Cruise revenues for fiscal year 2018 reached $77.7 million, while cargo revenues totaled $10.2 million, up 7 percent and 18 percent year-over-year, respectively.
The port handled 211,912 tons of lumber during fiscal year 2018, up 91 percent year-over-year, which Murray said was due to construction in Central Florida. Most of the port’s lumber imports come from Scandinavia and Germany, he said.
Newsprint for the fiscal year totaled 78,586 tons, up 68 percent from fiscal year 2017. Murray said this growth likely will decline since most of the newsprint was not for newspapers but was used to create flyers for the election cycle.
The port also handled 964,307 tons of aggregates and 332,180 tons of salt, up 29 percent and 20 percent year-over-year, respectively.
Key to Florida’s Auto Market. Port Canaveral handled 21,324 new automobiles in fiscal year 2018, up 59 percent from the prior fiscal year, and Murray said the port expects to handle even more automobiles in fiscal year 2019.
Port Canaveral’s centralized location in Florida allows manufacturers to save on their inland distribution costs, Murray said, adding that Port Miami and Port Everglades do not have the landside infrastructure to handle the volume of vehicles that Port Canaveral does.
Vehicles arriving in Port Canaveral are imported from Mexico and Asia. Murray said that once the vehicles arrive, they move off the terminal and are delivered to dealers very quickly and that the port is “not a storage facility for new cars.”
A New Multipurpose Berth. The Canaveral Port Authority in January voted unanimously to move forward with building a multipurpose cargo berth, North Cargo Berth 8 (NCB8), and site work began in March. The port said NCB8 will accommodate a growing cargo portfolio, including commercial spacecraft components.
The project to build NCB8 will cost about $18 million, with nearly $8 million coming from grant funding.
On the Horizon. Looking ahead, the port’s new $6.2 million mobile harbor crane being built by Liebherr in Germany will be operational by the second quarter of 2019.
Murray told American Shipper that, according to Liebherr, it will be the largest mobile harbor crane in the United States.
Port Canaveral is looking to put the crane at North Cargo Berth 5, and although no cranes are currently earmarked for NCB8, the mobile harbor crane could easily be moved over to the new berth if needed.
Port Canaveral’s cargo growth remains dependent on continued regional demand, he said, adding that the port’s cargo sector is expected to remain “stable.”