Construction is starting on an intermodal container transfer facility at Port Everglades in south Florida.

On Jan. 17, Florida Gov. Rick Scott ceremonially broke ground on the cargo rail facility.

Port Everglades starts intermodal facility constructionThe $53 million facility is being constructed to help move containerized cargo through the port to and from the Florida East Coast Railway’s mainline.

The 42.5-acre near-dock operation will be different from similar facilities at other ports in that it is designed to handle domestic and international cargo, according to a news release.

The cargo operation not only ensures the seaport’s competitiveness but provides a cost and time-to-market advantage over many other East Coast gateways, Steven Cernak, Port Everglades’ chief executive and port director, said in the release.

Port officials also said the operation helps prepare for larger cargo ships and an expected increased volume of freight.

To help expand dock space, the governor committed $13 million to start construction of the Southport turning notch extension project.

“Today’s announcement is another example of Florida’s commitment to our world-class port system being a driver of our economy,” Scott said at the Jan. 17 ceremony. “This $13 million investment in our port system is one of the reasons why Florida’s economy continues to move in the right direction and creates more jobs and opportunities for Florida families.”

The container operation will allow the railway to efficiently deliver transportation service between south Florida and the southeastern U.S. and place south Florida in a competitive position for additional freight and jobs, Jim Hertwig, Florida East Coast Railway’s chief executive officer, said at the event.

“This facility will be able to handle the additional cargo of larger ships that are coming out of Europe today and when the Panama Canal expansion is complete and beyond,” he said in the release.