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PortMiami Cargo Rail Service Makes an Early Start

Eileen Ball Mehta & Rena Kelley
The reconnection of the freight-rail service to PortMiami is in effect. In recent months, the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) has begun train service carrying cargo containers directly onto PortMiami’s docks. Soon, one to two trains are expected to serve the Port per day. As highlighted by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez during his State of the County Address on Wednesday, Feb. 26th, the opening of the Port tunnel is “on time, on budget, and without tolls.”

Back in 2005, freight-rail service to PortMiami was suspended after Hurricane Wilma severely damaged a rail bridge leading into and out of the port. Restoration of rail service to PortMiami will not only expedite intermodal delivery of cargo throughout Florida, but also reconnect PortMiami with the national rail systems (CSX and Norfolk Southern) to improve movement of goods into the continental U.S. The new rail service to PortMiami, with expanded connections throughout North America, augments the Port’s efforts to become a major global logistics hub, allowing containerized cargo to reach 70% of the American population in 1-4 days.

Currently, principal cargo passing through PortMiami include fruits and vegetables, apparel and textiles, food products, paper and electronic equipment and exporting primarily to China and South America. The types of cargo and destinations of the cargo are likely to multiply, given the reconnection of the rail service to the Port. Since 2009, the Port’s cargo traffic has increased over 13%, and this growth is expected to continue with expansions like this one.
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