December 22, 2014

A Florida Company Profile

Ticket to ride on FECI's 'All Aboard Florida'

Florida East Coast Industries believes it can make money offering a service no private company has offered.

Mike Vogel | 8/28/2013

The train also creates issues for local governments along the route, including noise from train horns and station envy. "We hope All Aboard Florida stops here eventually," says Cocoa Mayor Henry Parrish. Meanwhile, Palm Beach County Mayor Steve Abrams, who chairs the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Tri-Rail's parent, hopes All Aboard will lead to Tri-Rail also moving on the FECI-controlled lines. "They've been supportive," he says.

Cumber says FECI's priority is making All Aboard successful, not moving Amtrak or Tri-Rail to the line. As for other train stops, he says that if at a future date added stops and links — whether Cocoa, Tampa or Jacksonville — show a promise of profit, All Aboard will pursue them, but not now.

Signorello considers his company's other new divisions equally as important as the All Aboard venture, particularly the moving of goods from ports to consumers and to-and-from Latin America, a bread-and-butter supply chain and logistics business called South Florida Logistics Service.

"What we're doing there is as transformational, if not more transformational, than All Aboard Florida," he says. "We're committing a lot of money to that business today, and it will be just as instrumental in shaping the economy of Florida, particularly south Florida, as All Aboard Florida will."

And what FECI hopes to accomplish with all of its divisions — whether moving cargo or moving people — is the same: A hefty return on investment. FECI doesn't disclose its revenue or profit margins, but Signorello says the company's aim always is to at least double its money with each investment. "We like to use that as a floor, not a ceiling," he says.

Like the other three FECI units, All Aboard's final stop could be the selling block. A feature of FECI's structure is that every unit stands independent — even the Miami land where All Aboard will have its station is underwritten as a separate investment — with its own management team and its own capital structure, ready to be spun off cleanly to buyers.

"We're constantly measuring the moment in time when our capital investment should end and someone else's should begin," Signorello says. "We are in the early days for a couple of these projects so we'll continue to invest a lot of capital."

Rail Service from Miami to Orlando
All Aboard Florida’s passenger rail service will travel from Miami to Orlando in three hours.
Guy Harvey

Tags: Transportation

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