For Immediate Release: October 19, 2021
Contact: Governor’s Press Office, (850) 717-9282, Media@eog.myflorida.com
Governor Ron DeSantis: Florida’s Seaports Are Open and Ready to Meet Holiday Demands
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida Seaports have open capacity and can meet holiday demand, while other seaports across the country are struggling to keep up. Governor DeSantis made the announcement at JAXPORT, where he was joined by Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault and Florida Seaport executives. Seaports including JAXPORT, Port Everglades, Port Tampa Bay and Port Panama City all have availability to handle more cargo.
At the event, JAXPORT announced that they will be offering incentives to any company that chooses to bring its business to the port, freeing up backlogs at other ports while ensuring Americans are able to receive the goods they order faster. Governor DeSantis was able to make the announcement that Florida Seaports are able to meet demand because Florida has continuously invested in its seaports.
“Year after year we continue to invest in our seaports, in infrastructure and in workforce education to make sure our supply chain is resilient,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I’m especially proud of Florida’s seaports. They are crown jewels in our state. While other U.S. ports are just now announcing around-the-clock operations, in Florida many of our ports are used to serving Florida farmers, families and businesses with 24 hour operations. As the rest of the nation faces rampant inflation and businesses stare down unprecedented supply chain problems, our message is this: Florida is here, we have capacity, we have incentive packages to help businesses who want to move here and we are going to make sure Americans get their Christmas Gifts this season.”
Since 2019, Florida has invested nearly $1 billion into its seaports to ensure there is capacity to serve as much cargo as possible. The state has also invested in infrastructure to make sure roadways are capable of handling the demand of today’s freight movements. As an example of the state’s commitment to improving freight logistics, the Florida Department of Transportation is scheduled to invest an additional $200 million in infrastructure improvements over the next few years to ensure there are no significant logjams or freight movement delays.
“The Governor has displayed tremendous leadership in continuing to recognize the value our seaports provide in meeting the mission of safely moving goods throughout the region,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. “The partnership we have with our deepwater seaports uniquely positions Florida to be that much needed destination to get goods to market and overcome the delays seen at other locations.”
As Florida welcomes more business and has capacity to take on more cargo at ports, the nation is facing supply-chain issues, the likes of which have not been seen in decades. As a result of the supply-chain problems, the country is facing out-of-control inflation:
- Last week, the Social Security Administration announced that its beneficiaries will see a 5.9 percent increase in their benefits – the largest boost to benefits in close to four decades;
- This year, gas prices reached the highest level since 2014;
- The year-over-year increase in food prices is the highest in 10 years; and
- Overall, the U.S. inflation rate matched the highest rate since the financial crisis of 2008.
Florida’s unique geographical presence positions the state to accept diverted cargo from locations limited by supply chain delays and lost productivity. With major cargo seaports with additional capacity like JAXPORT and Port Everglades along the Atlantic Coast, or Port Tampa Bay and Port Panama City within the Gulf of Mexico, Florida seaports can save Christmas during the busy holiday season.
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The Florida Department of Transportation’s mission is to provide a safe transportation system that ensures the mobility of people and goods, enhances economic prosperity and preserves the quality of the state’s environment and communities. The department is committed to building a transportation system that not only fits the current needs of Florida’s residents and visitors but also enhances mobility throughout the state to accommodate its consistent and rapid growth. The unique nature of the Sunshine State and its year-round warm climate provides numerous opportunities to achieve the department’s mission through multiple transportation modes including highways/streets, air, rail, sea, spaceports, transit, and the ever-expanding deployment of bicycle & pedestrian facilities.