Newer and larger cruise ships homeported at the Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami-Dade helped the transportation hub retain its title as the Busiest Cruise Port in the World. Year-end statistics for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2001, show that passenger traffic at the Port of Miami was up .8 percent from last year with 3,391,091 people cruising the high seas. The cargo side of the business also experienced a boost with 8,247,004 tons moving through the port, representing a 5.7 increase.
According to seaport director, Charles A. Towsley, the port’s figures indicate that the port is a steady force and major contributor to the economic well-being of the community.
The Seaport helps support more than 45,000 jobs directly and indirectly and has an economic impact of more than $8 billion on the local economy. Operating revenues have risen to $76.2 million, which is a 5.1 percent increase from last year’s figures. The 2001 figures also reflect a 10 percent increase in TEUs (20 ft. equivalent units)
“The Port of Miami has had to overcome several major hurdles in the past few years,” said county manager Steve Shiver. “I am pleased to say that the Port’s administration has worked diligently to redirect the Port’s path and put it on a steady, progressive course.”
With recent contractual agreements with P&O Ports, the Port of Miami Terminal Operating Company and Carnival Cruise Lines, additional progress at the Port of Miami will be visible through new construction projects gear towards improvements and modifications. The projects, which total $170 million, include: the construction of new cruise terminals; remodeling of two existing terminals; two additional multi-level parking garages; reconfiguration for access roads; a cruise, cargo and security gateway complex; storage sheds; additional wharf construction; mooring improvements
; security improvements; and, new warehouse space.
The Port of Miami has also cultivated international relationships by entering into Sister Seaports Agreements over the past three years with 16 countries in Europe, South America, Africa, and the Caribbean. These agreements allow each port to collaborate on pertinent cargo and cruise strategies with the Port of Miami.
Additionally during the past year, the Port of Miami successfully implemented four Stolen Automobile Recovery System (STARS) units, which detect stolen vehicles with gamma-ray technology.