TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 29, 2019) – A delegation of congressional staff members from the offices of Florida’s representatives in the House and Senate* will met with leadership at Port Everglades today, and will continue port tours at PortMiami tomorrow. The educational tours and activities have been coordinated by the Florida Ports Council to allow federal representatives a first-hand look at the positive impacts made by strategic infrastructure investments at Florida’s seaports.
“Florida’s federal leaders have been steadfast supporters of the state’s seaports, particularly on issues including security and investment,” said Doug Wheeler, president and CEO of the Florida Ports Council. “It’s this support that ensures Florida’s seaports continue growing the economy and positioning Florida as a global hub for business.”
The group surveyed Port Everglades’ Southport Turning Notch Extension and Crane Rail Infrastructure project, which will lengthen the existing deep-water turn-around area for cargo ships from approximately 900 feet to 2,400 feet and allow for up to five new cargo berths and new Super Post-Panamax gantry cranes. This tour provided an opportunity for Port executives to update federal partners on the project, which was made possible in part through state and federal investments, and to identify funding sources for on-going investments needed to complete the Port’s $900 million expansion effort.
During a waterside tour by the Port Everglades Pilots Association, the pilots and members from the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Fort Lauderdale spoke to the group about the Port’s need to deepen and widen its navigation channels so fully loaded Neo-Panamax cargo ships can safely pass today’s generation of larger cruise ships docked along the Intracoastal Waterway.
Presentations also took place inside Port Everglades newest cruise facility, Terminal 25, home to several ships owned by Celebrity Cruises, including the line’s revolutionary Celebrity Edge, which debuted during the 2019 cruise season.
Tomorrow at PortMiami, the delegation will continue their tour of cruise and cargo terminal operations including an overview of facial recognition processing technology, recycling systems and seaport security.
Florida seaports continue to work with local, state, and federal partners to ensure multimodal investments are in place to effectively and cost efficiently move containerized goods on-port, and to their final destination. Strategic planning and investments remain key elements ensuring Florida is prepared to service larger, new-Panamax vessels as a global hub for trade with the Americas, Europe, Asia and beyond.
*Attendees included staff from the offices of Senator Marco Rubio, and the following members of Congress: Val Demings, Mario Diaz-Balart, Neal Dunn, Lois Frankel, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson.
About the Florida Ports Council
The Florida Ports Council is the professional association of Florida’s public seaports, providing advocacy, leadership and research on seaport-related issues before state and federal government. Florida’s ports support nearly 900,000 jobs in the state and contribute $117.6 billion to the state’s economy each year. The Florida Ports Council administers the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Council, which is required to provide a 5-year Florida Seaport Mission Plan annually according to Florida Statute. For more information, visit flaports.org.