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Beckham and the world's busiest cruise port


In Sunday's story on how David Beckham's soccer plans conflict with PortMiami's business plans, internal county documents reveal an open secret: Miami's cruise ship companies aren't thrilled with bringing a sports stadium to their home port. 

Norwegian's Colin Murphy wrote in an e-mail to PortMiami's Juan Kuryla on Dec. 19:

Hi Juan

I was reading that some members of the MD Commission were in favor of the soccer stadium in PortMiami! What are they thinking??

Can I assume we have nothing to worry about with this? Or could it happen?



The email, uncovered in a Herald public-records request, does not record a written response from Kuryla. He probably called. 

Six days earlier, Royal Carribean CEO Richard Fain wrote a friendly letter to  Mayor Carlos Gimenez that states: "I want to assure you that we support the concept of a more productive use of this land whether that be a socccer stadium or other amenity." 

But Fain also noted that RCL itself may be interested in building on the stadium site, which sits next to the cruise company's headquarters and includes some RCL facilities. Then Fains notes: "At the same time, we have been evaluating expanding our future large ship presence here at PortMiami, and possibly making significant investments in port infrastructure on our corporate campus."

In an industry where shifting cruise ships stand as a top worry for port managers, those are some loaded words. 

Read the letter here:

Download RCCL to Mayor - Soccer Stadium 12-13-2013


Read the story by clicking here.

And while you're at it, read Barry Jackson's rundown on Beckham's efforts to get the University of Miami to join his stadium push. Dolphins owner Steve Ross had hoped to bring Beckham to Sun Life, but now Beckham is trying to snag Sun Life's top tenant.  



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Rick Eyerdam

This from my Southeast Shipping News blog May 11, 2012

PortMiami planning 36 acre World Trade Center, 6,000 passenger cruise terminal and mega-rail, car and bus intermodal center

Felix Pereira shared a slideshow
presentation with SIOR
event attendees.

Industrial realtors convention gets to hear the inside scoop of PortMiami's ambitious plan from top port planner

MIAMI-In reuniting its port system with the downtown, the city of Miami is taking several steps to revitalize its commercial real estate assets on a regional and international level. With a slew of investment pouring in from federal, state and private sources toward local infrastructure, industrial sites and office space, speakers at SIOR’s 2012 Spring World Conference said the city is working to transform its underutilized south core and integrate the port into a world-class destination tied to the maritime industry.

In greeting the crowd at the Loews South Beach Hotel, SIOR President Geoff Kreusser said while regulatory uncertainty is "rampant" in Washington and on Wall Street, Miami-Dade County is showing strong inland growth in manufacturing and industrial—and it is continuing on the upswing.

The Port of Miami, a governmental agency that oversees industrial and economic development for county, has introduced its 20-year master plan for the expansion of the city’s 520 acre port, which will involve the deepening of channels to allow post-Panamax ships to pass through, as well as plans to create a new intermodal transportation center and a mega cruise terminal by the year 2035.

“We have pretty much diversified our portfolio and our operations,” said Felix Pereira, chief of planning at Port Miami, noting that the projected passenger counts for 2035 will be hitting approximately six million riders, but the development plan will be limited to the existing port area due to environmental reasons. “The port itself is tight,” he said.

But just recently, Pereira said the county and three local stakeholders reached an agreement to move forward with the port’s deep dredge project, which would allow the Port to proceed with the deepening of its channel to -50 feet to accommodate larger container cargo vessels. It now awaits approval by the Board of County Commissioners.

Pereira said the timing of the announcement comes at a time when the port’s cruise operations are expanding. “We are known internationally for being the cruise capital of the world,” he said, explaining that Miami is the 11th largest cargo container port in the world (just under 900,000 TEUs), and currently has about 4.1 million passengers. Companies like Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity all have a presence here, and after the dredging is complete, bigger vessels can serve the area. “There will be a whole litany of brand new ships coming in as well,” he said.

The Port of Miami is exploring the possibility of “mega cruise terminal” that can handle four oasis class ships at a given time with 6,000 passengers each. “We could possibly handle 24,000 passengers simultaneously,” Pereira estimated.

The state is also planning to develop a new intermodal facility on Port lands, which will consolidate car rental facilities, taxis and buses into one building. The transit hub will also have an elevated train that will provide linkages back to the downtown.

Pereira said the transit plan is also being pushed due to congestion in the city’s central business district. “We have 100,000 people going downtown, so once you’re filled and having a downtown that’s revitalized, you are asking for more traffic,” he said. In an effort to alleviate that, the Florida Department of Transportation is planning a tunnel that would connect the port to the interstate system. “ It is basically two tubes going from the highway under the north channel coming up into the center portion of the island and back,” he said, noting that the tunnel boring machine is one-third of the way through to the island. It is expected to reduce downtown traffic by 60% to 70%.

The Port is also working out a plan for the city’s southwest corner, also known as a the World Trade Center. But this isn’t the same one in Lower Manhattan. “This is a 36-acre site that is currently underutilized,” Pereira said, noting that a mix of uses, including apartments, retail and office, are in the works. “We are trying to reintegrate better into the city,” he adds.

The Port, which generates 176,000 direct and indirect jobs and $18 billion to the local economy, estimates that the dredging will be complete by 2014.

Rick Eyerdam

And this from Miami Tomorrow Magazine package showing how misinformed Miami has been ... until now. Oh Gee look what is says in the Herald today. I wonder where they got that idea?

