Free trade zones are federally designated areas that are officially considered outside of the commerce and customs territory of the United States. The appeal to international companies established in free trade zones include duty elimination, deferral and reduction of insurance costs, minimized regulatory compliance, and more efficient operations. With the anticipated influx of cargo ships from the widening of the Panama Canal, there will likely be signification interest in Miami-based free trade zones. Increased free trade zone activities will likely generate employment for County residents and increase local participation in international trade.

Recently, Prologis, owner of Beacon Lakes Industrial Park (located between 12200 and 12650 NW 25th Street) petitioned Miami-Dade County to designate Beacon Lakes as a foreign trade zone. On August 28, 2014, the County Economic Development & Port Miami Committee forwarded the item with a favorable recommendation by 5-0 votes to the Board of County Commissioners. If this trade zone designation is approved, Beacon Lakes will join the other three magnet sites in Miami-Dade County: PortMiami, Flagler Logistics Hub and Flagler Station. The proposed trade zone would comprise a total of approximately 5 million square-feet of industrial property conveniently located with immediate access to SR 821 and SR-90, which connects tenants to Dolphin Express Toll Road, leading to PortMiami Complex, and access to the markets on the west coast of Florida.