The City of Fort Lauderdale has recently experience impressive expansion and population growth because of migration to the state of Florida. At the same time, Port Everglades has been expanded, increasing its capacity. And, in a trifecta of sorts, the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is in the process of massive expansion, and is currently the fastest growing airport in the United States. It’s distance to Port Everglades is only 3.7 miles, which makes it one of the closest airports to cargo and cruise-ship transportation in the U.S.
What does this mean all for the business community in the greater Fort Lauderdale area? From expansion of the airport to new port terminals, able to accommodate super-ships, Fort Lauderdale has become a leader in cruise, cargo and general transportation. This, in turn, has helped to bring jobs to Fort Lauderdale and increased opportunities for local businesses.
One of the recent enhancements to Port Everglades has been the ability to accommodate mega-class cruise ships. The Celebrity Edge is the latest addition and parent company Royal Caribbean recently completed a state-of-the-art terminal to act as its home.
Here are some of the highlights of the new Celebrity Edge Terminal 25:
- T25 melds a gorgeous, warm design with an interactive light wall art installation. Unique new technology, such as Frictionless Arrival, will make the check-in process seamless.
- T25 will offer Suite Class guests a singular experience along the path to The Retreat, with an exclusive lounge, elevator lobbies, screening areas and even a private rooftop terrace.
- The cruise ship activity at T25 is anticipated to support an estimated 280 direct local jobs and more than 600 jobs statewide. Almost $7.4 million will be generated in state and local taxes annually.
- Currently, Port Everglades welcomes approximately 335,000 Celebrity guests annually, representing about nine percent of its overall passenger traffic. Once the new cruise terminal is completed, it is anticipated that Celebrity will generate nearly 500,000 travelers at Port Everglades – representing no less than 14 percent of the port's projected passenger traffic.
- The renovation of Terminal 25 costs an estimated $120 million, while the original Terminal 25 was built in 1992 at a cost of roughly $3.2 million.
- The recent renovation involved replacing two smaller and outdated cruise terminals with an innovative facility that is inspired by the futuristic design of Celebrity Edge and can accommodate the world’s largest cruise ships, up to 1,150 feet in length.
The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport, which used to feel small and “local,” has also seen some impressive changes:
- Florida International Terminal is expanding its containerized cargo terminal at Port Everglades, effectively doubling its capacity.
- The extra space will double the number of inbound lanes to six and outbound lanes to two.
- Florida International Terminal LLC (FIT) has opened a new 32-acre containerized cargo terminal at Port Everglades in Broward County.
- The new terminal has double the number of entry gates and adds scales, heavy equipment technology and increased stacked capacity.
In order to accommodate the new Super Post-Panamax Container Cranes, Port Everglades is in the midst of the largest expansion project in its history. The project includes the manufacturing of three super-sized cranes, valued at $13.8 million each, as well as the lengthening of the Southport Turning Notch from 900 feet to 2,400 feet to allow for up to five new cargo berths.
- In addition to the three cranes approved for manufacturing, the Port has options to purchase up to three additional cranes over the next five years.
- The new cranes will have the ability to handle containers stacked eight containers high and reach across 22 containers on a ship's deck. Port Everglades' existing seven gantry cranes in the Southport area, where the majority of the Port's containerized cargo handling takes place, are limited to containers stacked six containers high and only reach across 16 containers on a ship’s deck. In addition to purchasing the new cranes, existing cranes will be upgraded to a lift capacity of 65 tons from the current 46.5 tons.
And that’s not all….
- Cruise Terminal 4 was extended by 225 feet for a total 1,125 feet of berth length to accommodate larger cruise ships. Port Everglades is currently home to several of the world's largest cruise ships: Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently installed the Port Everglades Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS) advanced sensor device, which provides real-time tides, currents, water levels and other meteorological information to boaters and commercial mariners.
The good news is that local property taxes are not used for construction or operations, as Port Everglades is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County, Florida government. The Port generated more than $162 million in Fiscal Year 2017 (October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017) through fees collected from docked ships, cargo handling, real estate leases and other services. The project is anticipated to support an estimated 5,500 permanent jobs regionally when completed and fully operational.
Overall, this is very exciting for our city, businesses, and residents. The opportunities keep growing and local businesses should feel a positive impact from all of these enhancements.