Gov. Rick Scott will ask Florida lawmakers in the upcoming legislative session for $9.7 million for a new cargo terminal at Port Canaveral. Support of the project is part of Scott’s efforts to position Florida for new business opportunities expected from expansion of the Panama Canal in 2015. This year’s state budget has more than $275 million spent directly on seaport projects.
“Governor Scott again demonstrates his commitment and understanding that the state’s seaports are the lifeblood to healthy economic recovery and critical job creation for our communities,” said Port Canaveral CEO John E. Walsh. “Investments in Port Canaveral, other Florida seaports, and critical infrastructure needs are the keys to putting people to work and resurrecting our economy.”
Already a thriving and growing cruise operation, Port Canaveral primarily handles bulk and breakbulk, but rapidly is expanding to become one of Florida’s major container ports. Port Canaveral will use the $9.7 million to expand its container facility and boost efforts to increase cargo tonnage and the jobs that will create. As part of overall expansion including widening and deepening its channel beginning this fall, Port Canaveral is constructing two new cargo berths and has purchased two new post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes.
“We will be the global place for shipping,” Scott said during the annual convention of the American Association of Port Authorities, which Port Canaveral hosted. “With this nearly $35 million commitment for critical port projects, we’ll enhance our ports’ ability to move more goods which will position Florida to play an even greater role in global trade. Our strategy to make Florida the gateway for global trade is working.”
The Governor also supported projects at Port Everglades and Port of Tampa.