Port Director, Bill Johnson

Bill Johnson, Port Director

Director's Message

At PortMiami we are moving at only one speed - Full Speed Ahead!  In recent months, many of our capital improvement projects and business development efforts have reached important milestones.  In what is one of the most ambitious capital investment programs in our Port's history, more than $2 billion in infrastructure improvements are now underway.

Projects include a tunnel under Biscayne Bay, scheduled for completion in spring 2014, that will provide quick, efficient and direct access to port facilities and will relieve traffic congestion in downtown Miami.  In conjunction with Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway, on-dock rail is returning to PortMiami with the first phase scheduled for completion later this year.  The new FEC-PortMiami connection will provide shippers with fast access to markets in the Southeastern U.S. and America's heartland, reaching over 70 percent of the nation's population in one to four days.

We will soon begin the construction phase of our Deep Dredge project, which will deepen the Port's channel to -50 feet, making PortMiami the only port south of Norfolk, Virginia at this depth and able to accommodate the new generation of larger container cargo vessels when the expanded Panama Canal opens in 2015.  As the closest U.S. port of call from the Canal, PortMiami is looking forward to new trade opportunities with Asian markets in the coming Post-Panamax era.

Our cruise business recently marked its largest expansion ever in a single season as we welcomed an impressive roster of new cruise brands and new build vessels.  Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Disney Cruise Line began sailing out of Miami last fall.  The Port will soon welcome another new cruise brand when the upscale Italian line MSC Cruises brings its newest ship, the MSC Divina, for the 2013-2014 cruise season.  PortMiami has welcomed more new ships than any other cruise port for the 2013 cruise season, including:  the Carnival Breeze, Celebrity Reflection and Oceania Riviera.  In February 2014, we will welcome the Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Cruise Lines' newest ship, now under construction in Germany.

Our 2035 Master Plan has been created to guide new development over the next two decades.  The ambitious plan visualizes an array of projects that support significant expansion for both our cruise and cargo operations by optimizing land usage on our 518-acre site.

At PortMiami, we are proud of what we have accomplished.  Our commitment to moving our Port forward is steadfast as we continue to expand our cruise fleet and cargo traffic.  With key capital projects soon coming into play, we are looking forward to robust growth as we move into the second half of the decade.

PortMiami is moving - it's Full Speed Ahead!

Bill Johnson
Port Director