In 1918, a special act of the Florida Legislature established a taxing district to fund the construction of the Fort Pierce Inlet. St. Lucie County became the port authority and has remained so through an act of legislature since that time.

Beginning in 1920, with the actual completion of the Fort Pierce Inlet, the port thrived, first as a hub for the coastwise shipping of Florida citrus and produce. The port was then converted into a U.S. Navy base in World War II before finally establishing itself as a shipping hub to the Bahamas.

The Port of Fort Pierce has been unique among Florida ports in that its working waterfront, the Indian River Terminal and much of the rest of the port were held in private ownership. That changed in January 2018, when St. Lucie County acquired the terminal with a goal of transforming it from a dated cargo facility to a purpose-built shipyard for the maintenance, refit and overhaul of megayachts.

Culminating a nearly yearlong procurement process, Derecktor Shipyards, one of the world’s leading maintenance, refit and overhaul (MRO) companies, assumed control of the operations and development of the terminal on November 1, 2019.

Goals & Objectives

  • Job creation and economic growth through successful development and operation of the former Indian River Terminal by Derecktor Ft. Pierce, LLC
  • Development of vast undeveloped port properties
  • Development of robust job training/apprenticeship programs

Current or Planned Investments

  • Dock rehabilitation and upgrades
  • Terminal improvements, including paving to support heavy vessels
  • Gate relocation and construction



  • Acquisition of the former Indian River Terminal
  • Selection of Derecktor Shipyards, Inc. to operate the former Indian River Terminal for the operation and development of megayacht maintenance, refit, overhaul facility
  • Demolition of the 50+ year-old citrus packing house to provide critical uplands space for megayacht MRO


St. Lucie, Indian River, Okeechobee, Highlands, Hendry, Glades and Martin counties.


Broaden and strengthen the economic base of the regional community by providing adequate infrastructure and development processes for mixed-use port development.