Gulftainer awarded 35-year concession of Port Canaveral’s container and cargo terminal in Florida

Growth is in line with Gulftainer’s vision to expand to 35 terminals in five continents by 2020

  • New terminal is expected to contribute more than US$630 million to the local economy of Florida

Gulftainer, a subsidiary of Crescent Enterprises and one of the world’s largest privately owned port management and logistics companies, today marked its expansion into the USA, as part of its strategic vision to operate 35 terminals in five continents by 2020.

Gulftainer secured a 35-year concession from Port Canaveral in Florida State to operate and further develop its container and multi-purpose cargo terminal. The deal was signed by and between John Walsh, CEO of Canaveral Port, and Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and Chairman of Gulftainer’s Executive Board, at a ceremony held at Canaveral Port in the presence of 120 officials from the port and Florida State. Also in attendance was Michael Corbin, Ambassador of the USA to the UAE, and Saud Al Nowais, Commercial Counsellor from the UAE Embassy in Washington.

The terminal, set to commence operations in the fourth quarter of 2014, positions Port Canaveral as the most economical and convenient ocean gateway for containerised cargo in central Florida.

Under the terms of the agreement, Gulftainer will strengthen the terminal through a US$100 million investment in infrastructure, equipment and locally-sourced human capital. The new container and cargo terminal is expected to contribute more than US$630 million to Florida’s economy, US$280 million in revenue to Port Canaveral, and generate more than US$350 million in tax contributions.

On the occasion, Badr Jafar commented: “By bringing Gulftainer’s UAE-grown expertise and global relationships to Port Canaveral, we aim to create a new efficient and secure gateway for goods entering and leaving the southern Atlantic coastline of America.”

“Gulftainer will work with the Canaveral Port Authority to provide opportunities to the local economy by investing in infrastructure, processes and people. The Port Authority of Canaveral is one of the most respected in the country and has a reputation for professionalism that  matches our values. Together, we will work to improve the processes and deliver outstanding value to our stakeholders.” Jafar added.

John Walsh said: “This agreement marks a new era for Port Canaveral.” “With work on the widening and deepening of the Canaveral Harbour currently in progress, the new container and multi-purpose cargo terminal will further underscore our credentials as one of the most important economic engines for our region, while providing value to Central Florida shippers and distribution facilities by lowering overall costs and offering more efficient links to the supply chain.”

Walsh added: “The arrival of larger ships and increased cargo handling will add significant value to Florida’s economy. Ports operated by Gulftainer are ranked first in Europe, Middle East and Africa and third globally in productivity by the Journal of Commerce Port Productivity Report 2013. We are confident of its ability to create tangible returns for Port Canaveral in a short span of time.”

“The decision to grant the concession to Gulftainer has been taken after careful consideration and due diligence. A reputable international port operator, the company has strong competencies in port development and supply chain improvement that is an ideal fit to our port development objectives,” said Canaveral Port Authority Commission Chairman Tom Weinberg. “This is a true game-changer that will strengthen our cargo operations.”

Independently-owned Gulftainer operates and manages ports and logistics businesses in several countries in the Middle East, as well as in Brazil and Turkey. With a current handling activity of 6 million TEUs, the Group aims to expand this to 18 million TEUs by 2020.

Gulftainer has recorded consistent growth over the past decade, averaging over 12 per cent compared to global market growth of 8.6 per cent during the same period.  In 2012, Gulftainer’s terminal at Khorfakkan was the fastest growing trans-shipment hub in the world recording 28 per cent growth.

Celebrating 60 years of operations, Port Canaveral handles nearly four million tonnes of cargo each year, and today is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. Port Canaveral offers world-class facilities for vacationers, local visitors, cruise lines, cargo shippers and tenant businesses.

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