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The port of Miami welcomes the neo-panamax era

The port of Miami welcomes the neo-panamax era
Over a decade of planning has come to fruition with a call by a neo-panamax containership at the Port of Miami.

The Port of Miami hosted a gala party to celebrate its first port call by a neo-panamax vessel MOL Majesty, which transited the newly enlarged Panama Canal enroute from a string of Asian ports to the US East Coast up as far as Norfolk. The ship is deployed on the G6 Alliance transpacific PA2 service.

The politicians were out in force, but went beyond the normal puffery and glad-handing typical of such events. Instead, their speeches conveyed an important story of cooperation over a decade that enabled the 6,700 teu vessel’s call to actually happen.

Miami-Dade County’s Mayor Carlos Gimenez and County Commissioner Pepe Diaz and the Miami port director, Juan Kuryla, all presented different aspects of a story that began around 2002 - 2003.

In the interim, Miami’s port has seen dredging down to 50 feet - through “Deep Dredge” a complex combination of county, state and Federal funding - the completion of a motorway tunnel linking the port area to downtown, and eliminating a previous traffic bottleneck, and the establishment of on-dock rail service-linking up to the Florida East Coast Railway (FECR).

In the various speeches, Kuryla and the Panama Canal Administrator, Jorge Quijano, both expressed optimism about the prospects for port calls of bigger vessels, of 10,000 teu and larger.

The story of Panama’s changing logistics dynamic is still being written. Importantly, during his remarks at the berth-side gathering, Canal Administrator Quijano mentioned that the vessel had discharged cargo at a terminal in Panama; the country’s strategy includes development of transhipment hubs on both sides.