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The Port of Palm Beach is the fourth-busiest container port of Florida’s 15 deepwater ports, and is one of the top 20 busiest container ports in the United States. In fiscal year 2010, the port moved over 213,000 20-foot container units.
The Bahamas Celebration cruise ship is based at the port. Sailing every other day for the Bahamas, it brings 275,000 passengers to the port, an additional and significant economic impact for Palm Beach County. The port also handles diesel fuel, molasses, liquid asphalt, and other bulk commodities. There is also substantial tonnage involved in the movement of heavy lift and project cargos. All of this happens in a port that occupies only 156 acres of land.
Unlike most ports in the United States, the Port of Palm Beach handles exports as well, with approximately 80% of its cargo exported, creating a subsequent improvement in the balance of trade. The majority of the exported cargo goes toward supporting the island nations of the Caribbean. The Port of Palm Beach supplies 60% of everything consumed in the Bahamas and is the essential lifeline to the rest of the Caribbean.
The almost 900,000 tons of raw sugar produced in the Glades area of the county is shipped through the Port of Palm Beach – 100% of it.
The Port of Palm Beach and its tenants combine to become one of the largest employers in Palm Beach County, and is an economic engine for the County. Approximately 2,400 people are employed directly and indirectly because of the Port, which contributes $260 million in business revenue and $12 million in State and Federal taxes. Over $7 billion worth of commodities moves through the Port each year.
The Port of Palm Beach is the only South Florida port facility operating its own rail system with pier-side rail box, hopper, and intermodal cars operating 24 hours a day. The Port has three slips, four marginal wharves, and two ro/ro ramps for a total of 5,200 linear feet of berthing space. A Foreign Trade Zone at the Port has been in operation since 1987, encompassing several Port-owned sites, one sub-zone in Boca Raton and, in the near future, all five zones in the county as well as several high-tech sites in Martin County. Activated areas include the cargo handling bays of the Port’s old cruise terminal, as well as the entire facility of the Port of Palm Beach Cold Storage facility (POPBCS), which operates a 100,000-square-foot facility.
(Data source: http://www.portofpalmbeach.com)