Jacksonville Adds PORTS Real-time Data System

By Joseph R. Fonseca
Thursday, July 24, 2014
1. NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan (left) and James McLaughlin, executive director, Jacksonville Marine Exchange, dedicate the Jacksonville, Florida, PORTS, on July 23, 2014.


Officials from NOAA, the Jacksonville Marine Transportation Exchange, and the Jacksonville Port Authority officially dedicated a new information system today which will increase safety for ships using the St. Johns River.

The system, called Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS), provides real-time information on water levels, currents, meteorological conditions, and under-bridge clearance, giving users critical information when traveling through the river. The St. Johns River in Jacksonville will become the 23rd location to use the system and is the second largest PORTS ever established.

“Our nation’s ports are critical cogs in our country’s economic engine,” said Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA's PORTS system gives shipping companies, captains, fishermen and others vital environmental intelligence that helps them navigate these waters more safely and efficiently. This is a win-win for the port, our partners, the surrounding communities and every business and industry that depends upon this flow of goods."

The Port of Jacksonville ranks as the number one vehicle export port in the nation and is the top container port in Florida. Approximately 65,000 people in northeast Florida have jobs directly or indirectly related to this port, and $19 billion gets channeled into the U.S. economy from this port every year.

“By providing integrated real-time tide, weather and bridge clearance information, Jacksonville PORTS will help reduce the chance of a ship accident,” said Richard Edwing, director of NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS). “Economic benefit studies done at four PORTS locations around the U.S. have shown a 50 percent reduction in groundings and $50 million in economic efficiency benefits every year.”

Knowledge of the currents, water levels, winds and density of the water can enable shippers to optimize cargo loads so that vessel captains and pilots are using every inch of available channel depth safely, maximizing profits and efficiency.

"Jacksonville stakeholders have made a significant investment in the development of a comprehensive maritime domain awareness program,” said Jim McLaughlin, executive director of exchange, known as JMTX. “Jacksonville PORTS captures real-time hydrographic and meteorological data that, when used in conjunction with existing vessel tracking systems and radar, provides a complete operational picture of port activities.”

“The real time information provided by PORTS is invaluable to balancing JAXPORT’s dual priorities of enabling safe and efficient commerce while protecting the natural resources so critical to our quality of life in northeast Florida,” said Brian Taylor, CEO of the Jacksonville Port Authority. “We know this system makes us a more competitive port and will help us fulfill our mission of contributing to the region’s overall vibrancy.”

Tailored to the specific requirements of each seaport, PORTS is a decision support tool that improves the safety and efficiency of maritime commerce and enhances coastal resilience and natural resource management through the integration of real-time environmental observations, forecasts and other geospatial information.

In addition to providing useful information for maritime transportation and coastal resilience, the use of the water temperature and tidal data can be used by the fishing industry to improve catch, while recreational boating excursions can occur more often and be safer through better real-time information available through PORTS.

CO-OPS, as part of NOAA’s National Ocean Service, is an organization of experts in understanding tides, currents and water levels, turning operational oceanographic data into meaningful information, products and services for the nation. This coastal intelligence provides timely, applicable information, developed from reliable and authoritative science, to provide insight to decision makers into present and future conditions in the coastal zone.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.


  •  The air gap sensor installed on the Dames Point Bridge in Jacksonville, Florida, ensured that Carnival Cruise Lines could continue serving the Port of Jacksonville while the bridge was undergoing repairs.

    The air gap sensor installed on the Dames Point Bridge in Jacksonville, Florida, ensured that Carnival Cruise Lines could continue serving the Port of Jacksonville while the bridge was undergoing repairs.

