Port Canaveral

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This article is about the port. For the city, see Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Port Canaveral
Port Canaveral
Country  United States
Location Brevard County, Florida
Opened 1953
Operated by Port Canaveral
Annual cargo tonnage 2,700,000 tons
Passenger traffic 3.9 million
Canaveral Port Authority
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Wikipedia:WikiProject Florida

Port Canaveral is a cruise, cargo and naval port in Brevard County, Florida, United States. It is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world with 3.9 million cruise passengers passing through during 2014. As a deep water cargo port, it has a high volume of traffic. Over 3,000,000 short tons (2,700,000 t) of bulk cargo moves through each year. Common cargo includes cement, petroleum and aggregate. The port has conveyors and hoppers for loading products directly into trucks, and facilities for bulk cargo containers. The channel is about 44 feet (13 m) deep.[1]

There is 750,000 square feet (70,000 m2) of covered freight storage capacity. It handled 4,000,000 short tons (3,600,000 t) of cargo in 2004. The port exports fresh citrus; bulk frozen citrus juice stored in one of the largest freezer warehouses in the state; cement and building materials. The port receives lumber, salt for water softening, automobiles, and steel sheet and plate. It transships items for land, sea, air and space. Port Canaveral's Foreign Trade Zone is among the largest general purpose FTZs in the nation - over 5 square miles (13 km2). The port boosts Brevard's economy by 1/2 billion dollars annually.

In April 2007, shipping was off 25.6% for the previous six months compared to the previous year, down to 295,965 short tons (268,495 t) per months.[2] This had risen to 401,544 short tons (364,275 t) in August 2010.[3]

Ten ships, on average, enter the port each day.[4]

Governing authority[edit]

The Canaveral Port Authority was established in 1953 by the State Legislature and consists of the Board of Commissioners and the Executive Management Team. The Board sets policies such as fiscal, regulatory, and operations, while the executives are responsible for administrative and operational duties. In October, 2015 the board voted unanimously to terminate embattled CEO John Walsh. Walsh was brought down after clashing with residents over a controversial plan to build a cargo railway through a federally-mananged wildlife refuge. Walsh drew community outrage after calling opponents of his plan "Ludites" and "dogs chasing moving cars." Walsh was also caught up in a scandal, lying about documentation from the United States Air Force, related to building the Canaveral Rail through the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.[5]

The five Commissioners of the Board are elected from the surrounding area by popular vote. They must live in specific areas, but are elected by voters in all five districts. The races are partisan.
District 1 (Kennedy Space Center / Titusville) - Jerry Allender
District 2 (Area between Titusville and Cocoa and west of the US 1) - John H. Evans
District 3 (Cocoa / Rockledge) - Wayne Justice
District 4 (East of the US 1 and Cape Canaveral) - Robert "Bruce" Deardoff appointed by Florida Governor Charlie Crist to fill vacant seat until elections were held in November 2010. Deardoff sworn in on 3/3/2010.
District 5 (Port Canaveral / Cocoa Beach) - Thomas Weinberg

Salary is $10,083.72 annually.

The Executive Management Team is headed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).[6]
John Murray Chief Executive Officer

Rodger Rees Deputy Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer

George Arocha Director/General Manager, Cargo & Container Operations

Brian Blanchard Sr. Director, Cruise Operations

Alberto Cabrera Sr. Director, Cargo, Business Development

Bill Crowe, P.E. Director, Civil Engineering & Construction

Diane Denig Assistant Director, Tenant Relation

Jim Dubea Deputy Executive Director, Government and Strategic Partnerships

Shannon Feeley Assistant Director, Cargo, Business Development

Robert Giangrisostomi Sr. Director of Business Developmen

Rosalind Harvey Sr. Director, Communications & Community Affair

Terry Hicks Sr. Director, Facilities, Construction and Engineering

Albert Jendroch Assistant Director, Facilities, Maintenance, Landscaping

Cindy Kane Sr. Director, Human Resources

Mark Lorusso Sr. Director, Information Technology

Clyde Mathis Sr. Director, Cargo & Logistics

Diana Mims-Reid Controller

Sarah O'Shea Assistant Director, Recreation and Events

Karen Pappas Director, Purchasing and Policies

David T. Poston Director, Cruise, Tourism, Hospitality, Business Development

Pat Poston Sr. Director, Finance

Gary Raia Assistant Director, Risk Management

Jim Reynolds Director, Public Safety & Security (FSO)

Connie Rosado Assistant Director, Grants

Scott Shepard Director, Real Estate

In 2013, there were 233 staff members, 162 full-time, 71 part-time.[7]


A post office in the area was built and listed in the US Post Office application as Artesia.[8] and retained this name from 1893–1954; and then went into service for Port Canaveral from 1954-1962.

