PORT EVERGLADES DEPARTMENT – Chief Executive & Port Director’s Office
1850 Eller Drive, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
PHONE: 954-523-3404 FAX: 954-523-8713
Thursday, March 18, 2021
An Open Letter to Florida Residents and the Maritime Community,
I want to publicly thank Governor Ron DeSantis and Secretary of Transportation Kevin Thibault for their recommendations this week to direct federal relief dollars to Florida’s seaports. Ocean-going commerce brings life-saving goods and supplies into our stores, hospitals, gas stations and food supply chains. Throughout the pandemic, our seaports have remained open while operating at a loss because our communities cannot survive without the commodities that ships carry. But seaports, unlike other modes of transportation, have not received any type of financial relief to maintain unimpeded operations.
Port Everglades is operating at a 54 percent revenue loss year-to-date mainly due to the cruise industry shutdown and reduced volumes of jet fuel and gasoline moving through the port. Although we are fortunate due to our diverse mix of other lines of business.
While we continue to suffer significant financial impacts, it really comes down to the impacts on jobs. Many of the 13,000 local jobs that Port Everglades supported last year have disappeared or are on hold along with the loss of personal income for people in our community. That job loss includes approximately 80 percent of the longshoremen. Taxi and bus drivers, security and shoreside cruise personnel and others are suffering as well.
The relief effort that Gov. DeSantis has outlined will provide greatly needed support for Port Everglades and other seaports in Florida to continue operating and employing skilled labor. Seaports are the lifeblood of our community, especially in a pandemic when PPE, fuel and food are daily necessities. This federal relief is critical to keep the supply chain moving.
Jonathan T. Daniels
Chief Executive and Port Director
Please feel free to share this letter. It is posted on our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter feeds for you to “like” and “share.” It is also on our website at https://www.porteverglades.net/seaport-relief/