Ports in Miami are getting ready to do business with Cuba

Interest in ferries bound for Cuba has been high enough in the Port of Miami that officials are looking for ways to create temporary terminals to accommodate operators who wish to launch ferry trips overnight to Havana all days.

Planning a new passenger and cargo route to Cuba is detailed in hundreds of emails and internal documents obtained by the Miami Herald through Florida’s open registration laws.

The documents show a year-long effort by the Port of Miami to be ready for what could be a major new venture there. Industry leaders predict ferry routes will be popular with Cuban-Americans not only those who visit their homeland, but with the transportation of large goods from the US. For their relatives on the island of Cuba.

On November 4, Port of Miami officials scheduled a meeting to discuss what the US Customs and Border Protection would require for the processing of freight and passengers on ferries bound for Cuba. The meeting asks “Given a ferry date, supposing the start-up in March 2016, how can the Port meet this target for the start-up based on current facilities and operations”

For now, that date seems almost impossible. There was a significant boost in May, when the Obama administration issued Cuba-ferry licenses to Caribbean states and other operators in talks with the port of Miami. But industry executives say todo Cuba is holding back approval and port construction to welcome ferries from the United States.

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