Broward County's Port Everglades has exceeded one million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) for the third consecutive year, maintaining its status as Florida's busiest containerport, the port announced Monday.
The port reported a preliminary total of almost 1.04 million TEUs for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2016. That total is down 2 percent from the 2015 total of 1.06 million—due to market fluctuations, the numbers show.
However, the long-term trend is sharply up, rising nearly 18 percent from FY2011 to FY2016. In addition, Port Everglades posted its best September ever, with 90,641 TEUs (compared to 80,550 TEUs in 2015). The figures include a 13-percent increase in bulk and breakbulk cargo, from 1.56 million tons in FY2015 to 1.76 million tons in FY2016, and a 3.6-percent increase in petroleum volumes, from 116.8 million barrels in FY2015 to 121.1 million barrels in FY2016.
In an ongoing effort to handle those increases, Port Everglades will continue its capital improvements, including $125.1 million in state grants over the next five years and infrastructure upgrades to improve the port's connections with South Florida's major highway and railroad systems.
On the water side, the port has obtained approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Port Everglades to begin the preconstruction engineering and design phase to deepen and widen its channels from 42 feet to 48 to 50 feet, and will add five new cargo berths and up to six new Super Post-Panamax gantry cranes in Southport.
The port also extended its long-range planning, renewing long-term agreements with three major terminal operators: Florida International Terminal LLC (FIT), King Ocean Services Limited (Cayman Islands) Inc., and Crowley Liner Services.
In addition, NYK Line has launched its new, monthly "Magellan Straits Express" South America Ro/Ro service from Port Everglades beginning Nov. 7. The first vessel, Rigel Leader, loaded at Port Everglades and is destined for the Port of Santos, Brazil. Additional port calls include Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico.