Governor Ron DeSantis has suggested to the Biden administration that Florida ports are open for business amid the global supply chain crisis that has bottlenecked cargo ships in California ports.
At a press conference at Jacksonville’s JAXPORT on Tuesday discussing his proposal with Florida seaport executives, DeSantis made it clear that Florida is prepared for increased operation and that he is determined to meet holiday demand.
JAXPORT announced on the same day that it will be offering incentives to any company that chooses to bring business there. The other ports that DeSantis highlighted as having capacity include Port Everglades, Port Tampa Bay and Port Panama City.
Like JAXPORT, Port Tampa Bay CEO Paul Anderson announced at the press conference that it plans to also offer businesses incentives to “reroute” their business.
“Reroute your thinking. Reroute your cargo to come to Florida. We stand ready to offer you incentives that will make it ideal and cost savings, so that these men and women in our ports can move your cargo to get to consumers,” Anderson said.
According to a press release by the governor’s office outlining DeSantis’ announcement, the amount of capacity available in the four ports mentioned above can “save Christmas during the busy holiday season.”
“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,” DeSantis said.
Additionally, DeSantis says that Florida has continuously invested in seaports, which is why he was able to make the announcement that the state can handle more cargo.
“Year after year we continue to invest in our seaports, in infrastructure and in workforce education to make sure our supply chain is resilient,” he said. “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,” he added.
The press release states that Florida has invested nearly $1 billion since 2019, and that, “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.”
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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by U.S. Secretary of Defense. CC BY 2.0. Background Photo “JAXPORT” by JAXPORT. CC BY 2.0.