Florida East Coast Railway partners with two south Florida ports to tap more import container traffic
Major expansions under way at two south Florida ports are critical components in Florida East Coast Railway's (FEC) strategy to grow its intermodal business in the coming years.
The projects include a $50 million plan to restore freight-rail service to the Port of Miami — where intermodal service between the port and FEC's Hialeah Yard has been suspended since Hurricane Wilma damaged a connecting rail bridge in 2005 — and a $72.8 million objective to build an intermodal transfer facility (ITCF) at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.
Combined with the Panama Canal widening that's under way, the projects have FEC President and Chief Executive Officer James Hertwig feeling bullish about the potential impact that intermodal traffic growth will have on the 351-mile regional, which is the exclusive rail provider to the two ports.
"As the Panama Canal expands in 2014, we believe that one of the first ports of call will be those south Florida ports," says Hertwig, who assumed FEC's top post in July 2010.
Other than New York City, the largest population on the East Coast is located in south Florida, which bodes well for businesses eager to bring their products to market, he says.