Don’t be fooled by big numbers when it only takes 29 ships.
I walk along the waterfront promenade on Brickell Bay Drive twice a day.
Rarely do I see a freighter berthed or being offloaded at any of the old or new massive cranes purchased in 2013. Last week the port claimed that they are cash rich.
This is what I know:
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In 1999, veteran Miami Port Director Carmen Lunetta resigned in advance of an audit of port management that found financial irregularities with the Port operating in the red. A common occurrence when you resign is you don’t get indicted.
In 2011, before the tunnel construction and dredging of the harbor began, the yearly $35 million income of the port barely covered the existing interest payments due on the outstanding Port bonds — $29 billion outstanding countywide bonds, of that $14 billion being interest refinanced.
According to maritime import/export reporting service Piers, in 2015 Port of Miami handled roughly 409,346 import of Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs).
This is the number of cargo boxes that are off loaded and then trucked out of the port.
Ninety percent of all container ships carry 19,000 TEUs each.
If you do the math, using a 14,000 TEU ship, the sum total of ships entering the PortMiami would be only 29.
The only people that profited from the Port Tunnel are the developers of Park West, diverting the caravan of trucks traveling down their main street on their way to Interstate 395 and Interstate 95.
The county commission rewards them with an exemption on their yearly property taxes for the orchestration of this ruse. Contractors, lobbyists, bond brokers and offshore accounts also profit.
Curiously, there were four container ships at one time last week. Must have been a photo shoot for a movie.