As South Florida sees an influx of business investment and economic growth, its systems and infrastructure for freight transport are being pushed into the spotlight. With multiple modes of transport—including air, sea, rail and road—management and planning can be a constantly changing puzzle. Anthony Abbate, director of Metro Lab at Florida Atlantic University, moderated SFBW’s recent panel discussion on freight movement in the region, and his expert guests weighed in on the challenges and opportunities the future brings. If Abbate emphasized anything, it was that success in freight planning is contingent on getting stakeholders to work together: “The health of our economy depends on the effective and efficient movement of goods to support commercial and industrial activities,” he explained. “Freight planning involves partnerships between public and private sectors to minimize the effort and cost to get goods to businesses as well as residents and visitors throughout this region.” With so many modes of transport, where does South Florida’s freight system begin? “The main facilities start with Port Everglades, which is our hub for where import/export is actually occurring,” said Greg Stuart, executive director of the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization. “A lot of that freight is getting moved on trains, as well as trucks that are moving on our highway and local road systems.” Among the port’s biggest advantages is its proximity to warehouses and rail distribution centers, according to Robert Ledoux, senior vice president and general counsel of Florida East Coast Railway. “That allows us to seamlessly move cargo in and out of the ports without hitting the main highways and roadways of Broward County,” he said. “The negative is when our trains are moving slow through downtown Fort Lauderdale, with the traffic jams and problems that creates for the motorist.” An ongoing project to deepen and widen the port’s harbor will ramp up the volume of cargo that it processes while presenting a unique opportunity. When Port Everglades is finished around 2025, it will welcome post-Panamax ships, which carry as much as three times the cargo of Panamax ships (vessels designed to transit the Panama Canal). The additional freight will give both rail and trucking a chance to mitigate the imbalance between the state’s imports and exports.

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text]South Florida Business and Wealth is proud to host numerous events throughout the year. Whether it be a CEO Connect to provide networking opportunities for local businesses or an extravagant party honoring South Florida's top business professionals, we...