The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) welcomed the Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) next-generation car carrier Orca Ace during the vessel’s maiden call to Jacksonville.
Orca Ace is one of MOL’s new Flexie series vessels, featuring a larger number of flexible interior decks than traditional car carriers. These decks can be raised or lowered to accommodate Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro/Ro) cargo in a variety of sizes. The vessel also features a gradual, sloped ramp that the company says helps to reduce the number of turns that drivers make during loading and discharge, increasing efficiency.
The Flexie class vessel features six liftable decks, compared with two on conventional car carriers. This allows MOL Ace to more effectively meet demand for further diversified vehicle and high heavy cargo transport.
The vessel also features an improved ramp structure which allows cargo to move smoother due to the straight-line, large slope configuration. MOL has also employed the latest energy saving technologies from the hull structure to the engine; streamlined hull design for reduced wind resistance, optimised water flow at propeller for propulsion efficiency, low friction paint and engine efficiencies.
To commemorate the occasion, JAXPORT Chief Operating Officer Fred Wong presented Orca Ace Captain Yury Golovatyuk with a plaque during a ceremony on board the ship.
The 6,800-car-capacity Orca Ace passed through the Panama Canal before delivering Mazda passenger vehicles to JAXPORT’s Blount Island Marine Terminal.
JAXPORT is home to three auto processors: AMPORTS, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and Southeast Toyota Distributors. A multi-year project to expand JAXPORT’s vehicle-handling capacity by 25 percent is currently underway.
A record 693,000 vehicles moved through JAXPORT last year, making Jacksonville the nation’s second busiest vehicle-handling port.