Dredging a port[edit]

Port Canaveral welcome sign. Note the anchor and Space shuttle logo.

The idea of developing a port at this location was first conceived in the 1880s. The port was dredged between 1951 and 1955.[1]

Dedication occurred November 4, 1953, with the Navy destroyer escort USS McClelland (DE-750) participating. Florida U.S. Senator Spessard Holland was the keynote speaker.[citation needed]

Noah Butts, a former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, was the first Chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority.[9] The first port manager, George King, was announced in 1954. Commercial fishing had already begun at the port, and in the next year commercial shipping began, with a load of bagged cement delivered by the SS MormacSpruce.[citation needed] In 1955, the Tropicana Corporation began building a refrigerated warehouse for storing orange juice, a local agricultural product, prior to shipping.

Cruise traffic appeared at the port in 1964, with the SS Yarmouth Castle, recently purchased by Yarmouth Cruise Lines from the Chadade Steamship Company. The ship was American owned, with registration from Panama. The ship burned at sea between Miami and Nassau, Bahamas in 1965, and cruise traffic was limited until the 1980s.

In 1965, a lock was dedicated at the port, as part of the Canaveral Barge Canal. The Canaveral Lock is still in operation, and is maintained by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The focus of the port throughout the 1960s and 1970s remained commercial fishing and shipping, with three 400-foot (120 m) cargo piers built on the north side of the Port in 1976, and a succession of warehouses built in the port area. Port Canaveral has played a role in support of NASA projects out of nearby John F. Kennedy Space Center. During the Apollo program, segments of the Saturn V rocket transited through the port and lock. Most recently the Space Shuttle's external tanks were floated into Port Canaveral for each mission, and the solid rocket boosters were towed back through Port Canaveral after being fished out of the Atlantic Ocean after each launch. NASA contributed $250,000 for improvements in the lock in 1965.[10]

Prior to its disestablishment in 2000, Premier Cruise Line was headquartered in Cape Canaveral.[11][12]

In September 2005, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) diverted one cruise line from Canaveral (under contract) to shelter Hurricane Katrina evacuees.[citation needed]

In 2008, Sterling Casino Lines ceased doing business at the port.[13] But just a week later, the Las Vegas Casino Line began operating gambling cruises. On March 25, 2009 the Las Vegas Casino Line filed for bankruptcy, joining the Sterling Casino on the list of failed 'Casino Lines' to operate out of Port Canaveral.

In 2009, a commissioner resigned and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced that it was conducting an investigation into possible corruption at the port.[14]

In 2009, the last company to offer gambling, SunCruz Casinos, filed for bankruptcy, Chapter 7. The companies failed due to competition from land-based gambling activities in Seminole Casinos, and Greyhound racing venues. Gambling liners hit a high on 1.0 million passengers in 2004, before starting to decline.[15] Casino operations generated about $5–$6 million annually for the port.[16]

Cruise traffic[edit]

Carnival, Disney, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean International are some of the cruise lines which dock at one of the five cruise terminals. The port hosted 109,175 multi-day cruise passengers in October 2008. There was a high of 307,005 passengers in April 2009. This fell to a seasonal low of 221,557 in October. With the loss of daily gambling ship cruises, port authorities do not expect this high to be exceeded for some time.[17] There were 2.8 million passengers in 2010.[18]

Cruise ships docked at Port Canaveral. From left to right: Carnival, Disney, and Royal Caribbean ships.

In the early 1980s, a new port director, Charles Rowland, shifted the focus towards developing the port to a Cruise port. In 1982, a 20,000 square feet (2,000 m2) warehouse on the north side of the port was converted into Cruise Terminal 1. The SS Scandinavian Sea, a 10,427 ton ship, was the first cruise ship to home-port at Port Canaveral. Early cruises were simple day cruises out into the ocean and back. The Port then purchased two former Bicentennial exhibit halls from NASA in 1983 and they became Terminals 2 and 3 in 1983. The following year the SS Royale of Premier Cruise Line was home-ported at Port Canaveral. The first year-round 3- and 4-day cruises to the Bahamas began. A fourth cruise terminal was Built in 1986. Expansion into the Western Turning Basin began with the construction of Terminal 5. The Carnival Fantasy started sailing from there at that time becoming the first mega-ship to call the Port home.

