Miami: Maritime CEO hates to be upstaged, but when it’s the President of the United States getting in front of us, we can make exceptions. President Barack Obama headed south last Friday to tour the port of Miami. He used the occasion to pledge greater infrastructure developments across the US.
When it comes to spending on improving infrastructure PortMiami is leading from the front.
Bill Johnson, the port’s director, tells Maritime CEO: “2013 is all about moving our money out of the banks – nearly $2bn worth – and into PortMiami earth.”
The port is in the final year of construction of a twin-tubed tunnel that will provide direct linkage to the national highway system, allowing a truck to move from port to interstate in just four minutes. The port will also complete 3,000 m of our its-dock rail system, which is part of an overall $50m investment linking to an inland port and to the CSX and Norfolk Southern rail systems. Meanwhile, a large dredging programme will see the port’s depth alongside hit 15 m, something that will hit 18 m when fully complete.
Assessing recent cargo data at Miami, Johnson notes Miami’s principal tradelanes – Latin America and the Caribbean – have held up well during the downturn.
Despite this, Johnson is well aware of a big shift in manufacturing that is likely to impact port volumes everywhere.
“We are very concerned with the next ten years of changing production and logistic patterns,” he says. “It is not clear whether the past 20 years of containerised growth rates will continue. Trade may continue to flourish, but container traffic may show much more modest growth.” [02/04/13]