Maritime Reporter July 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Marine Electronics

Google Maps Goes Coastal with Unmanned Boat

A new high-tech unmanned vessel, launched with the help of Google, will use innovative technologies from the boatbuilding and mapping fields to map shorelines and

Intelsat Records $598 mln Q2 Revenue

Satellite services provider Intelsat S.A. has reported total revenue of $598.1 million and net income attributable to Intelsat S.A. of $60.2 million, or $0.47 per common share on a diluted basis,

INTERSCHALT VDR Earns CCS Certification

INTERSCHALT maritime systems AG, the provider of maritime software, services and systems for navigation and communications systems (NavCom) and manufacturer of Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) systems,


MARAD to Host Meeting on Proposed Delfin LNG License

MARAD Announces Public Scoping Meetings for Proposed Delfin Liquefied Natural Gas Deepwater Port Export Facility.   On July 29, the Maritime Administration

Maritime Experts to Debate Coastal Shipping, IWT Prospects

The opportunities and challenges faced by India’s coastal shipping industry as the country strives for a more optimal modal mix among various modes of transport

Matson Settles with Hawaii Settle on Molasses Incident

Pacific cargo shipper Matson, Inc. informs that a settlement has been reached with the State of Hawaii to resolve all civil, criminal and administrative claims

Maritime Security

Thai Navy Argues Subs Protect Seas

The Royal Thai Navy claims it urgently needs more submarines to compete with other Asian countries. The assistant commander made the claim aimed at persauding

UK Navy Chooses Effer Crane Again

Cranes manufacturer Effer informs its marine crane has recently been installed aboard the U.K. Royal Navy’s patrol vessel HMS Mersey.   The new 5s 275M crane,

Bollinger Delivers 14th FRC to USCG

Bollinger Shipyards has delivered the 14th Fast Response Cutter (FRC), Heriberto Hernandez, to the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The 154-foot patrol craft


SSE Rolls Out Two Shipping Indices

Shanghai Shipping Exchange launched on Wednesday the "Belt and Road" shipping indices, tracking trade data and shipping freight rates under the initiatives of

Shanghai 6th Best Shipping Center Globally

Shanghai has moved up the rankings of the world’s top shipping centers to sixth place, surpassing Dubai thanks to Free Trade Zone regulations and the Belt and Road Initiative,

China Cosco Guides H1 Profits at $306mln

China Cosco Holdings, the flagship unit of Cosco Group, is expecting a net profit of Yuan1.9bn ($306m) for the first half, against the Yuan2.3bn loss during the same period last year.

Marine Equipment

UK Navy Chooses Effer Crane Again

Cranes manufacturer Effer informs its marine crane has recently been installed aboard the U.K. Royal Navy’s patrol vessel HMS Mersey.   The new 5s 275M crane,

Activists Block Shell's Arctic Drilling Quest

Greenpeace protestors dangling from a bridge on Thursday in Portland, Oregon, halted an icebreaker that Royal Dutch Shell needs in northern Alaska before it can

Fire-stricken Icebreaker Overhauled

SENER concludes the Almirante Irizar icebreaker engineering works for re-outfit and overhaul   SENER reports it has completed the engineering works relating to

Marine Science

NAO Expedition to Study Walruses

From Naryan-Mar complex expedition started "Investigation Atlantic walrus habitat" for the study of animal southeastern Barents Sea. The expedition of seven

Korean Registry Okays Transas ECDIS

Transas, one of the world's leading providers of integrated navigation solutions, received ECDIS type-approval from the Korean Registry (Korea Marine Equipment Research Institute),

New Research Vessel for University of New Hampshire

All American Marine, Inc. (AAM) has entered into a contract with the University of New Hampshire (UNH) for the design and construction of a new aluminum catamaran research vessel.

Maritime Safety

AEU Presents Safety Awards

The American Equity Underwriters, Inc. (AEU) presented its 2014 Safety Awards at the annual American Longshore Mutual Association, Ltd. (ALMA) Conference on July 19, 2015, in Key Biscayne, Fla.

ClassNK Releases Guidelines for CNG Carriers

Classification society ClassNK has released its Guidelines for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Carriers.   Global economic and population growth is bringing about

China, Russia in Sea of Japan Joint Military Drills

China and Russia will hold joint naval and air defence drills in the Sea of Japan, China said on Thursday, the latest exercises between the two countries which could concern Japan,

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2297 sec (4 req/sec)