Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) has celebrated its first-year anniversary operating its new Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) adjacent to Port Everglades with a 26% increase in volume.
“This is a terrific milestone that validates the investment made by FECR, Port Everglades, the State of Florida and Broward County. It is one that will have long-lasting benefits for the community by reducing road congestion and greenhouse gas emissions,” claimed James Hertwig, FECR president and CEO.
“We look forward to continued growth at the ICTF as the Port adds new docks and cranes, and expands its harbour with deeper and wider channels,” he continued.
The public-private partnership (PPP) project saw the facility built on 43 acres of land provided by the port. Opening in July 2014, it is used to transfer international intermodal containers arriving or departing by ship, as well as domestic containers and trailers moving to and from South Florida. Previously containers were transported by truck to off-port rail terminals in Fort Lauderdale and Hialeah.
“The ICTF ensures that Port Everglades is competitive with other US East Coast gateways, and, most importantly, gives South Florida a cost and time-to-market advantage over many of these gateways,” said Steve Cernak, the port’s chief executive and port director.
Cargo moves through Port Everglades to/from Atlanta and Charlotte in two days, and Nashville and Memphis in three days. FECR’s direct connection to the nation’s Class 1 rail network can serve 70% of the US population within four days.
Additionally, having empty 53-foot domestic containers and trailers adjacent to the port provides more opportunities to trans-load import cargo from ocean containers to domestic units for inland rail transport. This results in more loaded domestic containers moving north instead of empties, increasing the efficiency of the intermodal network.
The ICTF is expected to reduce congestion, and emissions, on interstate highways and local roadways by diverting an estimated 180,000 trucks from the roads by 2027.