A diverse group of public and private trade organizations from Costa Rica toured Port Everglades this week, gaining a firsthand glimpse of the seaport’s expansion plans, operations and facilities.
Costa Rica ranks as Port Everglades’ second largest export and third largest import trading partner, accounting for nearly 50,000 TEUs (standard container measurement of 20-foot equivalent units), 76 percent of all of Florida’s waterborne trade with the Central American country.
“Central America, of which Costa Rica is a major component, is Port Everglades’ primary market and we intend to build on our success through infrastructure investments that will ensure that Port Everglades can handle larger vessels and higher volumes in the future,” Port Everglades Deputy Director Glenn Wiltshire told the delegation, which was organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Three critical expansion projects are currently underway at Port Everglades that are projected to create 7,000 new jobs regionally and support more than 135,000 new jobs throughout Florida once completed and operating at full capacity. These key projects are expected to be completed within the next two to five years and will add five new cargo berths, widen and deepen the Port’s channels to 50 feet and add a new, state of the art on-port rail yard that will be built and operated by the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC).
In addition to touring the Port and learning about its expansion plans, the delegation of 20 Costa Rican trade officials and private company executives visited cargo terminal operators at the Port including Crowley Liner Services, SeaFreight Agencies and International Warehouse Services. They also heard presentations from representatives of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Florida International Terminals about logistics benefits and processing perishable commodities.
“Costa Rica is an important two-way trade partner for our company,” said SeaFreight Agencies President Roland Malins-Smith, who participated in the tour. “We handle heavy export volumes to the 20 Caribbean countries that SeaFreight serves, including transshipment cargo into Costa Rica from hubs such as Kingston.”