In December 2014, Port Canaveral and Royal Caribbean International opened Terminal 1, a new terminal building built to handle the Oasis class ships. It was announced in March 2015 that Port Canaveral would become the new home port of the world's largest cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas.[19]

Ships based out of Port Canaveral[edit]

As of February 2016, the following ships sail out of Port Canaveral: Carnival Sensation 3 & 4 night cruises to the Bahamas until February 21, 2016 before moving to Miami Carnival Sunshine 5, 8, & 13 night cruises to the Bahamas and the Caribbean Carnival Valor 7 night cruises to the Caribbean Carnival Victory 3 & 4 night cruises to the Bahamas starting February 25, 2016 replacing Carnival Sensation Disney Dream 3 & 4 night cruises to the Bahamas Disney Fantasy 7 night cruises to the Caribbean Disney Magic 3 & 4 night cruises to the Bahamas Enchantment of the seas 3 & 4 night cruises to the Bahamas Freedom of the seas 7 night cruises to the Caribbean Norwegian Spirit 7 night cruises to the Caribbean

Ships that visit Port Canaveral[edit]

As of February 2016, the following ships visit Port Canaveral Anthem of the seas Carnival Pride Norwegian Breakaway

Future ships based out of Port Canaveral[edit]

As of February 2016, the following ship will be based at Port Canaveral Carnival Magic Disney Wonder Majesty of the seas Norwegian Epic Oasis of the seas

US Navy[edit]

In 2011, the support ship USNS Waters (T-AGS-45) was homeported at the port.[20]

The Trident Turning Basin supports Navy ballistic missile submarines.[21]


In 2011, about 75 percent of cargo was fuel. Overall tonnage rose 40 percent ahead of 2010.[22]

In fiscal year 2007-8, there was a 44.5% drop in cargo in October and November compared with the preceding year. Multiday cruise passengers dropped 14.4%, and gambling passengers dropped 23.7%. Cargo slowdown was attributed to a slowdown in construction in Florida due to the weakened housing market. In 2008, cruise passengers held fairly steady at about 200,000 per month for the year.[23]

In 2007, cement imports, tied to construction, was 13,917 short tons (12,625 t), a drop of 87.6% for the two-month comparison with the previous year.[24] Petroleum, the ports largest single import, was 129,256 short tons (117,259 t), a drop of 25% over the same period.[25] The port handled 11.3 million barrels (1,800,000 m3) of petroleum, equivalent to 473 million US gallons (1,790,000 m3) of fuel in 2010.[26]

Carnival has 140 employees resident at the port.[27]

The channel leading to the port is 400 feet (120 m) wide and 3.5 miles (5.6 km) long.[28]


The SeaFest seafood festival was first held in 1983.[29] The celebration occurred over three days in early spring, and was co-hosted by the Cocoa Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and the Canaveral Port Authority. It featured live music, local artists, and seafood. In 2005, the final year of the festival at the port, 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of freshly caught fish, including flounder, Florida rock shrimp, blue crab claws and 100 US gallons (380 l; 83 imp gal) of seafood chowder were consumed at the festival. In 2006, because of security concerns and the site being needed for cargo, the festival was forced to move elsewhere and was renamed. In 2008 it tried to move back but was canceled.


Two cranes, 273 feet (83 m) tall, and weighing 387,600 pounds (175,800 kg), were installed for use with cargo in 2014.[30] These were used, cost $50,000 and required remodeling.[31]


The Canaveral Port Authority announced in 2006 plans for the future:[32]

  • Seaport Canaveral - Vitol SA built a fuel-tank depot with a pipeline to Orlando International Airport. This is a 36 acres (15 ha), 117 US gallons (440 l; 97 imp gal) million storage. It cost $150 million. This was completed in 2010.[33]
  • Attracting a mega-cruise ship (Freedom of the Seas and Carnival Dream in 2009 and Disney Dream in 2011)
  • Widening of the port's channel
  • Enlarging the western turning basin
  • Construction of an additional cruise terminal
  • Expansion of the Disney Cruise Line terminal as well as a new parking garage with a direct second-level walkway to the terminal.
  • New - Cruise Terminal 6 opened Mid-2012, for Carnival Dream, Carnival Sensation, other Carnival ship
The rocket booster recovery ship Freedom Star with a spent solid rocket booster (SRB) from the STS-114 launch in tow as it makes it way through Port Canaveral.


