Port of Miami poised for growth
January 18, 2012
In an exclusive interview with Logistics Management, Kevin T. Lynskey, Assistant Director, Port Miami, readers are given a current evaluation of this booming ocean cargo gateway.
This if the first installment of a two-part Q&A session.
Logistics Management: Savannah and NY/NJ are taking market share away from the U.S. West Coast ports. How about Miami?
Kevin Lynskey: Yes. The East Coast will be taking some additional share from the West Coast, and Miami will be a beneficiary because of its location and water depth.
Like Savannah and NY/NJ, Miami is also benefiting from importers’ desires to service the large population and consumption markets on the east coast via all water east coast routings from Asia. In addition to the cost benefits off all water east coast routings, importers are also diversifying their import port strategies in order to minimize potential disruptions to their supply chains, as well as take advantage in the shifting manufacturing points of origin from China to Southeast Asia, India, and Latin America.
Logistics Management: Will the Panama Canal expansion provide more business for Miami?
Kevin Lynskey: As of the Canal completion at the end of 2014, Miami will be the closest port of call to the Panama Canal, and will be the only port south of Norfolk to be at 50 feet, which is the water depth that the ocean carriers will use to evaluate which ports they route the larger and more economic vessels to. Port Miami will also have on-dock rail service through Florida East Coast Railway (FEC). Given the margin pressures that importers are facing in today’s economic environment, Port Miami and FEC will be in position to significantly reduce transportation expense, inventory investment, and carbon emissions.
Importers from Asia will be able to move their goods cheaper and faster through Port Miami and Florida East Coast Railway into the Southeast United States.
Logistics Management: How important is a trade agreement with Cuba for Miami? Do you see one developing in the future?
Kevin Lynskey: We make no prediction of how or when trade flows will begin with Cuba. However, we have ‘gamed’ the day when trade flows free and made estimates of container movements in the near and long-term to and from Cuba, and what Miami’s share may be. It will be a substantial trade for us, but not transformative in terms of volume for our port.
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