PortMiami Completes Major Harbor Deepening Project

Mike Schuler
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September 24, 2015

Four new Super Post-Panamax cranes arrive at PortMiami from China in October 2013. Photo: PortMiami


The Port of Miami is now the only major logistics hub south of Virginia capable of handling fully laden post-Panamax vessels with the completion of a major harbor deepening project ahead of the opening of the new expanded Panama Canal in 2016.

PortMiami, as the port is known officially, celebrated the completion of the Deep Dredge Project and On-Dock Intermodal Rail last week, which involved more than $1 billion of capital infrastructure projects including the deepening of the of PortMiami’s channel to 50/52 feet deep from just 42 feet.

PortMiami now also offers Super Post-Panamax gantry cranes that can service cargo vessels up to 22 containers wide and up to nine containers above deck and eleven containers below, as well as an on-dock intermodal rail service connecting the port to 70% of the U.S. population in just four days or less. A new fast access tunnel also connects the Port directly to U.S. Interstates for faster turnaround times imported and exported goods.

“The completion of the Deep Dredge and the Intermodal On-dock Rail project are a major milestone not only for Miami-Dade County and PortMiami, but for all of Florida because the entire Sunshine State will benefit from increased trade opportunities once the expanded Panama Canal opens in 2016, said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “I thank Governor Rick Scott, our state legislators, county commissioners and all who advocated for these critical projects.” The completion of both projects ensures that PortMiami will remain competitive in the global marketplace.”

“A new big ship era is here and PortMiami is ready,” said PortMiami Director and CEO Juan M. Kuryla. “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. “We are grateful to the vision of our State and local leaders for making this critical infrastructure project a reality. The completion of PortMiami’s Deep Dredge and Intermodal On-dock Rail projects cannot be overstated, PortMiami is now positioned as the most reliable, convenient and efficient global hub on the North American East Coast ready to service the world’s leading ocean carriers.”

The United States Army Corps of Engineers managed the project. Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company LLC was the contractor selected for the dredging of PortMiami’s channel, which began in August 2013.

The dredging project was set to coincide with the completion of Panama Canal expansion project, which is now pushed back to April 2016 at the earliest. 

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