Every year about 200,000 cubic yards (150,000 m3) of sand builds up from 1 to 2 miles (1.6 to 3.2 km) north of the port's jetties., negatively impacting the beaches 10 to 15 miles (16 to 24 km) south of the jetties. The federal government (the Corps of Engineers) is responsible for reversing this impact.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Waymer, Jim (5 April 2010). "Transfer replenishes Brevard's beaches". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1A. 
  2. ^ Cargo Data. Florida Today. April 16, 2007. 
  3. ^ "December economic barometer". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. 26 December 2010. pp. 1E. 
  4. ^ Peterson, Patrick (1 March 2010). "Harbor pilots steer clear of rule change". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 14A. 
  5. ^ "CPA: Walsh Ouster Recap". by Ted Lund. Retrieved 2016-01-30. 
  6. ^ "Ted Lund Outdoors". by Ted Lund. Retrieved 2016-01-30. 
  7. ^ Berman, Dave (March 1, 2013). "High turnover 'hemorrhaging talent' at Port". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 1A. 
  8. ^ Osborne, Ray (2008). Cape Canaveral. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-7385-5327-6. 
  9. ^ Official website
  10. ^ "1967 NASA authorization: Hearings, Eighty-ninth Congress". Congressional Record. 1967. 
  11. ^ "Cape Canaveral city, Florida." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 27, 2009.
  12. ^ "FALL AND WINTER CRUISES; Where to Get Information." The New York Times. Sunday October 4, 1998. Retrieved on September 27, 2009.
  13. ^ Florida Today retrieved July 8, 2008 Archived April 2, 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Melanie Stawicki Azam (2009-11-06). "Florida probes possible corruption at Canaveral Port Authority". Orlando Business Journal. Orlando Business Journal. 
  15. ^ Price, Wayne T. (11 January 2010). "SunCruz offers apologies". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today). pp. 14A. 
  16. ^ Price, Wayne T. (10 January 2010). "Is there a future for casino ships". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today). pp. 3E. 
  17. ^ Price, Wayne T. (30 May 2010). "Competition heats up for port". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1E. 
  18. ^ Price, Wayne T. (9 January 2011). "Disney, port linked in success". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1E. 
  19. ^ Tribou, Richard. Orlando Sentinel http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/florida-cruise-guide/os-travel-oasis-of-the-seas-port-canaverl-20150305-story.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ Moody, R. Norman (September 17, 2011). "Navy support ship sails back to port". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 6B. 
  21. ^ "Hurricane Havens Handbook for the North Atlantic Ocean (U) Unclassified". Nrlmry.navy.mil. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  22. ^ "Not all bad:Some things to be thankful for". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. November 27, 2011. pp. 1D. 
  23. ^ "Cruise lines offer deals". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. March 30, 2009. pp. 8C. 
  24. ^ http://theportcanaveral.com/information-on-port-canaveral
  25. ^ Blake, Scott (January 16, 2008). Port sees decrease in cargo and cruising. Florida Today. 
  26. ^ Moody, R. Norman (January 30, 2011). "Guidelines tight to drive a fuel tanker". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 2A. 
  27. ^ Price, Wayne T. (April 8, 2011). "Carnival cruisers like Canaveral". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 8C. 
  28. ^ King, Ledyard (May 16, 2013). "Senate authorizes port widening". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 1A. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  29. ^ Balancia, Donna (March 11, 2008). SeaFest short on funding, canceled. Florida Today. 
  30. ^ Berman, Dave (March 22, 2014). "Cranes here to give port a lift". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 1A,5A. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  31. ^ Reed, Matt (April 1, 2014). "Port prepares 'low-tech' boom with cargo". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 8A. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  32. ^ several plans for the future
  33. ^ "2010". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. 26 December 2010. pp. 1E. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°25′N 80°37′W / 28.41°N 80.61°W / 28.41; -80.61