Port Canaveral is now a "sister port" with Port Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates or UAE. This alliance is considered to be a "historic partnership".
Jerry Allender, Port Canaveral Authority Chairman, traveled to the United Arab Emirates with Port Canaveral Authority Commissioner Wayne Justice and Port Canaveral Assistant Director of Cargo Shannon Feeley.
The historic agreement will mean additional cargo business for Port Canaveral which is currently one of the busiest tourist cruise ports in the world. For the last 6 years, the United Arab Emirates has been our (the United States) largest trading partner in the Middle East with over $24 billion in trade in 2014 alone.
Trade will be through Gulftainer which is the world's largest privately owned, independent port operator and is based in the Port of Sharjah in the Emirates. The North American headquarters of Gulftainer is based at Port Canaveral. Sheikh Khaled Bin Abdullah Al Qasimi (pictured above) who runs the Department of Seaports and Customs in the Port of Sharjah said:
“We are delighted to be part of such an important moment in the history of the UAE-USA trade relationship. The ‘sister ports’ agreement strengthens our ties with an already strong partner...and reflects our commitment to establishing strong international relationships to boost the country’s economic development.”
Gulftainer is not new in the cargo industry, they started operating out of Sharjah in 1976 and were the first container terminal in the Arabian Gulf. Brevard County welcomes the additional commerce from this "Sister Port" agreement.