The Port of Pensacola has been part of the city’s culture and community since the first commercial dock was built in 1784. But the need for deep-water access is now blending traditional port functions with 21st-century “blue economy” activities. For example, the port is home to a former 630-foot cargo vessel now owned by Jeff Bezos’ space exploration company Blue Origin. The ship will complete a major conversion that will equip the ship to serve as a landing platform vessel beginning in late 2021.
Pensacola’s new strategy maintains the port’s core assets for cargo and trade activity while allowing space for blue economy sectors, such as aquaculture, marine technology and biology, and ocean industry career training. It also allocates a portion of the port’s outside the gate holdings for civic uses — such as harbor cruises, water taxis, maritime history centers and entertainment venues. The port’s commitment to blending traditional and new ideas received two boosts last year. Pensacola Bay Oyster Company opened an oyster nursery, becoming the port’s first aquaculture customer. A short time later, the New York Yacht Club selected Pensacola as the winter training base for its American Magic sailing team, which will challenge for the 36th America’s Cup in Auckland, New Zealand in 2021. On the cargo front, the port continues to play a critical role supporting the local General Electric Wind Energy manufacturing facility and wind farm projects across the United States by handling a record number of wind energy components and fully assembled wind energy generation turbines.
Further development of new niches and the handling of long standing cargo types, combined with the strategic implementation of the new vision plan, should insure that the Port of Pensacola is as important to Northwest Florida’s future as it was to its past.
Goals & Objectives
- Expand Maritime Maintenance, Modification, Repair and Overhaul M/MMRO operations and facilities on Port
- Diversify Port tenant base to include marine research and subsurface technology activities
- Merge Port tenants and operations seamlessly into the adjacent areas while maintaining core maritime Port activities including cargo operations and vessel maintenance repair and overhaul
Current or Planned Investments
- Berth 6 rehabilitation
- On-Port Rail rehabilitation and modernization
- Berth 6 rehabilitation construction project
- Warehouse 1 building modification and crane installation
- New Ferry Service Terminal
Southeastern and midwestern U.S. roughly bounded by the Great Lakes to the north, the Mississippi River to the west, the Gulf of Mexico to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the east including all or a portion of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, the Virginias, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
To manage and operate cost-effective facilities for marine commerce in order to foster regional and international trade and promote economic development and employment.