Port Everglades commissioners examine Inchape-Dubai connections
The Broward County Commissioners, which have direct oversight over Port Everglades, say they want to take a closer look at ISS Marine Services, a ships agent affiliated with Inchape Shipping Services, the venerable British shipping services company acquired in January by the Dubai-based Istithmar PJSC.
Istithmar is the investment arm of Dubai Board of Ports, which also controls DP World, the company at the center of the U.S. ports controversy.
ISS Marine has had a franchise at Port Everglades since 2001 and the current contract with the county is about to expire. The renewal would ordinarily receive almost automatic approval, but because of the Dubai connection, the commissioners decided Tuesday to extend the contract on a month-to-month basis, until the county can conduct a 60-day security review and make a decision on a five-year extension.
According to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the commissioners indicated the security check was simply based on caution.
Port director Phil Allen said the company, which has three employees at the port, did not present a security risk.
Commissioner Ben Graber noted military ships call the port and said 'It doesn't take more than one, two, or three people. It's easier to infiltrate Dubai than it is Britain.'
However, Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion disagreed, according to the report.
'We can succumb to this hysteria that's been created by the press,' he said. 'But I will tell you this: Almost every single company working at your port is foreign-owned.'