While most businesses carry out their routine activities smoothly, in a sector of Miami a process is taking place without fanfare that will mark the beginning of the most amazing economic boom that South Florida has ever experienced. I am referring to the project to expand the Port of Miami.
Miami in Boom
A little bit of history.
With the inauguration of the Panama Canal in 1914, a dramatic process of change began in the classical structures of world maritime trade. The interconnection between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans saved the large cargo ships of the time thousands of nautical miles on each voyage, stimulating the then incipient trade between Asian countries with the US East Coast.
With the incorporation of mega-cargo ships onto the world stage, the Canal has been losing commercial opportunities due to its inability to adopt new trends in maritime transport. And it is that currently about 90% of world trade, excluding oil and bulk products, is transported in containers.
Suffice it to know that the CMA CGM Marco Polo, the largest known container ship, was launched into the sea on July 15, 2013. This Maersk flagship is 400 meters long by 59 meters wide. ) as well as capacity for 18,000 TEU's (A “Transport Equivalent Unit” or TEU is equivalent to 1 20-foot container).
Thus, the size of the “Post Panamax” and “New Panamax” container ships, which exceed the capacity of the current locks, forced the Panamanian government to promote the Canal expansion project. In this project, the application of the most modern hydraulic and mechanical technologies that have been developed in the world will be put to the test and will open the way to the great quantitative leap of world trade.
The Port of Miami Project. The possibility that these new giants of the sea can transport their cargo to safe and efficient places has stimulated the authorities of the Port of Miami to develop an ambitious project to update the port infrastructure and its logistics chain. This means that cranes up to 70 meters high, new longer docks, large warehouses and advanced multimodal means of transport will be installed.
In addition, dredging has begun up to 50 feet deep to allow the operation of deep-draft ships, and tunnels are being built that will allow trucks to connect directly with the highway system.
Likewise, the Port's train service will be reactivated to connect with the Florida East Coast Railway station in Hialeah. This railway service will allow dispatched goods to reach more than 70% of the North American population in a maximum time of 4 days.
The status of the Port of "Free Trade Zone", meanwhile, implies a tax benefit that facilitates the handling of goods in transit. Since the zone is considered to be outside the US customs territory, companies operating under this regime may defer, reduce or eliminate taxes on imports.
Miami International Airport. And, as if that were not enough, the Miami International Airport is handling record figures in terms of international cargo. Its premises handle 83% of all imports and 81% of all exports from and to Latin America and the Caribbean.
After New York's JFK airport, Miami Airport is the 2nd in the country in terms of international passenger traffic. The efficiency of the Airport represents a valuable contribution to the multimodal scheme that will be linked with the Port, the railway system and the land transport network.
Miami in Boom. The distance that separates Miami from Panama is barely 1160 miles, which means that we have the port on the east coast of the US that is closest to the Canal exit: we are "the gateway to America." This geographic preference, together with the incentives and improvements to the local intermodal logistics system, will make Miami the biggest beneficiary of the economic boom that will skyrocket in the region starting next year.
And paraphrasing Philip Kotler, the famous author of more than 40 marketing books, we will say that in Miami “the future is not yet to come. already arrived".