Gulftainer, a subsidiary of Crescent Enterprises and one of the world’s largest privately owned port management and logistics companies, has expanded into the United States, as part of its strategic vision to operate 35 terminals in five continents by 2020.
The company has secured a 35-year concession from Port Canaveral in Florida State to operate and further develop its container and multi-purpose cargo terminal. The deal was signed by and between John Walsh, CEO of Canaveral Port, and Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and chairman of Gulftainer’s Executive Board, at a ceremony held at Canaveral Port in the presence of 120 officials from the port and Florida State.
The terminal, set to commence operations in the fourth quarter of 2014, positions Port Canaveral as the most economical and convenient ocean gateway for containerised cargo in central Florida.
Under the terms of the agreement, Gulftainer will strengthen the terminal through a US$100m investment in infrastructure, equipment and locally-sourced human capital. The new container and cargo terminal is expected to contribute more than US$630m to Florida’s economy, US$280m in revenue to Port Canaveral, and generate more than US$350m in tax contributions.
Badr Jafar said: “By bringing Gulftainer’s UAE-grown expertise and global relationships to Port Canaveral, we aim to create a new efficient and secure gateway for goods entering and leaving the southern Atlantic coastline of America.”
Walsh said: “This agreement marks a new era for Port Canaveral. With work on the widening and deepening of the Canaveral Harbour currently in progress, the new container and multi-purpose cargo terminal will further underscore our credentials as one of the most important economic engines for our region, while providing value to Central Florida shippers and distribution facilities by lowering overall costs and offering more efficient links to the supply chain.”
Independently-owned Gulftainer operates and manages ports and logistics businesses in several countries in the Middle East, as well as in Brazil and Turkey. With a current handling activity of 6m teu, the Group aims to expand this to 18m by 2020.
Gulftainer has recorded consistent growth over the past decade, averaging over 12% compared to global market growth of 8.6% during the same period.