March 31, 2015

Port Canaveral

More Big Ships Call Port Canaveral Home

A new fuel terminal on the port's north is helping.

Jerry Jackson | 3/1/2011

Port workers load drums of juice concentrate
onto a ship bound for Europe.
With the arrival of the 4,000-passenger Disney Dream and Norwegian Cruise Line's 1,936-guest Norwegian Sun, Port Canaveral continues to grow as a home base for big ships. And the Brevard County port is an increasingly popular port-of-call for cruise ships that visit and return to ports elsewhere, with a record 136 ship visits scheduled for 2011. But the port is looking to flex more muscle on the cargo side as well.

To encourage and accommodate growth in shipments of everything from orange juice to automobiles, the port is soliciting bids this year for two additional cargo piers, as well as a new cruise terminal. Port CEO Stan Payne says the time is right to invest in infrastructure because construction costs are lower and destined to rise as the economy strengthens.

Stan Payne
Port CEO Stan Payne says lower construction costs make this an ideal time to expand.
Lower borrowing costs also help. The Canaveral Port Authority is using a $42-million, low-interest loan to supplement port revenue and speed the $100-million expansion. The 13-year loan carries an interest rate of 3.14%. Port officials expect that when the expansion is complete within the next several years, the economy will be stronger and imports and exports more robust.

The cargo sector was hurt by the slowdown in construction in recent years as shipments of lumber, cement and related products plunged. But a new fuel terminal on the north side of the port is boosting revenue as the economy shows signs of life.

Port Canaveral generates more than 13,000 jobs and about $650 million in wages, according to a 2010 analysis of cruise, cargo, real estate and marina activity during 2009. Cargo accounts for about 15% of the port's business.

Port Canaveral Rendering
Rendering of Port Canaveral's new cruise terminal

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