Florida Governor Ron DeSantis touts Florida seaports as an option to relieve port congestion elsewhere in the country during an October 20, 2021 media event. Credit: Twitter @GovRonDeSantis

Florida Governor DeSantis Says State’s Ports Open and Ready to…

Mike Schuler
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October 20, 2021

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says Florida’s ports are open and ready to meet holiday demand as some of the nation’s top container ports from the West to East Coast struggle with ship bottlenecks and congestion.

Governor DeSantis held an event Wednesday at Jacksonville’s JAXPORT touting Florida’s seaports, including JAXPORT, Port Everglades, Port Tampa Bay and Port Panama City, as being open and available to handle more cargo. At the event, JAXPORT announced that the port will also be offering incentives to any company that chooses to bring its business there.

“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,” the Governor said.

JAXPORT is Florida’s northernmost and busiest container port, handling nearly 1.3 million TEUs in its fiscal year 2020 to beat PortMiami’s 1.06 million TEUs. This year’s JAXPORT is on pace to move a record 1.4 million TEU, according to the Florida Ports Council. Port Everglades, also on the Atlantic Coast, handled 945,512 TEUs in its FY2020. Meanwhile, the Port of Tampa Bay, located on the Gulf Coast, is the state’s largest port by overall tonnage, but its container throughput in FY2020 stood at just 141,030 TEUs.

The question is whether these numbers are enough to move the needle on whether shelves will be stocked this holiday shopping season, even if these ports do see a immoderate uptick, especially when competing against other ports along the East and Gulf coasts like South Carolina’s Port of Charleston, Texas’ Port of Houston, and the Port of Virginia, which are also not experiencing similar ship logjams on the scale of what’s been witnessed at the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach and Savannah.

Earlier this month, Hapag-Lloyd said it would re-route its Atlantic Loop 3 European container service to JAXPORT, skipping the Savannah call, beginning in November. However, JAXPORT said the change will only bring about 1,000 additional TEUs per week through the port.

JAXPORT is on pace move about 1.4 million TEUs a FY 2021, for a new record,

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