Containerized Cargo on Upswing at Port Everglades
A positive sign that international trade to South Florida may be improving, Port Everglades officials are reporting that containerized cargo for October and November, the first two months of the fiscal year, is up 9.6 percent over the same time period last year.
Volumes of containers, called TEUs for "20-foot equivalent units" which the cargo industry's standard container measurement, totaled 136,658 TEUs for October and November 2010 from 124,693 TEUs the previous year. While lower than the number of TEUs two years ago when Port Everglades reached an all-time high in container traffic, the recent increase is seen as a positive trend.
"This is a significant increase over where we were last year and we are cautiously optimistic that this is a preliminary sign that international trade is rebounding," says Port Everglades Director Phil Allen. "Cargo operations at Port Everglades account for more than 5,600 jobs locally and nearly 133,000 throughout Florida, so we keep a close eye on development in this business sector."
Port officials point to a new service from the Far East as partly responsible for the increase. CSAV began its new AMEX service in June 2010, which includes a rotation of ten 3,500-TEU vessels making weekly calls to Port Everglades from Asia, through the Panama Canal, to the U.S. East Coast and the Caribbean.
Port Everglades is moving forward with several capital improvements to foster growth in containerized cargo volumes at the Port. The Port is nearing completion of a 41-acre containerized cargo terminal of which more than half will be used as a new handling facility for SeaFreight. The Port also purchased a new mobile harbor crane that has the capability to load containers and handle heavy lifts up to 100-tons. Ongoing are Master Plan projects that include expanding the Port's Turning Notch by 1,500 feet to allow for four additional berths and deepening the channel to 50 feet. With the recent contract awarded by the Florida Department of Transportation for construction of the Eller Drive Overpass project, the Port will also be moving ahead with planning for rail connecting to a near-dock Intermodal Container Transfer Facility.
Allen also notes that Port Everglades' 20-Year Master/Vision Plan aligns with the recent findings of the Florida Chamber Foundation's Florida Trade and Logistics Study. The recently released study found that Florida stands to benefit from the Panama Canal expansion and growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, which ultimately creates the potential to increase job creation and for the state to become a global trade and logistics hub through the development of its 14 deepwater seaports.
Port Everglades is one of the nation's leading container ports and a trade gateway to Latin America and Caribbean. Port Everglades has direct access to the interstate highway system, is within two miles of the Florida East Coast Railway hub and is just one mile from the Atlantic Shipping Lanes. Ongoing capital improvements and expansion ensure that Port Everglades will have the ability to handle future growth in container traffic. A world-class cargo handling facility, Port Everglades serves as an ideal point of entry for products shipped around the world.
More information about Broward County's Port Everglades is available on the Internet at http://www.porteverglades.net/, by calling toll-free in the United States 1-800-421-0188 or emailing PortEvergladesCargo@broward.org .