Port Canaveral Launches RO/RO Division
The official grand opening of the Port Canaveral vehicle processing facility was marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the arrival of 730 new vehicles aboard the 653-foot-long vessel Wisteria Ace, the first vehicle carrier to call at the Port’s facility. The new automobiles were discharged at the Port’s 16-acre auto processing facility located alongside South Cargo Pier 4. Another carrier is scheduled to arrive next week with more than 850 new autos aboard.
“A port-operated vehicle processing facility has inherent value for current and potential customers that aligns perfectly with our mission and translates to final-mile cost saving advantages for vehicle importers and exporters,” stated Capt. John Murray, Port CEO. “Operating the facility as a port authority enterprise gives us flexibility to respond to a customer’s unique requirements in a timely and efficient manner. What’s more, our location is a natural geographic center to access the high volume, fast-paced dealer markets in Florida.”
Port Canaveral’s vehicle processing facility is alongside a dedicated berth, resulting in quick offloading of vehicles to the first and last point of rest. The secure paved facility includes a 20,000-square-foot, climate-controlled vehicle processing warehouse equipped with LED lighting and striped traffic lanes. The terminal has current capacity of 100,000 vehicles annually with potential to increase to 240,000 annually. All major markets in Florida and the U.S. Southeast are accessible within eight hours drive from Port Canaveral.
Port Canaveral assumed operation of the vehicle processing facility when the former operator’s lease expired in January. Experienced vehicle processing employees were hired for the Port Canaveral RO/RO Division to ensure operational continuity and maintain the high-quality of service to existing customers. The Port has invested in implementing a new advanced terminal operating system using cloud-based technology to allow adaptability to any OEM system. This technology is capable of integrating with the latest vehicle-tracking technologies to provide real-time reporting and facilitate tiered supplier efficiency.
In Fiscal Year 2019, some 12,514 vehicles were processed at the facility. The Port is continuing to service current customer needs and pursuing future import/export business opportunities with foreign and domestic vehicle manufacturers. Currently, NYK, Hoegh and Mitsui Ocean Line vehicle carriers call at the Port, which is working closely with multiple ocean carriers to broaden its service portfolio.