Port Everglades has experienced significant growth in the past two decades and is now one of Florida’s leading economic powerhouses and a gateway for international trade and cruise vacations.
For the last five years, Port Everglades has exceeded one million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units, the industry’s standard container measurement) in containerized cargo. Petroleum throughput is also increasing as Florida’s population continues to swell – surpassing New York as the third most populated state in the nation.
To help meet those future demands, Port Everglades is currently updating its aggressive, comprehensive Master/Vision Plan, which is done on a regular basis so that its five-year Master Plan, and 10 and 20-year Vision Plan horizons stay current with industry trends and technology advances. This commitment to planning – both physical and financial – has made Port Everglades one of the top containerized cargo ports in the United States, one of the top three cruise ports in the world and the primary distribution fuel hub for South Florida.
Ongoing capital improvements and expansion ensure that Port Everglades is ready to handle future growth in container, cruise and petroleum traffic. Over the next 10 years, Port Everglades will spend more than $1.5 billion on infrastructure improvements.
New cargo berths and Super Post-Panamax gantry cranes are in store for the Port Everglades Southport Container Complex. The $471 million expansion, the largest infrastructure project in the Port’s history, will allow for up to five new cargo berths by lengthening the existing Southport Turning Notch (deep-water turn-around area) for cargo ships from 900 feet to 2,400 feet. The project is currently under construction and expected to be completed and operational by 2022.
Part of this effort includes installing crane rail infrastructure for new Super Post-Panamax gantry cranes. Three Super Post-Panamax container-handling gantry cranes are currently being manufactured at a cost of $13.8 million each to meet demands from current customers and new services anticipated from the Port’s multi-million-dollar expansion program. The Port also has an option to purchase three additional cranes within the next four years. The comprehensive project also includes upgrades to the existing wharfs and gantry cranes.
To further enhance ship traffic at Port Everglades, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is moving forward with a progressive plan to deepen the Port’s navigation channels from 42 feet to 48-50 feet and widen narrower sections of the channel for safe vessel passage. The project is currently in the preconstruction engineering and design phase, having received Congressional authorization in December 2016.
Deeper channels are needed to safely accommodate increasingly larger cargo ships, especially those already coming from Europe and South America that must be lightly loaded due to the existing water depth. The project addresses environmental concerns and will utilize innovative approaches to coral restoration and protection. Construction will take place in multiple phases and is expected to be completed between 2020-2025, an estimated 3-5 years after construction begins. The estimated cost to date is $437.8 million.
In a public-private partnership, Port Everglades and CenterPoint Properties broke ground in June 2019 on the nearly 300,000-square-foot Port Everglades International Logistics Center (ILC), which is designed to provide a modern, efficient, and secure environment for cargo activity. Located in the Southport cargo area, the ILC will contain warehousing, refrigerated warehouse and office space, and cross-docking facilities, which will enhance the services available to shippers using Port Everglades. When completed in Spring 2020, the ILC will also be the new home for Foreign-Trade Zone No. 25.
Port Everglades is the major seaport for receiving petroleum products for 12 counties in South Florida, including jet fuel for four international airports. To increase petroleum receiving capacity, the Port in conjunction with the petroleum industry is redeveloping Pier 1 through the widening of Slip 1 by approximately 150 feet and installing new offloading facilities. Construction has begun to prepare the dock for a new manifold system that will be built by the Port’s petroleum partner, Vecenergy. This is the first step of a multi-phase effort. The project is anticipated to be completed by 2026.
Port Everglades expects that multi-million-dollar investments in cruise terminal and transportation facilities will generate returns that benefit passengers and all Port users. Some improvements will be visible as soon as guests arrive at the Port’s entrance.
The Port is using an innovative approach to help guide drivers to their destination. A new wayfinding signage system that combines functionality with art will use multiple colors and images of herons, fish and palms to create an intuitive and colorful visual map for port visitors to find cruise terminals and parking garages. The new signage will be installed this year.
To make parking a breeze for cruisers using Cruise Terminals 2 and 4, a new 1,888-space parking garage is currently being built on the west side of Terminal 4. Cruisers will have direct access from the parking garage to Cruise Terminal 2 without being exposed to the elements through an elevated passageway.
The 2019-2020 cruise season will kick off with the arrival of the Sky Princess, the newest ship in Princess Cruises’ Royal Class fleet. This innovative ship will call Cruise Terminal 2 home, which is the prototype terminal for Carnival Corporation’s Ocean Medallion Service — wearable-technology that enables passengers to seamlessly connect to enhanced services before and after they cruise.
In a public-private partnership, Carnival Corporation made a multi-million-dollar investment in technology and aesthetics to transform Cruise Terminal 2 into the first facility in the world specially equipped for its Ocean Medallion.
Port officials worked with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Celebrity Cruise Line to completely model and expand Cruise Terminal 25. The project required demolishing two smaller terminals to expand the total square footage by 83 percent to 157,800 square feet. With a cost of approximately $120 million, the new facility is the largest financial investment Port Everglades has made in a cruise terminal.
Located within the cities of Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Dania Beach, Florida, Port Everglades is in the heart of one of the world’s largest consumer regions, including a constant flow of approximately 112 million visitors statewide and 6 million residents within an 80-mile radius. Advantages include direct access to the interstate highway system, international and domestic entrances to the Florida East Coast Railway’s 43-acre intermodal container transfer facility, and closer proximity to the Atlantic Shipping Lanes than any other Southeastern U.S. port. Ongoing capital improvements and expansion ensure that Port Everglades continues meet future demands for cruise, cargo and petroleum growth.
The Port Everglades Department is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County, Florida government with operating revenues of almost $168 million in Fiscal Year 2018 (October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018). It does not rely on local tax dollars for operations. The total value of economic activity related to Port Everglades is nearly $34 billion. More than 230,000 Florida jobs are impacted by the Port, including 13,127 people who work for companies that provide direct services to Port Everglades. For more information on Port Everglades, visit porteverglades.net or e-mail PortEverglades@broward.org.