BUSINESS REPORT: EC Railway, Port Everglades Join Forces on Intermodal

Port Everglades (Source: Wikipedia)
Port Everglades (Source: Wikipedia)

By Ed Felton
From the January/February 2013 issue

Florida East Coast Railway has signed a joint marketing agreement with Port Everglades to promote the new, 42.5-acre intermodal container transfer facility.

The facility will be adjacent to the Southport container terminals at Port Everglades and will facilitate containerized cargo transfer through the port to and from the FEC mainline. The facility will handle domestic and international cargo that is to result in advantageous transfer and shipping fees for Port Everglades’ customers, according to a news release.

The facility is being relocated from the current rail facility on Andrews Avenue, two miles from the port. As a result, traffic congestion on State Road 84 is to be reduced.

“The ICTF with new technology will allow FEC to efficiently and effectively deliver superior transportation service between South Florida and the Eastern United States,” FEC CEO Jim Hertwig said. “This agreement enables FEC and Port Everglades to be in a competitive position for additional freight and jobs beyond the completion of the Panama Canal.”

The agreement includes joint promotions including international business development, the creation of promotional materials, shared sponsorships and milestone events, according to a news release.

FEC signed a lease agreement with Broward County in March 2012 to build and operate the intermodal facility for 30 years. Broward contributed the land for the facility to serve its domestic and international business segments. The Florida Department of Transportation recently provided FEC with $18 million in grants through its Strategic Intermodal System program for the intermodal facility. The remaining $35 million in costs will be covered by the FEC, with $30 million from an FDOT State Infrastructure Bank loan and $5 million from the FEC capital plan.

The project is expected to create 767 construction jobs over the next two years, according to the news release. It is estimated that the facility will remove 180,000 truck trips from roads by the year 2027, reducing both highway congestion and air emissions.