Port of Miami update: Part II
January 20, 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 second installment of a two-part Q&A session.
Logistics Management: When we spoke earlier this week, you mentioned that trade with Cuba might be important to the Port of Miami, but not “transformative.” Can you give an example what would be?
Kevin Lynskey: Certainly, there are several key infrastructure improvements that will attract future business. The first is the future completion of the deep dredge project that will move Miami to 50 feet of water depth, and subsequently allowing the ocean carriers to route their larger vessels to. The economic advantages of being able to accommodate the larger vessels is significant, with estimates of a 30-50 percent container slot fee savings being projected for the 8,000 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) vessels versus the 4,800 TEU vessels of today. Our deep dredge project will be completed by the end of 2014 in conjunction with the completion of the Canal expansion.
Logistics Management: What about rail service?
Kevin Lynskey: Good question…and again, very important. In conjunction with the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC), we will be restoring on-dock rail access between the port and FEC’s mainline track that runs up and down the east coast of Florida between Jacksonville and Miami. For shippers looking to move their cargo beyond Jacksonville, the FEC has interline agreements with the other two East Coast Class 1 railroads (NS and CSX) to facilitate moves beyond Florida. This on-dock rail operation will help to expedite the freight from our port to the shippers’ final destinations, and will also reduce the need to dray the goods from our port to FEC’s intermodal facility.
Logistics Management: How soon will this be realized?
Kevin Lynskey: Our on-dock rail project is currently scheduled to be completed and ready for operations in the second half of 2012. Our third significant infrastructure project is the tunnel that is being constructed that will allow truck traffic from the port to bypass downtown Miami, in favor of unencumbered access to the highway system via the tunnel. This will help facilitate the expeditious movement of truck traffic into and out of the port. Again, this will make it easier for the shippers to keep their supply chains continuously moving. We believe that the confluence of these three projects will make Miami and FEC the logical choice for BCO’s and ocean carriers to route their freight into the southeast and beyond.
Logistics Management: Very good. Finally, what is the fastest growing segment of your cargo operations?
Kevin Lynskey: We have had a steady mix of products over the last decade, with the major exception of construction related goods, which have obviously lost significant volume. We expect better performance in perishables for a number of reasons, and of course, the entire consumer related product growth from greater trade with China post-2014.
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