Sister seaport agreement signed
Broward County Mayor Lois Wexler, along with Port Director Phillip C. Allen, signed an agreement officially linking Port Everglades to the Port of Marseille, France as an International Sister Seaport. The Port Authority of Marseille’s ceremonies were hosted by Guy Janin, Managing Director, and the Board of Commissioners chaired by Christian Garin.
Under the agreement, both ports will commit to the free exchange of information pertaining to the cargo and cruise industries of each port, historical statistical information, planned seaport infrastructure developments, and general marketing research aimed at increasing cruise and cargo traffic at both ports.
Launching its Sister Seaport Program just last year in March 2007, Port Everglades has already adopted the Port of Olbia, Italy as well as Xiamen, China as Sister Seaports. The Port of Marseille will be the third port coming under this program.
“We believe this new relationship with the Port of Marseille will benefit economic development in Broward County by cultivating new business contacts and strengthening existing contacts,” said Mayor Wexler, “These sister seaport agreements also serve to improve cultural understanding and promote the economic benefits of international relationships.”
Combining an economic trade mission to Europe with this signing ceremony as well as visits to current clients CMA CGM, MSC, and Costa Cruise Lines, Broward’s Mayor and county officials sought to update top executives on the Port’s recently completed Master Vision Plan and to discuss issues related to their operations at Port Everglades.
“It is fitting that Port Everglades and the Port of Marseille become sister seaports because, even though we are an ocean apart, we share so much in common,” said Port Director Phillip C. Allen. “Both ports have experienced successful growth and share a business model based on product diversity. Both seaports facilitate the transport of cargo, passengers and petroleum products.”
A direct service by Hapag-Lloyd connects the two ports. CMA CGM, the largest French container line and the third largest container line in the world, has a presence at Port Everglades. Maruba is another container line that calls at both ports. The Port of Marseille handled 9.3 million metric tons of container cargo in 2006 while Port Everglades handled 6.3 million metric tons. Both ports also handle petroleum, with the Port of Marseille refining and exporting and Port Everglades importing refined petroleum. Both ports handle millions of passengers as well.
As one of South Florida’s leading economic powerhouses, Port Everglades is the gateway for international trade and cruise vacations. Port Everglades is one of the busiest cruise ports worldwide. It is among the fastest growing container ports in the United States, according to the PIERS import/export database. And, Port Everglades is South Florida’s main seaport for receiving petroleum products including, gasoline and jet fuel. The Port Everglades Department is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County government with operating revenues of approximately $112.5 million. It does not rely on local tax dollars for operations. The total value of economic activity at Port Everglades surpasses almost $18 billion. Approximately 200,000 Florida jobs are impacted by the Port, including 11,000 people who work for companies that provide direct services to Port Everglades.