Port Everglades Celebrates Second Year of Double-Digit Record Growth in Containerized Cargo

Broward County's Port Everglades produced a second consecutive year of record growth in containerized cargo with a 12 percent increase in tonnage during fiscal year 2006 (October 1, 2005 through September 30, 2006).  The Port's new record for containerized cargo tonnage is 5,688,442 tons in FY2006, up from 5,076,403 tons in FY2005.  

"This is the third year in a row that Port Everglades has experienced double digit increases and second year of record growth in containerized cargo," says Port Director Phillip C. Allen.  "In the past four years, the Port has added several new services and increased containerized cargo tonnage by more than 2.2 million tons annually."

Despite increased tonnage in containerized and other bulk cargoes, overall waterborne commerce tonnage remained steady at 27million tons during FY2006, which was due primarily to lower petroleum volumes that resulted from consumer reaction to high fuel prices.  Waterborne commerce is primarily comprised of tonnage associated with ship cargoes such as containers, dry bulk, break bulk, and petroleum.

Allen says the seaport's growing popularity among Central American and Caribbean carriers is responsible for making the South Florida seaport one of the fastest growing container ports on the East Coast of the United States.  Marketing efforts have concentrated on spreading the word about Port Everglades' central location, direct interstate highway connections and easy waterside access.  

In addition to a full 12 months of three new services to the Central America and Caribbean regions, a new service from the Mediterranean began calling on Port Everglades in FY 2006. These new services produced a 10 percent increase, or 200 more container vessel calls, during FY06 from the prior year.

"An estimated 30,000 Broward County jobs are attributed to activity at Port Everglades in the cruise, cargo and petroleum sectors.  Every year, more than $2.8 billion is derived by businesses operating at the Port," said Broward County Mayor Josephus Eggelletion, Jr.  "As one of South Florida's leading economic engines, Port Everglades has an obligation to grow and prosper to benefit the community in which we live and work."

The number of containers is up 8.4 percent from 797,238 TEUs in FY2005 to 864,030 TEUs in FY2006.  TEUs are 20-foot equivalent units - the industry's standard for measuring containerized cargo.  Containerized cargo revenue increased by 5.0 percent from $24,192,949 in FY05 to $25,393,178 in FY06.  

Top import commodities included bananas and other produce, while general cargo was the top export commodity.

Break bulk and dry bulk cargoes, which reflect the health of South Florida's construction industry, also increased.  Break bulk - mainly steel and lumber - increased by 31.4 percent from 262,130 tons in FY05 to 344,528 tons in FY06.  Dry bulk, which includes cement and aggregate, increased 3.7 percent from 2,848,333 tons in FY05 to 2,954,310 tons in FY06.

Port Everglades also experienced a significant increased in rolling and floating cargoes with the number of yachts and boats transported through the Port up 75.5 percent from 32,866 tons in FY2005 to 57,668 tons in FY2006, and tractors up 70.7 percent from 26,630 tons in FY2005 to 45,462 tons in FY2006.

Petroleum volumes declined in FY06 as a response to fuel prices reaching an all-time high.  Consumers, businesses and airlines reduced their fuel consumption during the past year.   And electric utilities companies burned less fuel oil in favor of less expensive natural gas to generate power.  Petroleum throughput, which is measured by the number of barrels (42 gallons to a barrel), decreased by 4.2 percent from a record high of 128,842,410  barrels in FY05 to  123,479,901 barrels in FY06.  Port Everglades is the regional seaport for 11 petroleum terminal operators that supply gasoline, jet fuel, fuel oil, diesel fuel, propane, aviation gasoline and asphalt to 12 counties in South Florida.

The Port Everglades Department is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County government with operating revenues of approximately $108 million annually.  It does not rely on local tax dollars for operations. The Port provides more than 15,000 direct jobs and generates $2.87 billion in business activity and $879.5 million in personal income annually in Broward County.  

More information on Port Everglades, which is governed by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, is available on the Internet at www.broward.org/port, e-mailing PortEverglades@broward.org, or by calling 954-523-3404.