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Growth in Cuba

by Morgan Bell | Nov 01, 2016

A significant amount of interest has been generated around Cuban trade and the Port of Mariel is considered to be the star. During its first year of operation in fiscal 2014, Mariel did around 16,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs). In 2015 the port conducted 330,000 TEUs. Although Mariel predicted an increase to around 360,000 or 370,000 TEUs for 2016, the port is now predicting figures closer to its 2015 numbers.

Added this year, two new rail-mounted gantry cranes provide significant rail capacity and Mariel is currently handling an average of one train per day. The rail coming into Mariel connects to the Cuban national rail system and new locomotives and wagons should be coming online in 2017.

Melfi, the Cuban government-owned carrier, is the main shipping line serving the port. It has about 30 percent of the port's business, followed by Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., CMA CGM, Hamburg Sud, Cosco Container Lines and China Shipping.

As always, workforce is a major consideration for companies investing in the port. Workforce comes in from around the area and employment agencies work as partner investors to supply the workers. Overall, the Port of Mariel could offer significant growth and opportunities for U.S. companies in the future, should the embargo be lifted. 

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