"A new big ship era is here and PortMiami is ready," Juan M. Kuryla, PortMiami’s director and CEO, said at Friday’s celebration of the port’s Deep Dredge and On-dock Intermodal Rail project completion.
As part of a capital infrastructure project costing more than $1 billion, the port channel is now 52 feet deep and can accommodate the larger post-Panamax vessels.
"When bigger ships start transiting through the expanded waterway next year, deep ports like Miami will transform maritime trade on a global scale," Panama Canal Authority CEO Jorge L. Quijano said.
As the only major logistics hub south of Virginia able to handle fully laden post-Panamax vessels, PortMiami has been transformed into a major global gateway for the nation—offering gantry cranes to service jumbo cargo vessels, on-dock intermodal rail service in partnership with Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) and a new fast access tunnel connecting the port directly to the U.S. Interstate Highway System.
"I am proud to say that PortMiami is now able to berth post-Panamax ships; and we are able to expedite the movement of goods throughout Florida, the continental U.S. and the world, fast and efficiently,” Kuryla said. “We are grateful to the vision of our state and local leaders for making this critical infrastructure project a reality.”
Trains with cargo to and from global markets can now reach 70 percent of the U.S. population in four days or less, including next-day service within the state of Florida, FECR President and CEO Jim Hertwig said.
PortMiami is among America's busiest ports and recognized as a global gateway. PortMiami contributes more than $27 billion annually to the South Florida economy, and helps generate 207,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs.