Commerce Secretary scheduled to visit Port of Fernandina Friday
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will visit Nassau County and the Port of Fernandina on Friday, March 29, to promote economic development, opportunity zones, and increasing exports of agricultural and other products, according to a news release.
Ross will be given a tour of the port facility and briefed on recent and planned enhancements to the port including the installation in January of a new crane. Ross is then scheduled to speak to a group of local business people and officials at 2:15 p.m. on the lawn at 501 N. Third St., Fernandina Beach. The event is open to the public, according to Port Director Laura DiBella. Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP to DiBella by sending an email to Laura@NassauFlorida.com.
"The visit by Secretary Ross emphasizes the increasingly significant role the Fernandina Port is playing in making this community a gateway for global trade, particularly with South America, Europe and Asia, the benefits of public-private partnerships, and in the increasing economic importance of Nassau County and surrounding areas," DiBella said in the release.
According to the release, Christopher Ragucci, CEO of Worldwide Terminals Fernandina says that modernization of the port is continuing with plans for capital investments of $15 million for additional cranes, cargo-handling equipment, on-dock warehousing, and more.
"The visit by Secretary Ross is testimony to the growing strategic role the Port of Fernandina plays due to its location in the burgeoning Southeast and the excellent connections to the U.S. mainland it offers to a global network of vessels and customers," Ragucci said in the release.
The Port of Fernandina handled over 290,000 tons of cargo last year and is on course to double this amount in 2019, according to the release. It is governed by the five commissioners elected to the Ocean Highway and Port Authority board.