Port Everglades, the main seaport in south Florida, US, is undergoing a $1.6bn, five-year expansion to serve the future needs of the global shipping industry.
Owned by Broward County government, the port received its first commercial ship in November 1928. As one of the country’s leading container ports, Port Everglades receives petroleum products, including gasoline, jet fuel and alternative fuels.
Port Everglades is ranked among the top three busiest cruise homeports in the world hosting up to four million passengers annually.
The proposed infrastructure improvement projects include a new logistics centre, deeper and wider channels, and the biggest berth expansion in the port’s history. Scheduled for completion by 2023, expansion works are progressing steadily despite Covid-19 pandemic.
The port’s container handling capacity totalled 1.05 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2019. It generated more than $34bn in economic activity in the financial year 2019.
Port Everglades location and background
The port is located in Fort Lauderdale city on the south-eastern coast of Florida, approximately 48km north of Port Miami Cruise Port. It is situated close to the Atlantic Ocean shipping lanes, Florida East Coast railway, Florida’s highway system and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Port Everglades has eight modern and guest-friendly cruise terminals equipped with free Wi-Fi, snack and beverage machines, restrooms and comfortable seating.
The port underwent a $48m security infrastructure programme after terrorist attacks in 2001 to provide a safe environment for enterprises and individuals.
The port expansion is part of the capital improvement master plan, which is updated every two to five years to meet the current market trends, technologies and environmental initiatives.
The latest 20-year masterplan was approved by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners in June 2020. It identifies the requirement of approximately $3bn in capital investments for improving the productivity of cargo, cruise and petroleum businesses.
Containerised cargo improvements
The $471m Port Everglades Southport turning notch extension and Southport crane infrastructure improvements project will add five new cargo berths by lengthening the existing turn-around area from 900ft to 2,400ft.
It will also involve the installation of crane rail infrastructure for supporting up to six new super post-Panamax container gantry cranes, capable of accommodating up to 22 container units.
The project will also include the construction of a new two-story switchgear and office building west of the current facility to support the new crane rails.
The project was approved by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners in May 2017. The crane infrastructure is scheduled for completion by March 2022, followed by the berth construction in December 2022. The overall project is expected to be completed by July 2023.
New international logistics centre at Port Everglades
A new international logistics centre is under construction on 16.6 acres of port land. The ground-breaking ceremony of the centre was held in June 2019 and construction is expected to be completed by September 2020.
The centre will be divided into two separate buildings including the southern building across 145,000ft² and the northern building occupying 156,000ft².
The logistics centre will improve the services offered to shippers with the addition of a warehouse, refrigerated warehouse, office space, and cross-docking facilities. The project will also create a dedicated space as a foreign-trade zone.
Cruise parking garage and petroleum slip improvements
The parking deck of second and fourth cruise terminals is being expanded with the construction of a new cruise parking garage west of the Terminal 4 in the Northport area.
The garage will feature an air-conditioned bridge with moving walkways for passengers to move to Terminal 2, Princess Cruises’ prototype Ocean Medallion terminal.
The Slip 1 at the port will undergo improvements under $100m petroleum slip improvements project to allow large tankers to dock and increase cargo offload per ship at a faster rate.
The project will extend the life of the facility by 75 years while creating measurable efficiencies and economies of scale.
Deepening and widening channels
The port’s navigation channels will be deepened from 42ft to 50ft and the narrow sections of the channel will be widened for safe vessel passage.
The project also includes the construction of a new facility at the US Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale for widening the intra-coastal waterway by 250ft, eliminating operating restrictions on large Neo-Panamax cargo ships. The widening project is supported by $29.1m funding secured under the US Army Corps of Engineers Fiscal Year 2020 work plan in February 2020.
Estimated to cost $39m, the coast guard station will be completed by November 2023. The navigation improvements project is expected to create 2,200 jobs during construction and approximately 1,500 additional permanent jobs.
Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries, an engineering firm based in China, is building three super-post-Panamax container-handling gantry cranes valued at $41m, with service entry scheduled for the end of 2020. The port has an option to buy three additional cranes within five years.
CenterPoint Properties is developing the new logistics centre under a public-private partnership (PPP). ANF Group was contracted by CenterPoint Properties to lead the construction services of the logistics centre.
Moss & Associates and Kiewit joint venture received a $471m contract for the Southport turning notch expansion and Southport crane rail improvements project in February 2019.
DeRose Design Consultant was selected to provide design for the turning notch portion of the project, while the design for crane rail improvement project was provided by Liftech Consultants.