September 21, 2012
Chinese press reveals major PortMiami plans and deals

PortMiami office tower for Chinese firms under construction while larger Pacific cargo carriers are discussing long term access to PortMiami’s “largest cargo terminal"
Posted on September 21, 2012 by China Briefing
Sept. 21 – Miami has always been a major center for international trade by both water and air. Port Miami’s new foreign trade zone, featuring a planned World Trade Center complex, represents an opportunity for Chinese multi-nationals to display goods for the entire market of the Americas, as Miami is the center of trade and commerce for Latin America as well as the southeast United States.
“We are much like Hong Kongin our trade patterns. A significant amount of Port Miami’s international trade is re-export trade bound for Latin America,” said Port Miami Assistant Director Kevin Lynskey.
In fact, Miami and Hong Kongare both gateway cities to their respective regions. Already a sister port to the Port of Shanghai, earlier this year Port Miami signed a sister port agreement with the Port of Kaohsiung in Taiwan, further reinforcing economic ties between Miami and China.

Several large Pacific trade carriers are courting Miami for a long-term access agreement for Port Miami’s largest cargo terminal, according to Lynskey.Miami has been approached to work with Chinese business interests as a principal access point for Asian imports into the southeast United States. The proposal incorporates a massive mid-state rail-served logistics park for distribution of Chinese-made products, as well as related light manufacturing activities. Under consideration is a dedicated on-port office tower for Chinese multi-national firms (‘China 1’) located in the midst of a downtown Miami WorldTrade
Center complex.
Business with benefits
“FTZs and Miami are a match made in trading heaven, whether the goods were made in America or imported fromChina and stored in an FTZ for re-export,” Lynskey said.
Asian exporters shipping into Port Miami will not be required to pay U.S. import duties, as long as the goods are heading from one foreign country to another. The port plans to set up satellite zones that would allow companies to have FTZ benefits in their own secure warehouses.
Economic ties deepen with the harbor
While the Panama Canal is expanding with a third lock, Port Miami is deepening its harbor to -50 feet. Fully laden mega-ships (8,500-13,000 TEUs), commonly known as Super post-Panamax ships, will for the first time gain direct access to the southeast United States. Port Miami will be the only port south of Norfolk,Virginia, able to accept these ships fully laden.
Along with the “Deep Dredge,” Port Miami is undertaking a US$2 billion public and private investment in infrastructure improvements, including a port tunnel –serving as a dedicated roadway connector linking port facilities with Florida’s interstate system – and on-dock intermodal rail for ease of ship-to-rail container transport. Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) provides seamless connections to major national railroads, enabling goods to reach 70 percent of the U.S.population within one to four days and to southeast U.S.markets before a ship can even arrive at ports north of Florida.
Port Miami and FEC are currently engaged in an aggressive joint marketing strategy, focused not only on steamship line companies, but also manufacturers, exporters, importers, 3PLs, supply chain, freight-forwarders, and custom house broker companies for the greatest market penetration.
“Several major companies have worked with Port Miami and FEC on pilot import container test programs and have been very pleased with the service, even prior to the completion of the harbor dredge and on-dock rail projects,” said David Banfield, director of sales and port development for the Florida East Coast Railway.

Port Miami as a key for America-Asia bilateral trade
Port Miami also serves as an efficient gateway for goods bound for Asia with 55 percent of the port’s cargo trade being export-driven. Port Miami and FEC authorities agree thatMiami’s import/export trade with China is expected to double over the next decade for several reasons, listed below.
Balanced trade, import-export
Since Miami is at the end of the U.S. domestic supply chain, it can serve as a great transshipment hub when Asian trade is dropped at Port Miami and then quickly trans-loaded. Port Miami is actively working with the largest exporters toChina, to re-fill Asia-bound containers filled with many different kinds of products. Some include:
Scrap metal
Frozen poultry
U.S.-manufactured automobiles
Raw-baled cotton
Alternative fuels
“Import containers moving north from Miami will also benefit from attractive back-haul rates. Additionally, those same import containers, once made empty in U.S. markets beyond Jacksonville, Florida, can be reloaded with U.S.exports. In fact, a new U.S.export grain route is a near-future possibility,” Banfield said.
“Given the margin pressures that importers are facing in today’s economic environment, Port Miami and Florida East Coast Railway will be in position to significantly reduce transportation expense, inventory investment, and carbon emissions,” said James Hertwig, CEO and president of Florida East Coast Railway.
As China’s currency appreciates against the U.S. dollar, the exchange rate has created a more balanced trade scenario with China on a long-term basis, as the emergence ofChina’s middle class progresses.
“As purchasing power gravitates to the Chinese middle class, the more their select tastes for acquiring higher-end U.S. consumer products will be,” said Banfield.
“The changing Chinese diet – shifting to animal proteins as disposable income increases – represents a substantial opportunity for the U.S. to export more filled containers toChina. The U.S. has a substantial fresh-water advantage over most of the world and has its most productive agricultural sector,” Lynskey added.
Flagler’s South FloridaLogistics Center is within the FTZ and enables companies to put warehouses, distribution centers and trans-load operations on site, where movement of containers from the rail to the facility would not have to go out onto a public highway, according to Hertwig.
Miami and Asia’s win-win relationship
According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection guidelines, the following are advantages for conducting business in a foreign trade zone:
While in the zone, merchandise is not subject toU.S. duty or excise tax, and duties may be paid at the time they are transferred to the U.S.market for consumption.
Goods may be exported from the zone free of duty and excise tax.
Merchandise may remain in a zone indefinitely, whether or not subject to duty.
Manufacturing and assembly is allowed within a zone. A zone user who plans to send the merchandise into theU.S. market may normally elect to pay either the duty rate applicable on the foreign material placed in the zone or the rate applicable on the finished article, whichever is most advantageous.
When you factor in that Floridais the fourth-largest state economy in the United States, that it houses more than 19 million residents, and more than 85 million out-of-state residents annually visit, it is clear that Port Miami is well positioned to be the first port of call for ships carrying goods to and from Asia.
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