Strong investments in Florida's 15 seaports have well-positioned Florida to answer supply chain demands, and take advantage of a realignment in global trade routes, a new report shows. The Seaport Mission Plan, Florida Ports: Open for Business, released by the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Council (FSTED), provides an analysis on the health and capabilities of Florida ports, as well as trends on the horizon.
The report comes as 29 West Coast ports are working without a negotiated labor contract, and many shippers have already changed lanes to reroute to East Coast ports in fears that 2022 labor negotiations could lead to similar strikes, lockouts and slowdowns that occurred in 2002, 2008, 2012 and 2014.
"Florida's continued investment in our seaports have made it a destination for companies from around the world frustrated with the logjams at Pacific coast ports," said Governor Ron DeSantis. "We will continue to make the investments necessary to bolster our supply chain and improve our infrastructure to bring more business to Florida's seaports."
"Florida's seaports are flexing their muscles, and seizing the opportunity to become a global hub by capturing an even larger share of international trade and related commercial activities," said Michael Rubin, FSTED Program Administrator.
Indeed, since the unprecedented economic and supply chain upheaval caused by the pandemic, it's clear that Florida ports can support current demand and grow into the future, the report says.
Further, Florida's strong performance has resulted in global shipping lines changing trade lanes to specifically call on Florida ports -- this includes new direct Asia services. Chief among the new lines of business recently secured are:
The first vessel in global ocean carrier Sea Lead Shipping Pte Ltd's new Asia East Coast container service making its inaugural call to JAXPORT in June.
A new direct Asia service is now calling on Port Tampa Bay, and new service connections with Mexico and Central America have been secured.
MSC has launched its new Zephyr service from northern China and South Korea to the U.S. Gulf Coast, and it includes a direct call to Port Everglades
Port investments have been essential to seaports seizing the opportunity to connect more commerce and strengthen Florida's economy. Of the $4.5 billion in seaport capital improvements identified over the next five years, 75.1 percent is being made in Atlantic coast seaports, with the remaining 24.9 percent being made by Gulf coast seaports. The largest planned investments are for:
Cruise Terminals -- 30.8%
Cargo Terminals -- 21.8%
Berth Rehabilitation and Repairs -- 19.8%
Site Improvements -- 7.9%
The full press release from the Florida Seaport and Transportation Economic Development Council can be found here.