If the plan wasn’t clear before, it’s crystal clear now! In a move that enhances Miami-Dade County’s status as a center for international trade and commerce, the U.S. Department of Commerce granted Port Miami a reorganized and expanded mega-Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ). For a region so geographically tied to major international trade routes, central and southern ports in the state have seen little in the way of distribution center development. This would enhance its status as an international trade and commerce center and make it easier for individual companies to create duty-free warehouses.
The region is geared towards consumption rather than production but with Miami being the closest U.S. port to the Panama Canal, Florida is uniquely positioned to lead the nation in the volume and value of trade entering the state’s ports. In preparation of the canal’s expansion to be completed in 2014, major infrastructure improvements to ports and rail systems are being made in hopes of attracting shippers looking to reach southeastern states quickly. This includes Miami’s expanded FTZ and the widening and deepening of its channel to capitalize on the larger post-Panamax ships that will bring cargo to and from the United States (as stated in an earlier PIERS blog). This would enhance its status as an international trade and commerce center and make it easier for individual companies to create duty-free warehouses.
In addition to the seaport, the new FTZ-281 encompasses powerful economic engines:
- Miami International Airport
- Opa-locka Airport
- Miami River
- Doral/Hialeah warehousing areas
Additionally there are more than 100 international consulates, trade offices and bi-national chambers of commerce within the zone. The Walt Disney Co., which announced in June 2012 that a shift of a large amount of inbound volume to the Port of Jacksonville, will begin shipping batches of Asian-made merchandise for the Disney World Resort in Orlando through Port Miami next year when access to the intermodal yard becomes available…to avoid duty and excise tax.