In paradox, dredge Port of Miami or not, we win
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
With an expanded Panama Canal less than four years off, one expert says the Port of Miami, along with others, will gain from more cargo ship traffic with or without deep dredging the port calls vital.
Many Miami stakeholders fear the port won't be able to fund dredging to the 50-foot depth needed to handle massive new cargo ships by 2014, when the Panama Canal's shipload capacity is to double.
This month, President Obama left $75 million sought for Miami's dredging out of his 2012 budget, this after the county had allocated $18.57 million in bond money for it.
The impact of the canal expansion on the local economy and realty market was the focus of a Realtors Commercial Alliance of Miami conference in Coral Gables, attended by 200 realty pros Feb. 18.
A port expert told the conference the significance of the Panama Canal expansion is that it would allow more cargo ships to sail the canal, not just bigger ships.
John Carver, director of Jones Lang LaSalle's port, airport and global infrastructure desk, stated that deeper ports wouldn't be alone in benefitting from the increase in cargo ship traffic that will navigate the canal.
"I don't think there is going to be winners and losers," he said. "There will be winners and bigger winners."
Major US ports that accommodate mega-cargo ships won't have room for smaller ones, Mr. Carver explained. That, he predicted, will create an advantage for other ports to welcome smaller cargo ships that could be displaced by bigger ones.
"These larger vessels require more landside resources, will put more pressure on road systems," he said. "That's going to provide opportunities for some ports to get smaller ships."
Miami-Dade crops have rebounded from recent cold weather but prices are up.
Find out why when you subscribe to e-Miami Today.