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Rail News: Intermodal

Florida East Coast, Port Everglades to jointly promote container transfer facility

Florida East Coast Railway L.L.C. (FEC) and Port Everglades recently signed a joint marketing agreement to promote a planned 42.5-acre intermodal container transfer facility (ICTF) to be built near the Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale, Fla., port. The parties plan to break ground in early 2013 and complete the facility in spring 2014.

The agreement calls for FEC and the port to jointly promote international business development and create promotional materials, and share sponsorships and milestone events.

"The ICTF with new technology will allow FEC to efficiently and effectively deliver superior transportation service between south Florida and the eastern United States," said FEC President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Hertwig in a prepared statement. "This agreement enables FEC and Port Everglades to be in a competitive position for additional freight and jobs beyond the completion of the Panama Canal."

To be built adjacent to the port's Southport container terminals, the ICTF will facilitate containerized cargo transfers through the port to and from FEC's mainline. Both domestic and international cargo will be handled at the site, resulting in advantageous transfer and shipping fees for port customers, FEC officials said.

By relocating intermodal cargo from the current rail facility on Andrews Avenue two miles from the port, traffic congestion on State Road 84 will be reduced significantly, they said, adding that an estimated 180,000 truck trips will be removed from local roads by 2027.

"An ICTF adjacent to [our] pier operations will not only ensure our seaport remains competitive with other U.S. East Coast gateways, but will give our port a cost and time-to-market advantage over many of these gateways," said Port Everglades Chief Executive and Director Steven Cernak.

FEC signed a lease agreement with Broward County in March to build and operate the ICTF for 30 years. The county contributed the land for the facility.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) recently provided FEC $18 million in grants through its Strategic Intermodal System program. The project's remaining costs, $35 million, will be covered by the railroad with $30 million from an FDOT State Infrastructure Bank loan and $5 million from FEC's capital plan.

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More News from 12/14/2012