Seaport veteran and economic development leader Jonathan Daniels joined Port Everglades at the end of June as the new Chief Executive & Port Director. Daniels takes the helm just as the Broward County Commission unanimously approved moving forward with a $3 billion port expansion effort and 20-Year Master/Vision Plan for the diverse seaport.
Addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the on-going expansion, Daniels said: “We are fortunate that Port Everglades’ diversified business sectors of cargo, cruise and petroleum can address a dip in one business sector and be balanced out with stability in other revenue-generating business lines. As a result, while the COVID-19 pandemic is certainly impacting this year’s bottom line, we are able to move forward with several sizeable infrastructure projects at a rapid pace with little disruption from the virus.”
Daniels comes to Port Everglades from the Port of Gulfport, Mississippi where he had been the CEO & executive director since 2013. In addition to his maritime experience in Gulfport, where he led a $570 million restoration and expansion project, Daniels also served as the Executive Director of the Port of Oswego in New York from 2007-2013, managing director of the Port of Greater Baton Rouge and Port Director for the Eastport Port Authority in Maine.
Daniels also has an extensive background in economic development as the Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Maine Development Corporation, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations and development efforts of the six-county economic development district, and as the Director of the City of Bangor, Maine Office of Economic and Business Development. He also served as Senior Trade Advisor and Director, Maine International Trade Center, responsible for the State of Maine’s international trade development efforts for eastern and northern Maine.
“I am honored to have been selected for this position. I look forward to working with the Board of County Commissioners, the County Administrator, the hard-working and dedicated employees of Port Everglades and its diverse business clientele,” Daniels added.
Port Everglades updates its Master/Vision Plan every 2-5 years to consider market trends, new technology, community development and environmental initiatives. Port staff has been working with a consultant team from Bermello Ajamil & Partners, for the past 21 months and has held more than 40 outreach meetings to update the Plan with market research, business intelligence from Port customers, and insight from the environmental and residential communities.
The Master/Vision Plan is a roadmap that has steered Port Everglades to becoming the third largest cruise home port in the world, one of the nation’s largest containerized cargo ports and South Florida’s main hub for gasoline and jet fuel. Fifty projects, of which nearly half will be completed or underway in the next five to 10 years, are included in the Plan. Highlights include:
- The Southport Turning Notch Extension, already under construction, will lengthen the current ship turn-around area from 900 feet to 2,400 feet to add new cargo berths and crane rail infrastructure. This is the largest construction project in the Port’s history at $471 million.
- In addition to three new Super Post-Panamax container cranes, the largest low-profile gantry cranes manufactured in in the world, currently being assembled, and due to be delivered and operational by the end of this year, the Port has an option to buy three more of the same cranes.
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Harbor Navigation Improvement Project to deepen and widen the channels received Congressional Authorization in December 2016. In February 2020, the first phase of the project was included in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers FY2020 Work Plan to receive $29.1 million in federal funding to widen the Intracoastal Waterway and reconfigure the U.S. Coast Guard station east of its current location.
- Slip 1 is being widened to accommodate larger oil tankers.
- CenterPoint Properties is completing a state-of-the-art International Logistics Center (ILC) on 17 acres of Port land to replace the outdated foreign-trade zone facility. The two-building complex is expected to be completed by September 2020.
- A new 1,818-space parking garage to serve Cruise Terminals 2 and 4 is due to be completed in October 2020. It features more elevator banks and an air-conditioned bridge with moving walkways to deliver guests to Terminal 2.
- Major renovations are planned to four cruise terminals and the addition of a finger pier to increase the Port’s capacity for tomorrow’s larger cruise ships.
- In addition to the ILC, another site at the Port has been targeted for additional cold storage, which is critical as Port Everglades is the leading perishables seaport in Florida.
- A People Mover to connect Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Port Everglades and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.
- Numerous road improvements are planned to reduce traffic congestion.
Port Everglades is one of Broward County’s leading economic engines, generating more than $32 billion in economic activity annually while supporting 13,000 local jobs for people who work at the Port and for companies that provide direct services. As a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County, Florida government with operating revenues of almost $170.7 million in Fiscal Year 2019 (October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019), the Port does not rely on local tax dollars for operations.
For a copy of the Port Everglades 20-Year Master/Vision Plan Update or the newly released Port Everglades Facilities Guide & Directory, visit porteverglades.net or email PortEverglades@broward.org.