USA: “State of Florida Ports” Introduced

The Florida Ports Council has announced a new publication the State of Florida Ports, a resource of detailed information on each Florida seaport.

The report provides an updated port profile for each of Florida’s seaports, including economic impact information and status updates for their major projects, as well as accomplishments and testimonials.

The report also provides a summary of the strides that Florida’s seaports have made from a statewide perspective due to the strategic investments and regulatory relief supported by Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature, and how ports are preparing to capture future international and domestic business for Florida.

To keep generating jobs and boosting economic activity, ports have to stay ahead of the competition in other states. To attract more trade, to be a key part of an optimal transportation movement that impels businesses to blossom, and to create jobs, Florida ports are continuing to build, improve and develop.

They are continuing to do so in ways that are financially sound, astute and sustainable. Undoubtedly they’ve had to get creative in this capital-intensive world, where revenue sources are decreasing and infrastructure planning timelines are lengthening. They’ve had to find ways to bolster earnings and grant funding, capitalize on bond financing and wholeheartedly embrace clever and innovative funding options such as private-public partnerships.

Port Everglades, for example will soon be able to serve vast volumes of rail traffic thanks in part to the 30-year lease with the Florida East Coast Railway LLC (FEC) to build and operate the port intermodal container transfer facility (ICTF). And PortMiami, in partnership with state, federal and private-sector partners, is investing more than $2 billion in major improvements to support cargo and cruise growth – the program includes massive projects such as the access tunnel under Biscayne Bay, deep dredging the channel, and restored rail service.

In Tampa, the Gateway Rail Project, completed in 2012, is a $10.9-million joint Tampa Port Authority/CSX Corporation/Kinder Morgan Energy Partners initiative. It was the first on-dock unit train facility in Florida and its multipurpose design means it can handle ethanol cars or intermodal containers.

Florida’s ports have learned they cannot go it alone on funding – and the same goes for planning. They are part of the emerging cutting-edge statewide freight movement whose momentum leads the nation in a collaborative planning mindset. This is an extremely competitive business and Florida’s ports have already stepped up to the plate.

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Press Release, March 13, 2013

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