FreightWaves Flashback: January 1970

The many industries that make up the world of freight have undergone tremendous change over the past several decades. Each Friday, FreightWaves explores the archives of American Shipper’s nearly 70-year-old collection of shipping and maritime publications to showcase interesting freight stories of long ago.

The following are summarized excerpts from the January 1970 edition of the Florida Journal of Commerce. David A. Howard, the founder of Howard Publications Inc., launched the Jacksonville Seafarer Magazine in 1952 and the Florida-based maritime and trade publication in 1959. He and his son, Hayes H. Howard, went on to expand the Florida Journal of Commerce nationally in 1974, rebranding it as American Shipper. FreightWaves acquired American Shipper in July 2019.

Click here to view the entire edition of the Florida Journal of Commerce – January 1970.

Port Everglades Nears 10 Million Ton Mark

1969 marked the largest single-year increase in waterborne commerce and the second-largest increase in cruise passengers became a matter of record at Port Everglades.

Both were all-time record highs for the busy harbor, according to Port Chairman Jack Clark. Although official figures for December won’t be tabulated until mid-January, 11-month totals far exceeded performances in 1968, the previous record year for the port. Waterborne commerce, or cargo, soared well above the 9 million ton mark for the first time in the 42-year history of the seaport.

Through November, tonnage was up 985,451 tons to 8,817,217 tons, Clark noted. With normal cargo tonnage in December expected to produce 700,000 tons, the port will have handled 9.5 million tons in the 12-month period ending December 31.

Gross port revenues, which were $2.9 million (approximately $20 million in 2020) through November 30, are expected to wind up around $3.2 million (approximately $21 million in 2020) for an increase of more than $500,000 over 1968.

A major development in 1969 was in the area of cruise activity as Eastern Steamship Lines announced that the luxury liner Ariadne intended to operate from Port Everglades the year around. Port records show the number of cruise embarkments, debarkations and in-transits were up a healthy 15 percent, topping the all-time high of 122,183 by some 20,000 passengers.

All in all, more than 35 ocean liners will be at the port this winter and spring, sailing to just about everywhere around the world. Port commissioners are hopeful that the Ariadne will do the same job in the summer that the Ocean Monarch did 10 years ago on winter sailings. The Furness Line ship came here in January 1959 as the first ocean liner to offer cruises from Port Everglades. The venture was so successful that by the following season, three other ships moved in. By 1961, Port Everglades became a premier winter cruise center.

Another major development at the port was that of obtaining a roll-on, roll-off service. This came about when Wallenius-Caribbean Lines moved its entire operation to the port, vacating two other East Coast harbors, and commenced trailership service to Panama and the Dutch West Indies. A second roll on-roll off cargo service, this one offering a fast, direct service to four countries in Central America, also set up operations here.

“This represented a major breakthrough and puts us into an entirely new area of cargo operations,” Clark said. “It served to link the port with the Caribbean and Latin America but more than that it placed us on a competitive basis with other Florida East Coast ports.”

‘Cities Service Miami’ Transports 100 Millionth Barrel of Petroleum

Port Everglades and port industry officials participated in a ceremony recently aboard the SS Cities Service Miami commemorating the discharge of the 100 millionth barrel of oil transported by the tanker in its 12-year history.

The Cities Service Miami, operated by Cities Service Tanker Corp., operates principally between Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Port Everglades in the clean oil trade. 

The vessel came to the port for a full discharge. Honored at the ceremony was Captain H. W. Stevens of Jacksonville, master of the ship, who received a bronze key of the port and a pen-pencil set from Port Chairman Jack Clark. John C. Gorman, president of Port Everglades Terminal Company, ship agent, and Michael K. Tewksbury, port manager, also participated in the ceremony.

The SS Cities Services Miami operates principally between the company’s Lake Charles, Louisiana, refinery and the Port Everglades terminal, bringing CITGO brand gasoline and fuel oils to consumer markets in Florida and the Southeast as well as jet fuels for the airline industry.

Built at the Bethlehem Steel Company yards in Sparrows Point, Maryland, the vessel is one of 14 ocean-going tankers, ranging in size up to 70,000 tons, operated by the Cities Service Company subsidiary to help the nation’s and the world’s energy requirements.

$100 Million Resort To Be Built Around SS Queen Elizabeth

The liner Queen Elizabeth will become the giant hub of a $100 million resort complex in Port Everglades under the design and construction management of Rados Western Corporation, of San Pedro, California, a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Gear Corporation.

Edward Moldt, vice president of The Queen Ltd., owner of the vessel, said a multi-million dollar contract has been signed with the San Pedro firm. Rados Western also is performing engineering design work on the Elizabeth’s sister ship, the Queen Mary, at Long Beach, California.

Rados Western marine engineers already have made preliminary studies of the Elizabeth, Moldt reported, and have established a field office aboard the liner in her temporary berth at Port Everglades. Conversion work on the ship will begin shortly, and completion is expected in July 1970.

Complete plans for the 224-acre area, which will be the site of the recreational and resort complex, will be unveiled shortly.

Moldt said the California firm will design and manage the complete conversion work required to turn the 1,031-foot former Cunard liner into a highly unusual hotel and convention center with an array of unique British shops. Rados Western will also advise the ship’s owners on the specialized task of docking the vessel at its planned permanent mooring, south of the present work location. 

“S/S Queen Elizabeth” article in top-right corner.