Friday, August 14, 2009

Upgrade Proposed for Port of Miami Rail Freight Links

Major potential improvement in efficiency
Shipping News Feature

FLORIDA - The Port of Miami (POM) and the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) have unveiled ambitious plans to renovate the rail link to the port to take advantage of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant program.

With Miami one of only three US east-coast ports that will be able to handle “Post-Panamax” ships – large freighters that can carry more than 5,000 containers which will come into service in increasing numbers once the Panama Canal expansion is completed in 2014 – the port authority believe it is in a good position to receive federal funding.

Currently an estimated 10 percent of POM’s cargo is transported by the FEC. However, this has first to be trucked to the company’s intermodal facility in Hialeah. In combination with the more than 6,000 trucks that travel to and from the port everyday this is a major cause of congestion in the city.

The new plans aim to reinvigorate the underutilised existing rail link so that in the future a total of 30 to 40 percent of cargo into POM will move by rail freight and as an addition FEC proposes to turn its Hialeah yard into an ‘inland port’, with road hauliers collecting loads there and not having to negotiate down town Miami, making an important contribution to improving the quality of life of residents of the city and efficiency for industry in Florida and the southern United States.

For more information on the proposals, the Port of Miami and the Florida East Coast Railway, download the following PDF (1MB).