support from the U.S. Department of Transportation, (the Maritime Administration) and JAXPORT and look forward to collaborating to reach our shared goal of a cleaner, decarbonized world.”

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook: facebook.com/wes.wolfe


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