USDA Announces Extended Hours at Port Miami
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced new extended hours of operations at PortMiami. The new hours are scheduled to begin on June 16th, Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and beginning in January on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
This is a significant change from the current hours of operation, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday only, which at times have proven to slow the transport and delivery of goods arriving at PortMiami. The USDA realizes the importance of Miami as a perishables hub for the United States and the need for expansion as perishable volumes increase.
"As the Perishables Gateway to the Americas, PortMiami needs to ensure the quick and efficient flow of time sensitive goods", said PortMiami Director Bill Johnson. "These extended hours will allow us to continue to grow and create new jobs as we prepare for the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in 2015." Johnson himself penned a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture recommending the hour extension.
"The extended hours will allow PortMiami to remain competitive in today’s marketplace, said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. "PortMiami will now be better prepared to ensure the safe, cost-efficient flow of goods and commerce of its partners – the shipping lines, customs brokers, and the like - will all benefit as well."
Miami-Dade County Commission Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa agrees, "Time is money and having more hours in the day to process goods, especially time-sensitive perishables, will keep Miami at the forefront of the cargo world."
Recently designated a Customs Center of Excellence and Expertise for Agriculture and Prepared Products by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, PortMiami is expected to double its cargo throughput in the coming years upon completion of $2 billion in infrastructure improvements. These extended USDA hours, together with ELMO technology processing, make Miami one of the most efficient and advanced ports in the nation for processing perishables, solidifying PortMiami’s role as Perishables Gateway to the Americas.
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